Justice Dept. Memo: Americans who purposefully infect others with coronavirus could be charged as terrorists
Consequences for “Virus Rebels” and those engaging in “Coronavirus Challenge” could be harsh as well
Recently, a 26-year-old Missouri man was seen in a social media video licking items at a Walmart to mock fears of the coronavirus pandemic.
I suspect the type of attention he received was not quite what he originally envisioned.
Cody Lee Pfister posted a video of himself licking deodorants at the Warrenton store on March 11, according to court documents. As he wiped his tongue across the packages he asked, “Who’s scared of coronavirus,” according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Pfister was arrested on Monday.
The City of Warrenton Police Department in a Facebook post that said it received calls from local residents as well as people overseas in the Netherlands, Ireland and the United Kingdom to report the video.
“We take this incident very seriously especially with this infectious disease and the state that the country is in,” Lt. Justin Unger told NBC News. “We take these things seriously to protect our community.”
Pfister was charged with making terrorist threats, which aligns with a new U.S. Department of Justice memo specifying the charges that can be brought against those who intentionally expose and infect others.
Americans who deliberately expose and infect others with coronavirus could face federal terrorism charges, according to a new memo sent out by the Justice Department.
The document, signed Wednesday by Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen and sent out to US attorneys and law enforcement heads across the country, declares that: ‘coronavirus appears to meet the statutory definition of ‘biological agent’ under 18 U.S.C., [which means that] such acts could implicate the Nation’s terrorism-related statuses’.
‘Threats or attempts to use COVID-19 as a weapon against Americans will not be tolerated,’ the memo further stated.
…The Justice Department memo was released one day after a New Jersey man was charged with making terrorist threats after he allegedly coughed on a supermarket employee while claiming he was infected with coronavirus.
Meanwhile, others are engaging in the “Coronavirus Challenge” to gain social media fame. This is working out as most sensible people would expect.
A California social media prankster claims he was hospitalized with the coronavirus — just days after posting a video of himself licking a toilet bowl for a nauseating online challenge.
The TikTok personality, known as Larz, reportedly posted footage of himself in a hospital bed on Sunday, according to the Daily Mail.
“I tested positive for Coronavirus,” the 21-year-old from Beverly Hills tweeted on an account that has since been suspended, the outlet reported.
It comes just two days after the prankster, who goes by the social media handle GayShawnMendes, posted a video himself on Friday running his tongue across a public toilet as part of a bizarre — and widely criticized — “Coronavirus Challenge” on social media.
Finally, there are “Virus Rebels” planning parties and social events in defiance of state stay-at-home orders. The City of San Francisco is planning to shut down one of these events.
The San Francisco City Attorney has directed the owner of a club venue to cancel an illegal party being planned in violation of the city’s shelter-in-place health order to help stop the coronavirus spread.
City Attorney Dennis Herrera said Set San Francisco, which Herrera characterized as a “rogue event promoter,” has been selling tickets for a March 27 party titled “Lehar (Multinotes, Diynamic, Afterlife)” at 251 Cocktail Club, an event space at 251 Rhode Island St.
The promoter’s website has been offering tickets to the event as recently as Wednesday morning, with prices ranging from $5 for “guest list” purchasers to $780 for a VIP package of tickets, private booth and two “premium bottles.” The tickets are listed as nonrefundable.
If one of those “rebels” becomes infected, then spreads the virus to a loved one who is vulnerable, that could be a very tragic consequence to mocking the current public health policies.DONATE
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