Americans are mad and some of them just aren’t going to take it anymore.
Protests against draconian lockdowns ordered by state governors — who have shuttered businesses, demanded that residents stay in their homes and, in New York, mandated that all people wear masks — have started to pop up around the country.
So far, there have been protests in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, Minnesota, Texas, North Carolina, Utah, Arizona, Colorado and Washington. Thousands of angry residents surrounded the Michigan state capitol in Lansing, honking their horns to vent their rage. Over the weekend, the same thing happened at the Maryland capitol building in Annapolis, where the group Reopen Maryland says the shutdown has crushed small businesses.
But some Democrat leaders are blasting the protest as dangerous, saying protesters risk spreading coronavirus among themselves.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) was asked Sunday on “Fox News Sunday” with Chris Wallace if she understood what protesters are protesting.
“No, not really,” she said. “I’m respectful [of] whatever people think they should say, but the fact is this has to be science-based, evidence-based, data-based.”
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat, said last week on MSNBC last week that she might be forced to expand her coronavirus order, already considered one of the most restrictive in the country.
“When you see a political rally, that’s what it was yesterday, a political rally like that where people aren’t wearing masks and they’re in close quarters and they’re touching one another … the odds are very high that they’re spreading COVID-19 along with it,” she said after the Lansing protest. “So it’s that kind of irresponsible action that puts us in this situation where we might have to actually think about extending stay-at-home orders, which is supposedly what they’re protesting.”
Washington Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee went further, saying on Sunday that the protests were “illegal.”
“I don’t know any other way to characterize it, when we have an order from governors, both Republicans and Democrats, that basically are designed to protect people’s health, literally their lives, to have a president of the United States basically encourage insubordination, to encourage illegal activity,” he said. “These orders actually are the law of these states.”
On Monday, a rally was set for noon in Harrisburg to protest Pennsylvania Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf’s stay-at-home order.
The governor ripped the protest on Friday in an interview with the Philadelphia Inquirer.
“I know every Pennsylvanian is eager to get back to work — I am included in that,” he said. “We are working as hard as we can to make sure we reopen as quickly as possible. What we don’t want to do is reopen and then be hit by this virus in a way that overwhelms our health-care system. Let’s continue to make this good progress and keep people safe, and when the time is right, we will reopen and liberate every single Pennsylvanian.”
But Rep. Aaron Bernstine, a Republican from western Pennsylvania who is set speak at the Monday rally, said a balance must be struck.
“There’s no reason that in Pennsylvania and across this country that we can’t do both — protect our lives and livelihoods,” he said, according to Fox News. “I think every job is essential to help people provide for their families.”