While protests by truckers and others against Covid mandates continue to occupy Canada's capital, block US-Canada border crossings and add to supply chain headaches, Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky said he hopes trucker protests come to the United States as soon as this weekend to "clog up" major US cities.
Asked by The Daily Signal about his thoughts on the convoy and the potential for it to spill over into Los Angeles, home of Sunday's Super Bowl, or into the nation's capital, Paul said Thursday that "it'd be great" if the anti-mandate, truck-inspired protests popped in the United States to "clog things up."
"I'm all for it," Paul, a longtime opponent to masking and vaccine
mandates, told the conservative media outlet. "Civil disobedience is a time-honored tradition in our country, from slavery to civil rights, to you name it. Peaceful protest, clog things up, make people think about the mandates."
He added: "I hope the truckers do come to America, and I hope they clog up cities."
Paul's office did not immediately respond to CNN's request for comment.
The convoy in Canada, which started as a protest of US and Canadian rules requiring truckers crossing the border to be fully vaccinated, has disrupted the capital of Ottawa as part of a broader movement against mandates. Protests have blockaded notable US-Canada border crossings, such as the Ambassador Bridge, a key trade corridor linking Windsor, Ontario, to Detroit, and inspired similar protests abroad.
The threat of truckers potentially clogging US roads was elevated on Tuesday when the Department of Homeland Security distributed a bulletin to law enforcement agencies, CNN previously reported. DHS warned that a convoy of protesting truckers "will potentially begin in California as early as mid-February and arrive in Washington, DC, as late as mid-March."
Meanwhile, the Canadian protests are already affecting Americans and the US economy. Workers in the Michigan auto industry could lose up to $51 million in wages this week due to the trucker protest at the US-Canada border, according to Anderson Economic Group.
Three big US business groups have warned the protests are putting further stress on an already struggling supply chain. In a joint statement earlier this week, the US Chamber of Commerce, Business Roundtable and National Association of Manufacturers called on the Canadian government "to act swiftly to address the disruption to the flow of trade." Auto industry trade groups also warned the protests were causing "additional strain."