April Plagued by Protests, May Shows Signs of Reopening

On April 19, 2020, President Trump, in several tweets, said, “LIBERATE VIRGINIA!” “LIBERATE MICHIGAN!” and, “LIBERATE MINNESOTA!” These tweets coincided with protests in state capitols all over the United States. Those who took to the streets to protest said that they felt their Constitutional rights were being infringed upon by the stay at home orders. 

Some of the most notable signs read: “Give me liberty or give me COVID-19,” “I need to work or I will die,” “Jesus is my vaccine,” “We demand haircuts,” “I prefer dangerous freedom,” “Fear is the real virus,” “I will never consent to testing, tracking, and vaccines,” “The cure is the disease,” “If ballots don’t free us bullets will” “#fakecrisis” and “open or we all do acid.” 

The protesters gathered in hundreds and thousands and were not following social distancing practices, wearing gloves, or wearing masks, openly exposing themselves. 

Many governors responded to these protests and the President’s tweets saying that they were following his administration’s recommendations and reopening plans, which do not allow the states to begin reopening until their coronavirus statistics have been decreasing for 14 days. 

The president’s policy says you can’t start to reopen under his plan until you have declining numbers for 14 days, which those states and my state do not have,” said Governor Hogan of Maryland (D). “We’re sending completely conflicting messages out to the governors and to the people as if we should ignore federal policy and federal recommendations.”

Governor Whitmer of Michigan (D), also responded. “No one’s more anxious to re-engage our economy than I am, but I want to do it in a way that really does save life, that makes it safe, that mitigates risk and means that we can avoid a second wave. The only response [to the president’s tweet] is that Michigan right now has the third-highest death count in the country. We are the 10th-largest state.” 

As plans and procedures to reopen begin to surface, more people become impatient and wonder when they will be allowed to go back to work. 24 states are partially reopened and Arkansas, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania are reopening soon. However, 22 states remain shut down, including New Jersey and New York.

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