Episode 33: Public Display of Infection

In the thirty-third episode of The Latest, we get sick from and of coronavirus protests. Commercial and home renovation expert “Real Estate Luke” Kendziorski joins the program for a special O.J. Simpson Twitter TikTok Update.

The Latest with Greg Ott
The Latest with Greg Ott
Episode 33: Public Display of Infection


Those voices are discussing coronavirus protests, the noble act of resistance against tyrannical stay-at-home orders in pursuit of restoring Americans’ freedom to contract and spread a highly-contagious disease.

Patrick Henry may have once remarked, “Give me liberty, or give me death,” but if these protesters get their way, they might just be able to have their cake and eat it too.

The Heritage Foundation’s Stephen Moore has referred to these protestors as the equivalent of a modern day Rosa Parks, taking a powerful grassroots stand against the deep-seated injustice of being forced to order takeout and watch Hulu from the comfort of your West Elm couch.

Citizens seeking an end to the lockdown have descended on state capitols, brandishing signs reading everything from “COVID-19 is a LIE” to “Fauci was wrong” to “one size does not fit all,” which was borne out of frustration that the waistband on the sweatpants they ordered from Amazon isn’t wide enough because the gym they don’t attend when it’s open is closed.

One dissenting voice from Michigan wants business to re-open so he can buy fertilizer again, another desperately needs help dying her gray roots brown. Perhaps the two of them could could team up.

Others are simply sick of social distancing and don’t believe there’s a reason to be on lockdown anymore. There’s no need to fear the virus, they say, just as there’s no need to fear the person behind that bandana, brandishing an AR-15 and screaming into traffic that Bill Gates broadcast the vaccines over 5G that killed Kenny Rogers and Kim Jong-Un.

Many powerful voices seem to be encouraging and guiding these public displays of infection. In Texas, Infowars was responsible for organizing a rally called “You Can’t Close America” on behalf of a man whose definition of America must to be Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, from which he’s been banned for life

The Michigan protests have been put on, in part, by political groups affiliated with the family of Betsy DeVos, the Amway heirs who have always gone out of their way to avoid social distancing in order to sucker neighbors into buying vitamins, skin cream, and energy drinks.

And the most powerful voice of all, a 73-year-old fast food and reggae connoisseur who has been credibly accused of sexually assaulting at least 24 women and once sold a $13 dollar cologne called “Success” after declaring bankruptcy six times, has also joined in on the fun, tweeting calls to “LIBERATE MINNESOTA,” “LIBERATE MICHIGAN,” and “LIBERATE VIRGINIA.” Based on each state’s presidential polling, they’ll be doing just that in November. 

It’s definitely worth pointing out that the vast majority of citizens in all states do not agree with these protests — 71% of Americans are concerned with lifting restrictions too quickly, while the remaining 29 prefer getting back to work so they can contract a fever that gets them out of work. 

But in this circumstance, we’re only as strong as our weakest link. Just one week after a series of “Open Up Kentucky” protests, the bluegrass state enjoyed its largest single-day rise in coronavirus cases, leaving locals to yearn for the simpler times when the only things that Kentuckians had to worry about were tobacco farms, coal mines, and whether the person they were making out with was a brother or a sister.

It’s not even May, and yet in Florida, some beaches have already reopened, and Georgia is planning to have non-essential businesses like bowling alleys and body art studios back in non-essential business by the end of the week.

Unfortunately, this virus isn’t going anywhere anytime soon — and neither are these people, nor those who are funding the quote-unquote authentic protests that make John Travolta’s hair seem legitimate

In a moment when the world seems united and determined to let scientists and doctors bring out the best of us, I’m not surprised that anti-vaxxers, flat earthers, Q-Anons, 9/11 truthers, Neo Nazis, and Jimmy Buffet fans have united to bring out the worst of us. I’m surprised that it took this long.