Donald Trump is supposedly a wannabe dictator according to many far-left activists and their protest signs, but governors, mayors, and little-known bureaucrats are making headlines over their real-life orders, warnings, and threats.
A federal judge in Kentucky last week ruled the state government could not keep churches from meeting in person any longer. Gov. Andy Beshear said he will comply with the ruling but he issued a bizarrely authoritarian guideline for those churchgoers: There will be no singing in the sanctuary.
The governor reasons that singing is more likely to send infected particles into the air.
Elsewhere in the country, New York's governor vowed in April to seize ventilators from across the state to use them in hard-hit New York City, and Florida's governor announced that travelers to his state must be quarantined for 14 days if they arrive from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.
Meanwhile, President Trump, aware of the economic despair that has put 30 million people out of work, is lashing out at governors for continuing their lockdown measures that are keeping millions of businesses from reopening.
"The great people of Pennyslvania want their freedom now," Trump tweeted on Monday, "and they are fully aware of what that entails."
J. Christian Adams, an attorney who leads the Public Interest Legal Foundation, says the nation's governors are entitled to incredible authority via the 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
"We saw this during the Civil War," he tells OneNewsNow."The Constitution gave these ancient powers of the king only to the governors, not to the federal government."
A ‘misinterpreted’ announcement
Gov. Beshear's odd restriction in Kentucky pales with Ventura County, California, where the county health director has been accused of planning to remove virus-positive people from their homes by force.
“When we find someone who has a covid infection, those people are immediately isolated,” Director Robert Levin announced at a May 5 press conference. “We'll isolate every one of them and we will find every one of their contacts, and we will make sure that they stay quarantined.”
Levin apologized the very next day for his “misinterpreted” comments after they went viral on social media, and a fact-checking website sided with Levin’s version of what he called a botched announcement over contact tracing in Ventura County.
Yet the director stated directly that an infected person must be removed, for example, from a home with numerous family members using the same bathroom.
“Every person who we are isolating, for instance,” he said, “needs to have their own bathroom.”
‘Operation Gridlock’ ignored
Of all the actions making the news in recent weeks, Michigan’s governor Gretchen Whitmer (pictured below) may have generated the most headlines for an executive order that roped off garden centers and paint counters at big-box stores; banned any gatherings of any kind beyond a family’s own household; barred motorboats and jet skis; and banned Michiganders who own vacation homes from travelling to them.
The draconian order led to a massive protest in Lansing called “Operation Gridlock,” but Gov. Whitmer followed the public outcry by extending the stay-at-home order beyond May 15. It is now set to expire May 28.
Protesters later stormed the State Capitol with signs that read "No work no freedom" and "Tyrants get the rope," The Associated Press reported.
The state’s GOP-led legislature sued the governor over the extension, arguing that it did not approve it, and the AP story suggested Whitmer agreed with the legislative authority because she asked legislators to extend the order.
"But at the same time," the AP story stated, "she believes she has other powers to respond to the crisis and does not need a legislatively-approved extension — which Republicans dispute and appeared poised to challenge in court."
"We can no longer allow one person to make decisions for 10 million people,” Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey told the media.
Editor's Note: An earlier version of this story mistakenly included a photo of Steve Beshear, Kentucky's former governor.