Fox Nation's Tomi Lahren compares compliance with social distancing regulations to “willful slavery"

Lahren also spoke out against social distancing last week, saying "it’s time for this trial of communism to expire"

Published April 28, 2020 5:59AM (EDT)

Tomi Lahren (AP/Colin Young-Wolff)
Tomi Lahren (AP/Colin Young-Wolff)

Fox Nation host Tomi Lahren on Monday compared compliance with social distancing regulations to "willful slavery" in a since-deleted tweet.

The slavery comparison was widely criticized on Twitter, including by the conservative commentator S.E. Cupp. 

"This is so offensive," the CNN host tweeted. "Not because it's politically incorrect, but because it's politically incoherent, dangerous, and straight up stupid."

Twitter did not immediately confirm whether the tweet was deleted by its author or removed by the social media company for violating its community policy.

Lahren, like many Fox personalities and Trump boosters, has thrown her brand behind the nationwide outbreak of protests against government-mandated stay-at-home orders aimed at containing the coronavirus pandemic, tweeting last week that social distancing was a trial run for communism. Her latest tweet was one in a series of "#ReopenAmerica" posts fired off Monday by the social media provocateur.

"The point was to flatten the curve, not eradicate the virus," Lahren added. "It may take a year or more to kill the virus but the economy and livelihoods of millions are about to be destroyed entirely. Enough."

COVID-19 has killed more than 56,000 people in the U.S. to date, and experts credit nationwide social distancing mandates for keeping the numbers lower than nightmare scenarios.

Fox News' roster of primetime hosts have aggressively supported the shutdown protests, including Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham and Tucker Carlson. For example, Carlson called Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer's stay-home orders "mindless and authoritarian" in one segment. NBC News reported seeing at least two confederate flags among the protesters at the Michigan capitol.

Lahren, who has caught fire before for racially-charged comments — like saying the "highlight" of her 2018 Thanksgiving was watching Border Patrol agents lob tear gas canisters at migrants trying to cross the U.S.-Mexico border — has not yet explained why the slavery tweet disappeared.

In 2016, the Fox personality tweeted: "Meet the new KKK. They call themselves Black Lives Matter, but make no mistake: their goals are far from equality." She has since deleted that tweet.

Lahren criticized NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick that same year for protesting police brutality by kneeling during the national anthem, saying that "blaming white people for all your problems might make you the racist."

"If this country disgusts you so much, leave," she said.

"I never wanted to be neutral," Lahren told BBC weeks after Trump's election. "I never wanted to report on the news. I wanted to comment on the news. I wanted to make the news."

Lahren moved this month from Los Angeles to her new home in Nashville, where she had been posting videos of news analysis from her kitchen. According to an article on, her new $700,000 home "gives a vibe of floating among the trees" and its "ample fenced courtyard, surrounded by trees, offers privacy."

By Roger Sollenberger

Roger Sollenberger was a staff writer at Salon (2020-21). Follow him on Twitter @SollenbergerRC.

MORE FROM Roger Sollenberger

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Coronavirus Covid-19 Fox Nation Fox News Racism Slavery Tomi Lahren