A throng of conservative activists plan to rally Saturday on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., to protest stay-at-home orders by state governments.
Jacob Wohl and Jack Burkman, two well known conservative activists, told The Washington Times they are organizing the event.
“We are taking to the National Mall,” Wohl, 22, said on Friday. “We’re having a mass gathering there in protest of the draconian and really horrifying response to the so-called pandemic.”
“The response is 100 times worse than the virus,” Wohl said about efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19. “That is our belief.”
The organizers claim the event will draw tens of thousands of fellow protesters, which might be overly optimistic given that more than 80% of D.C. residents are Democrats.
And so far, there is little publicity about the event, The Times wrote.
“Scant information for the event could be found on the internet, however, and gathering in groups during the global coronavirus pandemic has largely become taboo, if not illegal. Neither the U.S. National Park Service, which manages the Mall, nor the Metropolitan Police Department in D.C. immediately returned messages inquiring about the event.”
More than 40 states have issued stay-at-home orders, which is crushing the economy. “People are losing tremendous amounts of money and there’s no reason for it,” Wohl said. “This is an unconscionable abuse of government power that’s taking place.”
Police in some states are enforcing the orders. A Pennsylvania woman was stopped by police and issued a citation on Sunday after she went for a leisurely drive during the statewide stay-at-home order intended to stem the spread of coronavirus.
Anita Shaffer, 19, of York County, said she left her home Sunday evening for a short drive when she was pulled over by two state troopers. She faces a ticket of at least $202.25 for breaking the state’s Disease Control and Prevention Act of 1955. She pleaded not guilty, The Patriot-News reported.
“He asked me if I was aware of the stay-at-home act,” she said. She responded: “I am aware of it but I didn’t know it pertained to just driving.”
On the citation, it states she “failed to abide by the order of the governor and secretary of health issued to control the spread of a communicable disease, requiring the closure of all non-life-sustaining businesses as of 20:00 hours on March 19, 2020. To wit, defendant states that she was ‘going for a drive’ after this violation was in effect.”
Meanwhile, residents of a Louisiana Parish complained last week that police signaled the start of a mandatory curfew by blasting a siren. And in New York City, residents have been asked to report their neighbors who violate “social distancing” restrictions.
The Times described the pair as “right-wing provocateurs.”
Along with Mr. Burkman, a lobbyist, Mr. Wohl has earned a reputation as a right-wing provocateur in recent years for pursuing a slew of fringe conspiracies without success. The pair have staged press conferences to allege unsubstantiated accusations against targets ranging from former Democratic presidential candidates Pete Buttigieg and Elizabeth Warren, to Mr. [Robert] Mueller, the longtime FBI director who later led the special counsel’s investigation into the 2016 election won by President Trump.
More recently, Twitter suspended Mr. Burkman’s account on the service last month after the company found him in violation of its policy against posting false and deceptive claims about COVID-19. Twitter permanently banned Mr. Wohl more than a year earlier, albeit not before Mr. Trump shared, or retweeted, several of his posts on the platform.