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Joy Behar asks if Michigan protesters will ‘sign away their right to treatment’ if they get sick

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Joy Behar said Thursday Americans who want to reclaim their constitutional liberties after having them taken away thanks to coronavirus-related ‘stay-at-home’ orders should be made to give up all treatment options if they get sick.

Behar was making reference to residents in Michigan showed up at the state capital at day earlier to protest Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who issued new, more restrictive ‘stay-at-home’ orders after Detroit became a hotspot for the outbreak.

They include bans on travel between residents, gardening, and other home improvement activities. They also restrict the sale of a number of goods, like garden seeds, that make no sense to most people.

The new orders are simply too much for scores of Michigan residents, who took to the streets and to the capital to protest.

During the program, Behar and her fellow co-hosts addressed the protests. One of them, Megan McCain, questioned why Whitmer would ban purchases of paint and flooring supplies as well as garden tools and seeds. She said such activities as planting a garden and doing home improvements would be ideal during a stay-at-home order.

“Gov. Whitmer needs to lean back on some of these restrictions because people are doing the best they can to entertain themselves at home, and if you want to repaint your house, that’s certainly one of the safest things that you can be doing right now,” she said.

But then, Behar chimed in with a question she wanted to ask the protesters.

“I would like to ask them if they’re willing to sign away their right to treatment if and when they get infected,” she said. “Are you going to say, ‘I don’t need a ventilator because I thought I should go out and defy the governor’s order,’ okay?

“And I would like to know if people in states who are following the guidelines like us in New York, can be sure those people don’t come here. They blocked an ambulance the other day. Can’t they be charged and arrested for that? I understand the fact that you know, they can’t get their veggies, but hello. We’re talking about this disease being way more infecting and worse than they even thought, you know?” she continued.

She went on to suggest that protesters were only angry because they are watching Fox News.

“They’re watching Laura Ingraham who tweeted, ‘time to get your freedom back,’ and the brilliant Jeanine Pirro, she said, the infection rate would drop as the weather warms. This is who they’re listening to. Again, do you say, ‘I won’t get the treatment if I get the virus?’ That’s my question,” Behar said.

First of all, freedom and the right to receive medical treatment is not an either/or proposition or an ultimatum. Americans are entitled to both, regardless of anything they may believe.

As for health risks, well, people take those everyday because we don’t live in a risk-free world. Marxist utopias don’t really exist; when it wasn’t coronavirus, Americans had influenza, car crashes, heart disease, and a half-dozen other things sicken or kill us.

Behar, who is 77, is right to be fearful of coronavirus, however, because she is in the age demographic most affected by the disease. But if she were to venture out of her home to the grocery store or to perform some other ‘permissible’ act in New York and catch the virus, would she be ‘disqualified’ from receiving care? Of course not.

What’s dangerous about her attitude is that she and most other liberals appear to be far too comfortable with authoritarianism. There are state governors who have not issued ‘stay-at-home’ orders. There is a country in Europe — Sweden — that hasn’t freaked out of coronavirus; its leaders have not issued nationwide lockdown orders and life there is continuing pretty much as normal.

The point of the Michigan protests isn’t to get sick and infect people. It was to remind a Democratic governor her powers can — and should — only extend so far, regardless of her motives.

Jon Dougherty

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