- The Washington Times - Friday, April 3, 2020

Conservative activists said they will rally Saturday on the National Mall in D.C. to protest stay-at-home orders being implemented due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Jacob Wohl and Jack Burkman told The Washington Times they are organizing the event, adding the stunt to a growing list of antics orchestrated by the controversial frequent collaborators.

Announced while millions of Americans remain subject to unprecedented restrictions put in place by most states to stop the spread of COVID-19, the contagious disease the coronavirus causes, the duo’s planned demonstration follows past efforts to smear prominent Democrats and Robert Mueller, among others.

“We are taking to the National Mall,” Mr. Wohl, 22, said Friday. “We’re having a mass gathering there in protest of the draconian and really horrifying response to the so-called pandemic.”

“The response is 100 times worse than the virus,” Mr. Wohl said about efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19. “That is our belief.”

Each of the organizers claimed the event would attract tens of thousands of fellow protesters, citing the response they said the rally received leading up to this weekend.

Scant information for the event could be found on the internet, however, and gathering in groups during the global coronavirus pandemic has largely become taboo, if not illegal.

Neither the U.S. National Park Service, which manages the Mall, nor the Metropolitan Police Department in D.C. immediately returned messages inquiring about the event.

More than a quarter-million cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed within the U.S. since the first coronavirus patient was reported in Washington state in late January. Of those, more than 6,000 died and over 9,000 recovered as of Friday afternoon, according to data maintained by Johns Hopkins University.

A patchwork of varying stay-at-home orders have accordingly been put in place across the country as a result of most states taking drastic measures to stop the slow of COVID-19, such as ordering residents to avoid leaving their homes and temporarily shuttering businesses considered non-essential, effectively subjecting a majority of Americans to sweeping restrictions and costings millions their jobs.

“People are losing tremendous amounts of money and there’s no reason for it,” argued Mr. Wohl. “This is an unconscionable abuse of government power that’s taking place.”

Along with Mr. Burkman, a lobbyist, Mr. Wohl has earned a reputation as a right-wing provocateur in recent years for pursuing a slew of fringe conspiracies without success. The pair have staged press conferences to allege unsubstantiated accusations against targets ranging from former Democratic presidential candidates Pete Buttigieg and Elizabeth Warren, to Mr. Mueller, the longtime FBI director who later led the special counsel’s investigation into the 2016 election won by President Trump.

More recently, Twitter suspended Mr. Burkman’s account on the service last month after the company found him in violation of its policy against posting false and deceptive claims about COVID-19. Twitter permanently banned Mr. Wohl more than a year earlier, albeit not before Mr. Trump shared, or retweeted, several of his posts on the platform.

• Andrew Blake can be reached at ablake@washingtontimes.com.

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