Unmentioned by the protesters are the workers actually keeping America open, many of them afraid for their health, with no choice and in communities devastated by the virus. The result, as my Times colleagues described Saturday, is “images of nearly all-white protesters demanding the governor relax restrictions while hoisting Trump signs and Confederate battle flags, as the virus disproportionately impacts Michigan’s black residents.”

This coronavirus protest movement is merely the confluence of this perverted liberty ideology — honed and pushed by Mr. Jones, right-wing interest groups and pro-Trump media — and the dynamics of an online information ecosystem that prioritizes conflict to generate attention. When Infowars-style tactics meet online platforms the result is a flattening of all nuanced arguments of science and politics into a simplified struggle between patriots and tyrants. Small protests incorrectly blossom into a false national narrative.