Fox News reports at least 15,000 cars and trucks are expected to descend on Michigan’s state capital on Wednesday to protest what they’re calling Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s tyrannical new guidelines to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus in the state.
The so-called “drive-by” demonstration – in order to maintain social distancing — aims to bring traffic to a gridlock in Lansing and protest the “Stay Home, Stay Safe” executive order by Whitmer, a Democrat, mandating what businesses could stay home, what some businesses could sell and ordering people in her state against any gatherings – no matter the size or family ties.
“Quarantine is when you restrict movement of sick people. Tyranny is when you restrict the movement of healthy people,” Meshawn Maddock, an organizer of the protest with the Michigan Conservative Coalition, told Fox News. “Every person has learned a harsh lesson about social distancing. We don’t need a nanny state to tell people how to be careful.”
The protest – called “Operation Gridlock” – would be just one of a number of demonstrations of civil disobedience around the country by Americans upset with their state’s stay-at-home orders amid the pandemic. While the contagion has infected over 568,000 Americans and killed over 23,000, according to the latest estimates, protestors from North Carolina to Wyoming said they’ve been just as concerned with the economic and financial impact the coronavirus has inflicted on the country – echoing President Trump’s complaint that “the cure be worse than the problem.”
Alex Berenson, a former New York Times reporter who has been sounding the alarm about what he believes are flawed models dictating the aggressive strategy, drew attention to the protests in North Carolina, as well as a social media uproar in Michigan.
Now this is viral growth: a North Carolina Facebook group called #ReopenNC began last Thursday and has 21,000 members already; it is calling for a protest tomorrow. North Carolina, population 10.4 million, has 81 #COVID deaths and 331 people hospitalized.https://t.co/zw43IUi4gW
— Alex Berenson (@AlexBerenson) April 13, 2020
“As someone wrote me, people in [Michigan] know when you lose jobs, they don’t come back,” he tweeted.
But #reopenNC is dwarfed by the Michigan FB group – “Michiganders Against Excessive Quarantine” – which has 262,000 members, 2.6% of the state’s population! In a week. As someone wrote me, people in MI know when you lose jobs, they don’t come back. https://t.co/j1O9hYDnUg pic.twitter.com/AcFn0aJ5Wi
— Alex Berenson (@AlexBerenson) April 13, 2020
As for unemployment, some 16.8 million Americans have lost their jobs in the last three weeks – meaning one in ten working Americans was out of a job.
The figures collectively constituted the largest and fastest string of job losses in records dating to 1948. By contrast, during the Great Recession, it took 44 weeks — roughly 10 months — for unemployment claims to go as high as they now have in less than a month.
Last Thursday, dozens of protestors carrying placards and wearing Guy Fawkes masks ignored Ohio’s social-distancing guidelines to demonstrate on steps of the state’s capital building in Columbus against Gov. Mike DeWine, a Republican, and his administration’s handling of the outbreak. Demonstrators held signs reading “Open Ohio,” “Quarantine worse than virus,” and “Social distancing or social conditioning. We do not consent.”
TCO reports a petition to recall Michigan Governor Whitmer has now rocketed to over 200k signatures.
The petition started by John Powell to the Michigan State House reads:
Recall Governor Whitmer. Her failure’s during the Covid-19 Corona Virus is causing more Michiganders to get sick. Closing and banning various non essential business’s and activities while leaving others open. Further promoting the pandemic. She has lied since day one with her #Fixthedamnroads which she has failed to do anything in this regards. The response to #PFAS was negligence and completely removing funding for #PureMichigan clearly shows her lack of anything positive for the State of Michigan.
Breitbart reports the “Recall Governor Whitmer” petition alleges the governor’s measures, such as “closing and banning various non essential business’s [sic] and activities while leaving others open,” are actually “causing more Michiganders to get sick.”
Launched three weeks ago by John Powell, the petition has picked up steam in past days following the governor’s extension of a stay-at-home order and raising penalties for non-compliance to a $1,000 fine and/or six months in jail.
In just the 24-hour period between Monday and Tuesday, the petition garnered more than 50,000 new signatures as citizens rush to express their displeasure with the governor, bringing the total number of signatories past the 200,000 mark.
Along with an extension on the statewide lockdown, Whitmer issued new restrictions on stores limiting the number of people in the store at one time to no more than four customers for every 1,000 square feet of customer floor space. Stores must also cordon off areas dedicated to carpeting, flooring, furniture, garden centers, plant nurseries, or paint.
Commenters wondered aloud what possible health concern could motivate the governor to keep people from planting seeds or repainting parts of their homes.
Michiganders have also accused Whitmer of neglecting their interests while attempting to curry favor with presumptive Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden, who has signaled he is considering bringing her on as running mate.
“Her priorities are no longer the residents of Michigan but her possible position as V.P. for Biden,” wrote Patricia Duncan.