As the number of COVID-19 cases increases in the US, far-right demonstrators are staging anti-lockdown protests in several states.
On April 19 the number of COVID-19 cases in the United States increased by 24,000, the smallest rise in daily coronavirus cases in three weeks. Since March 30, the number of new cases increased in the US by approximately 30,000 every day.
Despite the decrease in new cases, the US is far from flattening its COVID-19 curve, and statewide lockdowns are still in effect throughout the country to slow the spread of the virus.
As a result, more than 22 million people in the last month have been forced to apply for unemployment benefits.
In some major cities, the economic stagnation has triggered anti-lockdown protests. Demonstrations have occurred in Colorado, Pennsylvania, Texas, Wisconsin, Ohio, Minnesota, New Hamsphire, Washington, Michigan, Florida, and other states.
In Wisconsin, three pro-gun activists started several private Facebook pages to organize protests of statewide lockdowns.
The Washington Post reported that the three brothers were responsible for anti-lockdown protests in a number of states.
One of their Facebook pages, called “Wisconsinites Against Excessive Quarantine,” has amassed more than 99,000 members. Another called “New Yorkers Against Excessive Quarantine” had 24,000 members on April 19, while “Pennsylvanians Against Excessive Quarantine” had 65,000.
President Donald Trump appeared to support the protests throughout the country, calling for the liberation of states on Twitter.
LIBERATE VIRGINIA, and save your great 2nd Amendment. It is under siege!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 17, 2020
“They want their lives back,” Trump said during a press briefing on April 19. “I’ve never seen so many American flags. These people love our country. They want to get back to work.”
Meanwhile, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the Trump administration’s top official on infectious diseases, said today the anti-lockdown protests will “backfire” and only prevent the US economy from reopening.
“Clearly this is something that is hurting from the standpoint of economics and the standpoint of things that have nothing to do with the virus, but unless we get the virus under control, the real recovery economically is not going to happen,” Fauci said today during an appearance on morning news program Good Morning America.
“So what you do if you jump the gun and go into a situation where you have a big spike, you’re going to set yourself back,” he said. “So as painful as it is to go by the careful guidelines of gradually phasing into a reopening, it’s going to backfire.”