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Far-right US politicians label lockdowns anti-constitutional

FILE - In this Friday, Feb. 15, 2019 file photo, Washington state Rep. Matt Shea, R-Spokane Valley, gestures as he gives a speech in front of the liberty state flag at the Capitol in Olympia, Wash., during a rally held by people advocating splitting Washington state into two separate states and questioning the legality of Washington's I-1639 gun-control measure. Prominent state lawmaker Shea says the coronavirus is a foreign bio-weapon and claims Marxists are using the pandemic to advance totalitarianism. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)
FILE - In this Friday, Feb. 15, 2019 file photo, Washington state Rep. Matt Shea, R-Spokane Valley, gestures as he gives a speech in front of the liberty state flag at the Capitol in Olympia, Wash., during a rally held by people advocating splitting Washington state into two separate states and questioning the legality of Washington's I-1639 gun-control measure. Prominent state lawmaker Shea says the coronavirus is a foreign bio-weapon and claims Marxists are using the pandemic to advance totalitarianism. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)(KMVT)
Published: Apr. 14, 2020 at 12:47 PM MDT
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Far-right politicians across the U.S. are warning that state governments are using the coronavirus pandemic to trample on civil liberties.

They are railing against efforts by state government leaders to close churches and gun stores and to prevent large public gatherings.

The restrictions reinforce a long-held belief in right-wing circles that government officials would eventually use a national emergency to sharply limit freedoms.

The complaints have emerged across the country but run particularly strong in the conservative stronghold of eastern Washington state.

Prominent state lawmaker Matt Shea says the coronavirus is a foreign bio-weapon and claims Marxists are using the pandemic to advance totalitarianism.

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