Alex Jones Shakes Hands With Protesters at Texas Rally to Reopen State Against Stay-at-Home Orders

The conspiracy theorist Alex Jones was pictured shaking hands with protesters at a Texas rally against social distancing measures on Saturday.

A video posted on Twitter yesterday showed the Infowars founder shaking hands with at least four people at the demonstration against measures designed to keep people safe amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an advisory in March that encouraged Americans to "stop handshaking" to prevent the spread of infectious disease amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, also said Americans should avoid shaking hands ever again to bring down both coronavirus and influenza cases.

In a YouTube video of Jones' appearance at the "You Can't Close America" rally in Austin, the conspiracy theorist said: "Texas, I salute you all. Texas is leading the way."

Alex Jones at Reopen America Rally
Infowars Alex Jones shakes hands during the "Reopen America" rally on April 18, 2020, at the State Capitol in Austin, Texas. Mark Felix/AFP via Getty Images

It was also reported that Alex Jones compared stay-at-home orders to the actions of Nazis as he called the COVID-19 pandemic shutdowns a "21st Century war."

"Don't let them tell you, like the Nazis did, that you are not essential," Jones told protesters. "Whether you are old, whether you are young, whether you are black, whether you are white, you are essential."

Newsweek has contacted Alex Jones for comment and will update this article with any response.

The peddler of debunked Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting conspiracy theories was ordered to stop selling false treatments and cures for the novel coronavirus on his Infowars website in mid-March.

New York Attorney General Letitia James told Jones to cease and desist selling toothpaste and other items that were billed as "stopgates" against the COVID-19 virus.

"As the coronavirus continues to pose serious risks to public health, Alex Jones has spewed outright lies and has profited off of New Yorkers' anxieties," James said.

"Mr. Jones' public platform has not only given him a microphone to shout inflammatory rhetoric, but his latest mistruths are incredibly dangerous and pose a serious threat to the public health of New Yorkers and individuals across the nation."

Jones' Infowars app was also removed from the Google Play Story at the end of last month over his attempts to spread coronavirus disinformation.

At the Texas rally against stay-at-home orders attended by Jones on Saturday, The New York Times reported that some protesters shook hands, hugged or otherwise broke social distancing rules aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19.

Similar rallies against lockdown orders were held in other states over the weekend—including Michigan, Minnesota and Virginia.

According to the Johns Hopkins University coronavirus tracker, more than 759,000 COVID-19 cases have been confirmed in the U.S. so far, along with over 40,600 deaths and over 70,900 total recoveries.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Advice on Using Face Coverings to Slow Spread of COVID-19

  • CDC recommends wearing a cloth face covering in public where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
  • A simple cloth face covering can help slow the spread of the virus by those infected and by those who do not exhibit symptoms.
  • Cloth face coverings can be fashioned from household items. Guides are offered by the CDC. (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html)
  • Cloth face coverings should be washed regularly. A washing machine will suffice.
  • Practice safe removal of face coverings by not touching eyes, nose, and mouth, and wash hands immediately after removing the covering.

World Health Organization advice for avoiding spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19)

Hygiene advice

  • Clean hands frequently with soap and water, or alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Wash hands after coughing or sneezing; when caring for the sick; before, during and after food preparation; before eating; after using the toilet; when hands are visibly dirty; and after handling animals or waste.
  • Maintain at least 1 meter (3 feet) distance from anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid touching your hands, nose and mouth. Do not spit in public.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or bent elbow when coughing or sneezing. Discard the tissue immediately and clean your hands.

Medical advice

  • Avoid close contact with others if you have any symptoms.
  • Stay at home if you feel unwell, even with mild symptoms such as headache and runny nose, to avoid potential spread of the disease to medical facilities and other people.
  • If you develop serious symptoms (fever, cough, difficulty breathing) seek medical care early and contact local health authorities in advance.
  • Note any recent contact with others and travel details to provide to authorities who can trace and prevent spread of the disease.
  • Stay up to date on COVID-19 developments issued by health authorities and follow their guidance.

Mask and glove usage

  • Healthy individuals only need to wear a mask if taking care of a sick person.
  • Wear a mask if you are coughing or sneezing.
  • Masks are effective when used in combination with frequent hand cleaning.
  • Do not touch the mask while wearing it. Clean hands if you touch the mask.
  • Learn how to properly put on, remove and dispose of masks. Clean hands after disposing of the mask.
  • Do not reuse single-use masks.
  • Regularly washing bare hands is more effective against catching COVID-19 than wearing rubber gloves.
  • The COVID-19 virus can still be picked up on rubber gloves and transmitted by touching your face.
Alex Jones Shakes Hands With Protesters at Texas Rally to Reopen State Against Stay-at-Home Orders | U.S.