Trump Ally Compares Coronavirus Protestors to Civil Rights Icon Rosa Parks
Some states have also imposed more strict orders than others. In Michigan, for example, between 3,000 and 4,000 protestors turned out last week over what they said were excessive restrictions on travel, certain kinds of recreation and shopping. For example, motorboating is restricted and large stores must limit what they sell — no furniture; no garden centers — in order to limit shoppers.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has argued, in response, that the contagiousness of the virus required her to make tough decisions about when people should go into public and when they should stay home.
In Michigan and elsewhere, the protests have taken on a conservative bent — something President Trump underlined when he tweeted last week to “LIBERATE” (in all-caps) three states with Democratic governors who have imposed stay-home restrictions to combat the virus. In one tweet, Trump also alluded to “sav[ing] your great 2nd Amendment.”
How and how quickly to reopen businesses and resume normal public gatherings remains one of the most pressing — and thorniest — questions for states to answer.
Experts say that in order to return to normal, robust testing and contact tracing systems will be needed to contain future outbreaks before they spiral out of control.
Asked at Sunday’s coronavirus briefing whether his rhetoric was inflammatory to the point of violence, Trump said he didn’t think it was.
He praised the stay-at-home protestors, saying, “These are great people. … They’ve got cabin fever. They want to get back. They want their life back.”
“I think these people are — I’ve never seen so many American flags,” Trump continued. (Some protest attendees reportedly were also seen waving Confederate flags.)
Appearing on Fox News on Monday, White House aide Kellyanne Conway said the administration wanted protestors to still practice social distancing and wear face masks.
Moore did not respond to a request for comment from PEOPLE submitted through his website.
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