Right-wing protesters with Confederate flags, Trump banners, and AR-15s in hand rallied around the country during the past weeks against stay-at-home orders that have been in effect in most states to flatten the coronavirus curve. It was quite a jaw-dropping spectacle in Michigan as some protesters blocked an ambulance from reaching a hospital amid the pandemic. “Lock her up!” chants rang out to target Gov. Gretchen Whitmer for trying to keep her constituents safe from the massive COVID-19 outbreak.
As it happens, the protests in Michigan were organized by a group called “Operation Gridlock” that is linked to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ wealthy family. Donald Trump gave an all-caps shoutout today on Twitter seemingly to support the protesters, an act that horrified Americans.
Michigan has been flooded with coronavirus cases totaling 29,263 confirmed, with 2,093 deaths from the disease.
Whitmer — who has handled the pandemic well in her state — said the cars “were blocking one of our hospitals, so an ambulance literally wasn’t able to get into the bay for ten minutes.”
“We know that this demonstration is going to come at a cost to people’s health,” she said. “The sad irony of the protest is that they don’t like to be in this stay-at-home order, but they might have just created a need to lengthen it.”
An adviser for Whitmer compared the Lansing, Michigan, rally outside the Capitol to a MAGA rally, the Daily Beast reports, “noting the preponderance of signs likening Whitmer to a Nazi, as well as semiautomatic rifles, Confederate battle flags, and in at least one case, a Confederate battle flag emblazoned with the image of a semiautomatic rifle.”
Someone needs to inform those mooks that Michigan was not part of the Confederacy.
Protesters blocked the streets amid the pandemic.
You can’t make this shit up.
In Michigan people are clogging the streets with their cars in protest of the stay-at-home order.
They’re calling it #OperationGridlock
If it’s safe to re-open why are they protesting from their cars??
— Joshua Potash (@JoshuaPotash) April 15, 2020
The protesters were putting essential workers in harm’s way.
Everyone has the right to protest, but to be clear: Lansing is empty. We are almost entirely working remotely. All Operation Gridlock is accomplishing is blocking traffic for essential workers and first responders in the middle of a pandemic. This is silly and irresponsible.
— Laurie Pohutsky (@lpohutsky19) April 15, 2020
What an embarrassment. When we vote Trump out of office, his army of cretins goes, too, and November can’t come soon enough.
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