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At a House coronavirus hearing on Thursday, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) began berating Dr. Anthony Fauci about the liberties he believes have been restricted thanks to mask mandates and social distancing guidelines during the pandemic. Fauci was not amused.

“Dr. Fauci, over the last year, Americans’ First Amendment rights have been completely attacked,” Jordan said, his mask slipping under his nose. “Your right to go to church, your right to assemble, your right to petition your government, freedom of the press, freedom of speech have all been assaulted.”

As an example of a limit on freedom of assembly, Jordan referenced a curfew in Ohio meant to slow the spread of the coronavirus—but he didn’t mention the curfews enacted in many cities last spring in response to protests against police violence. To Jordan, limiting the capacities of places of worship and restricting constituents’ access to their state houses constitute egregious violations of the rights to worship and to petition the government.

“I don’t look at this as a liberty thing, Congressman Jordan,” Fauci said. “I look at this as a public health thing.”

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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