Protesters Continue to Call for Reopening Economy Despite Rising Death Toll

Two men hold signs as they protest against the state’s extended stay-at-home due to the coronavirus pandemic at the Capitol building in Olympia, Wash., April 19, 2020. (Lindsey Wasson/Reuters )

Protests have erupted in recent days in over a dozen states demanding that government officials reopen the economy after stay-at-home orders were issued in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Demonstrators gathered at the Arizona State Capitol on Sunday morning, organized by Operation Gridlock Arizona. The group asked protesters to drive around the Capitol in Phoenix and block traffic to create a gridlock.

In Michigan, protesters adopted a similar approach, objecting to Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s stay-at-home order by blocking traffic around Michigan’s Capitol building in Lansing.

“I was really disappointed to see people congregating and not wearing masks,” Whitmer said of the demonstration.

Protesters in Austin gathered outside the Texas Capitol building and demanded an end to the restrictions put in place to slow the spread of the virus, chanting “Let us work!”

Protests calling on leaders to reopen schools and businesses have also occurred in Wisconsin, Nevada, Indiana, New Hampshire, Maryland, Utah, Minnesota, Idaho, Kentucky, Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, and California.

The protests come after President Trump tweeted calls to “liberate” several states currently operating under stay at home orders.

Trump tweeted, “LIBERATE MINNESOTA,” and “LIBERATE MICHIGAN,” and later “LIBERATE VIRGINIA,” adding to the last, “and save your great 2nd Amendment. It is under siege!”

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