A public display highlighting the coronavirus death toll is causing a stir in a small town in Illinois.
What has been described in a local report as a “Coronavirus Death Scoreboard” was erected on Friday afternoon in Northbrook, a northern suburb of Chicago, at a small park next to a heavily trafficked intersection located across the street from the town’s train station.
The sign reads “We’re #1, 198,000 COVID DEATHS USA, Donald J. Trump President.”
According to the local news outlet The Patch, the organization behind the public display is a local far-left activist group called Peaceful Communities.
Lee Goodman, the leader of Peaceful Communities, told The Patch, “This display is a reminder of the continuing need to take precautions. Schools and businesses are reopening, but the disease is still spreading and people are still dying.”
“The U.S. has the highest number of COVID-19 deaths in the world,” Goodman said on Thursday. “It is a tragedy and a disgrace that we have failed to do all we could to confront this public health crisis, and as a result, many people have died unnecessarily. But, we can do better in the future. We hope that public awareness will lead people to demand a more effective response by our federal government.”
Peaceful Communities’ website highlights a petition to “Repeal the Second Amendment” and calls for the “end of immigrant detention & restore asylum.”
Goodman’s Facebook page is filled with essays slamming President Trump and promoting liberal policies. One post from June 2017 was about the near-fatal shooting of “Republican Gun Lover” Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., asking, “Am I supposed to care about this Congressman? Is the shooting simply karma? Does this Congressman, whose voting record suggests he was unconcerned about the thousands of other people who are victims of shootings every year, deserve my sympathy?”
“Congressman Scalise gets my sympathy, whether he deserves it or not, simply because he is part of humanity. And if he returns to his duties in Congress and continues to support the merchants of death, he will get my scorn, because he will have earned it,” Goodman’s post concluded.
Pro-Trump protesters slammed the display. Two of them held up a Trump banner in front of the anti-Trump scoreboard.
One of the pro-Trump protesters shouted insults about liberals and sang famous songs with changed lyrics to mock the left. Another attendee held a sign that read, “Communism kills more people than COVID-19.”
An observer who arrived to witness the controversial sign told Fox News that Goodman has a reputation of being a “pest” who likes to “stir s— up.”
Critics mocked the location of the anti-Trump sign, which is being upstaged by a local church’s lobster sale banner at the same street corner.
A spokesperson for The Village of Northbrook confirmed to Fox News that it approved the public display.
“This area is a designated public forum. The display application was reviewed by village staff and the village attorney and determined to be in compliance with the village’s requirements governing the public forum,” Cheryl Fayne-dePersio, a communications specialist for The Village of Northbrook, told Fox News.
According to The Patch, Goodman will regularly update the sign to the current coronavirus death count.