Per the Washington Examiner:
The list of government officials flouting or ignoring their own coronavirus restrictions to support or join protest marches has added another name in North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper.
Cooper has changed his tune on mass gatherings since the George Floyd protests started. In April, Cooper said about church gatherings, “When people gather together and are around each other for a long time, the evidence is overwhelming that the virus can spread so much more easily.” Cooper had capped church attendance to 10 people before it was struck down by the courts. Yet, Cooper joined the thousands who marched in Raleigh last week.
Ace Speedway is a small business. The track holds about 4,000 people at full occupancy and was holding events at about half that by the time the governor stepped in and ordered it shut down. According to North Carolina Health Secretary Mandy Cohen, “We needed to take this action because mass gatherings do spread the virus.” Despite being outdoors, the raceway was only allowed to have 25 people in attendance, even after declaring by a sign out front that “this Event is held in Peaceful Protest of Injustice and Inequality Everywhere.” As Alamance County Sheriff Terry Johnson rightly noted, “What's the difference between them having a unity night to try and bring our community together after the shooting of Mr. George Floyd to work together to have some of these issues dealt with? That's no different than the governor marching with 2,000 people in downtown Raleigh.”
Cooper, like other city and state leaders across the country, is trying to have the lockdown both ways. Cooper had to back down from allowing protesters supporting reopening to be arrested after acknowledging he couldn’t crack down on First Amendment rights. Yet, this didn’t extend to religious services, where the courts had to overrule him. Nor did it count for Ace Speedway, which had decided to hold a protest of its own.
Cooper is still unsure about where to stand on several coronavirus restrictions. North Carolina restaurants are allowed to seat customers outdoors, but Cooper vetoed a bill that would grant bars the same privilege. Thousands can march in the streets of Raleigh and Charlotte, and Cooper will join them, but no more than 25 people are allowed at a racetrack, even one holding its own protest. North Carolina businesses shut down for months, with people losing their jobs and their livelihoods. As the nationwide protests have shown, the lockdown is over, and Gov. Cooper should start facilitating the return of his state.