Coronavirus: US faced with protests amid pressure to reopen
Agitation for easing restrictions has grown, despite the risk of a Covid-19 resurgence posed by reopening too soon. Following earlier protests in half a dozen states, rallies in Arizona, Colorado, Montana and Washington state took place on Sunday,
US President Donald Trump has signalled support for the protests that took place on the states.
US faced with protests amid pressure to reopen, Governors in several states have started discussions to plan reopening amid signs of the slowdown, but other regions remain under strict lockdown.
Gavin Newsom, California Governor was the first in the nation to issue a state-wide stay home order, closing down the country’s most populous state since 19th of March. West coast states Washington and Oregon followed suit days later, putting their summed 11.5 million residents under a stay at home order since 23 March.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo declared this week that the state would extend its stay home measures until 15th of May. Speaking at his daily virus briefing on Sunday, he begged caution to residents, beset with “cabin fever” and desperate for their state to reopen.
“We still have to make sure we keep that beast (Coronavirus) under control, as we all get very excites to get on with life and move on.” He went on saying “this is only halftime in this entire situation.”
Mr Trump, a Republican, appeared to support protests against strict lockdown measures, which are needed to reduce the spread of the virus; President Trump said on Friday that orders in place in Minnesota, Michigan and Virginia were “too tough”.
Washington Governor Jay Inslee called the president’s support of the protesters “dangerous”, tantamount to encouraging “insubordination” to state laws.
He said on ABC news on Sunday “to have an American president to encourage people to violate the law, I can’t remember any time in my time in America we have seen such a thing.”
The Democratic Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi accused Mr Trump of allowing and supporting the protests as a total “distraction”.
“The president’s taking this as a distraction from the fact that he has not yet done testing, treatment, contact tracing and quarantine,” she told ABC.
So-called “Operation Gridlock” protests backed by libertarian leaning groups also took place in state capitals in Denver, Colorado, and Phoenix, Arizona, on Sunday.
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