Group Promoting Covid "Liberate" Protests Tied to Hydroxychloroquine Push - 2020-04-22
A prominent Koch network group that is helping to organize protests calling for states to reopen is tied to a campaign that promoted misleadingly optimistic information about a drug it claimed could effectively treat Covid-19.
FreedomWorks, a nonprofit that grew out of the David Koch-founded Citizens for a Sound Economy, has employed its social media, email and text message lists to promote the protests, according to the New York Times. The group's website features a prominent call to "Urge the States to Reopen America!," and it hosts a calendar of the protest on its website and is conducting polling to show that reopening the economy is popular in suburban swing districts, which it is sharing with the Trump administration.
The protests' calls for people to begin gathering again in schools, churches, businesses, and other places increase pressure for officials to take action that contradicts the advice of medical experts. Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said today in a press conference, "The one way not to reopen the economy is to have a rebound that we can't take care of." Furthermore, the individuals who attend the protests often do not follow the social distancing guidelines that are important for limiting the spread of the coronavirus, as can be seen in numerous photographs that show protesters gathering in packed crowds.