TEHRAN (Iran News) – Hundreds protested in cities across America against coronavirus-related lockdowns – with encouragement from President Donald Trump – as resentment grows against the crippling economic cost of confinement.
A report by AFP also said that American families slammed by the pandemic are turning more and more to food banks to get by, waiting hours for donations in lines of cars stretching as far as the eye can see.
And with 22 million people out of work seemingly overnight as business after business closes under the Great Lockdown, these charities feeding hungry and scared people fear the day will come when they cannot cope with the tsunami of demand.
On Saturday, an estimated 400 people gathered under a cold rain in Concord, New Hampshire – many on foot while others remained in their cars – to send a message that extended quarantines were not necessary in a state with relatively few confirmed cases of COVID-19, AFP reported.
The crowd included several armed men wearing military-style uniforms, with their faces covered.
In Texas, more than 250 people rallied outside the State Capitol in Austin, including far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, founder of the Infowars Site, who rolled up in a tank-like truck.
“It’s time to reopen Texas, it’s time to let people work, it’s time for them to let voluntary interaction and good sense rule the day, not government force,” said Justin Greiss, an activist with Young Americans for Liberty.
Stay-at-home mother Amira Abuzeid added: “I’m not a doctor but I’m an intelligent person who can do the math and it looks like at the end of the day, these numbers are not that worrisome.”
Few if any observed social distancing recommendations.
Demonstrators outside Maryland’s colonial-era statehouse in Annapolis stayed in their cars but waved signs with messages like “Poverty kills too.”
Other demonstrations took place across the country in cities such as Columbus, Ohio and San Diego, California, as well as the states of Indiana, Nevada, and Wisconsin.
Few practiced social distancing but many of the protesters waved American flags.
‘Live Free or Die’
Protesters have drawn encouragement in certain Democratic-led states from tweets by Trump, who has said he favors a quick return to normal, though protests have also taken place in Republican-led states like New Hampshire and Texas.
The US has seen more coronavirus cases and deaths than any other country in the world – with more than 734,000 confirmed infections and 38,800 fatalities as of Saturday evening.
The vast majority of Americans are under lockdown orders restricting public movement and keeping all but essential businesses closed.
In Concord, demonstrators carried signs with slogans like “The numbers lie” and “Reopen New Hampshire.”
Their common demand was that the stay-at-home order for the state of 1.3 million people be called off before its scheduled May 4 end date.
Others, amid a sea of American flags, chanted the state’s Revolutionary War-era slogan, “Live Free or Die.”
As of early Friday, New Hampshire had reported 1,287 confirmed coronavirus cases and 37 deaths.
Most Americans – by a two-to-one margin – actually worry about virus restrictions being lifted too soon, not too late, a recent Pew survey found.
But demonstrators found encouragement Friday from the president, who in a series of tweets called to “LIBERATE” Michigan, Minnesota, and Virginia – all states with Democratic governors – from stay-at-home orders.
Trump has repeatedly called for the earliest possible return to normality as virus-related closings have had a crushing impact on American workers and businesses.
“I really think some of the governors have gotten carried away,” Trump said at a White House news conference on Saturday.
He welcomed the reopening of some businesses in Texas and Vermont on Monday “while still requiring appropriate social distancing precautions.”
The largest protest against stay-at-home rules so far took place Wednesday in the Michigan capital of Lansing, which drew some 3,000 people.
- source : Iran Daily, Irannews