Former Milwaukee County Sheriff David A. Clarke melted down in a profanity-laced Twitter rant on Sunday in which he encouraged the public to defy the government’s precautionary warnings meant to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease, alleging that liberal billionaire George Soros was somehow involved in the “FLU panic.”
“GO INTO THE STREETS FOLKS. Visit bars, restaurants, shopping malls, CHURCHES and demand that your schools re-open. NOW! If government doesn’t stop this foolishness…STAY IN THE STREETS. END GOVERNEMNT CONTROL OVER OUR LIVES. IF NOT NOW, WHEN? THIS IS AN EXPLOITATION OF A CRISIS,” Clarke posted on his Twitter account, where he has nearly one million followers.
In another tweet, Clarke called the United States’ response to the COVID-19 coronavirus the byproduct of “several decades of liberal wussification.” Clarke wrote, “We closed America, we crashed the economy not on the basis of factual information but out of panic, fear & hysteria.”
On Sunday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended Sunday the cancellation of all events of 50 or more people in the United States for the next eight weeks. Across the nation, businesses, restaurants, and bars are operating at limited capacities and people are practicing social distancing to slow the spread of the coronavirus. New York City has ordered the closure of restaurants, except for take-out. Clarke’s tweets were widely panned as dangerous.
Monday morning, three of Clarke’s tweets were no longer visible on his Twitter timeline. Twitter told Right Wing Watch that it took action against Clarke’s tweets for violating its stated policy against encouraging self-harm.
In one since-removed tweet, Clarke claimed that the ordered closures of bars and restaurants were part of “orchestrated attempt to destroy CAPITALISM.” Clarke urged businesses to “defy the order.”
Another removed tweet read: “I am TIRED of all this, ‘we have to err on the side of caution’ BULL SH*T. WE HAVE TO GET BACK TO REASONABLENESS DAMMIT. It’s the DAMN FLU. Stop being afraid and start being SENSIBLE. WASH YOUR FUCK*NG HANDS! STOP BUYING TOILET PAPER. DO YOU FUC*ING HEAR ME????”
The third removed tweet urged people to “TAKE…TO …THE…STREETS.”
Ironically, Clarke’s Twitter bio currently reads: “I AM LEAVING TWITTER DUE TO THEIR CONSERVATIVE SPEECH CONTROL. TOTALITARIAN BIGOTS.”
Clarke also floated an anti-Soros conspiracy theory in his Sunday meltdown, suggesting that the wealthy liberal donor was involved in stoking fears of the outbreak.
“Not ONE media outlet has asked about George Soros’s involvement in this FLU panic. He is SOMEWHERE involved in this,” Clarke wrote. He continued, “I don’t talke my orders from ANYBODY. I lead and think for myself. The left HATES that from a black man.”
Ginni Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, reportedly suggested the White House hire Clark for ”a homeland security role.” (The New York Times reported that officials privately communicated “to associates” that Thomas’ personnel recommendations “could never survive proper vetting.”) But if Thomas’ suggestion had actually been acted upon, Clarke would currently be working at the forefront of the country’s response to coronavirus.
Fox News effectively banned Clarke from appearing on its network in 2018, and one source told The Daily Beast that Clarke’s rhetoric on-air “became crazier and crazier and most shows refused to use him.” Clarke was also let go from the pro-Trump super PAC America First Action, where he wound up after he was passed over in 2017 for a White House job.