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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Reprinted with permission from MediaMatters

American life is grinding to a halt during the coronavirus outbreak as people are being urged — or even being ordered by state and local governments — to stay inside as much as possible.

In both New York City and Los Angeles, bars and restaurants have been ordered to close almost completely, with service only for delivery or takeout. Movie theaters in both cities have also been shut down.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has just ordered similar restaurant closures on a statewide basis. And in California, Gov. Gavin Newsom has ordered a reduced occupancy of 50 percent in restaurants and is urging people over 65-years-old or with chronic health conditions to stay inside.

Schools are also closing across the country, which could place a secondary strain on doctors and nurses in need of child care services. In many places, the school closings could potentially go all the way through the academic year.

Disney World has also shut down — though as a promotion of sorts, the company is releasing the hit movie Frozen 2 onto its Disney+ streaming service three months ahead of schedule to help keep all those parents and children entertained.

Despite the growing list of changes to everyday life in the U.S., there are still voices in right-wing media who claim this is all a giant conspiracy to hurt President Donald Trump or to destroy America and its freedoms, instead urging people to ignore guidance from “big government” and medical experts to practice social distancing:

Former Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, Sheriff David Clarke

Former New York City police commissioner and recent Trump pardon recipient Bernard Kerik

Racist media figure Katie Hopkins

Right-wing radio host Todd Starnes

The Wall Street Journal’s Matthew Hennessey

Anti-Muslim bigot Pamela Geller

Right-wing radio host Mark Simone

Former NRATV host Grant Stinchfield

American Family Radio’s Bryan Fischer

Conservative Review’s Daniel Horowitz

Right-wing radio host Bill Mitchell

Pro-Trump conspiracy theory blog The Gateway Pundit

“BREAKING EXCLUSIVE: The Coronavirus Fatality Rate Reported by the Media Is COMPLETELY INACCURATE. The Actual Rate Is LESS THAN THE FLU – MEDIA LYING AGAIN!” (3/16/20)

“Nashville Business Owners Defy Mayor and Remain Open! – Say Order to Close Bars and Restaurants on Broadway Is UNCONSTITUTIONAL” (3/15/20)

“Is It Related? Italy Holds the Largest Chinese Diaspora Community in the EU Today – And Now Has the Largest Outbreak of Coronavirus in Europe” (3/15/20)

“Is the Worst Case Scenario for Coronavirus Overblown?… Will 21 Million Americans Really Need Hospitalization?” (3/15/20)

“BY THE NUMBERS, Via the CDC: 2019 Flu – 22,000 Dead and 10 percent Mortality Rate …2019 Coronavirus – 50 Dead and 2 percent Mortality Rate” (3/14/20)

“Leftist Michigan Governor Flirts with Invoking ‘Martial Law’ using Virus as Excuse to Power Grab” (3/14/20)

“Enemy of the People – Rude Reporters Lash Out at Trump Over Coronavirus – Media Hysteria Causes Panic Buying, Americans Fight Over Toilet Paper” (3/14/20)

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Michigan militia members at state capitol

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Although Twitter and Facebook have been cracking down on some far-right users, extremists have found other ways to communicate — including the smartphone app Zello, which according to the Guardian, was useful to some far-right militia members during the siege of the U.S. Capitol Building last week.

"Zello has avoided proactive content moderation thus far," Guardian reporters Micah Loewinger and Hampton Stall explain. "Most coverage about Zello, which claims to have 150 million users on its free and premium platforms, has focused on its use by the Cajun Navy groups that send boats to save flood victims and grassroots organizing in Venezuela. However, the app is also home to hundreds of far-right channels, which appear to violate its policy prohibiting groups that espouse 'violent ideologies.'"

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