Supported by Trump: mass protests against quarantine took place in the USA
US President Donald Trump sharply departed from his statement made on the evening of April 16, in which he gave the right to decide on the abolition of quarantine to state governors. Just a day later, he openly supported the protests about the need to continue social distance and the demands to stay at home, which took place in some states of the country, writes The New York Times.
In a series of all-caps tweets that appeared on the president's account 2 minutes after Fox News covered the protesters, Trump proclaimed, "Free Michigan!" "Free Minnesota!" - two states whose Democratic governors have imposed severe social distancing restrictions.
He also spoke in favor of Virginia, whose Democratic governor and legislature insisted on strict arms control measures, saying: “Free Virginia and save your great 2nd amendment. She is under siege! ”
In another series of tweets, the president reached out to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo just days after praising him. According to Trump, Cuomo should "spend more time doing things and less time complaining." The remark followed the governor's words that New York will not be able to fully open up its economy without more extensive testing and assistance from the federal government. Even before Cuomo finished speaking during his daily briefing, Trump pounced on him on Twitter.
“We've created thousands of hospital beds for you that you don't need or have not used, provided a large number of ventilators that you should have, and helped you with the testing that you should be doing,” Trump said, adding that Cuomo must thank the federal government.
“First of all, if he's at home watching TV, maybe he should get up and go to work, right?” Trump asked.
Cuomo responded in real time, “Second, let's keep emotions and politics out of it, as well as personal ego if we can. Because it's about people. "
The governor added that he repeatedly thanked the federal government for its help.
“I don’t know what should I do - send a bouquet of flowers?” Cuomo asked.
In Michigan, protesters waved banners in support of Trump and protested against Governor Gretchen Whitmer, shouting, "Lock her up." In St. Paul, Minnesota, a group calling itself “Free Minnesota” opposed orders to stay at home in front of Governor Tim Walsa’s home, demanding that he “break the ban.” In Columbus, Ohio, protesters gathered together crowding at the doors of the State Capitol.
Speaking in the White House on the evening of April 17, the president expressed sympathy for the protesters because they had to endure in their states what they called “too stringent” social distance practices and rejected fears that these people might spread the virus through demonstrations .
“They seem to me to be very responsible people,” he said.
On the subject: U.S. quarantine withdrawal: Trump unveils three-step plan
According to the publication, Trump uses a powerful source of political energy, as he seeks re-election this year. The president is also trying to divert anger from himself and switch him to Democratic governors, who he hopes will take the blame for maintaining restrictions and for any deaths that occur after the state is opened.
The pressure to rebuild the economy comes amid skyrocketing jobless claims and unemployment rates approaching 17% - higher than anything since the Great Depression. On April 17, several governors began to respond to this pressure by taking the first, preliminary steps to loosen the rules for work, study and social interaction.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott, a Republican, said that by April 24, all retailers, not just grocery stores, would be able to provide pick-up and delivery services for customers, but customers would not be able to physically go inside stores. Parks will be open on April 20, but visitors will have to wear face masks and comply with social distance rules, while schools will be closed for indoor training until the end of the school year.
In Ohio, Gov. Mike DeVine, also a Republican, said that as businesses open, they will need to maintain 6 feet (1,8 meters) of distance between people, wear masks, and checkerboard times for coming to work and lunchtime. ... He said workplaces will have more barriers, more workers with gloves and more frequent cleaning of surfaces. Employees will be able to take their temperature and go home if they develop any symptoms.
In Florida, the mayor of Jacksonville announced that beaches and parks will open on April 24, but visitors will practice social distance. In the state of Washington, where the virus first appeared in the United States and stopped life for several weeks, Boeing announced plans to resume production of commercial aircraft and return to work about 27 employees the other day.
In Vermont, the governor gave a green light to returning to work as real estate managers, real estate agents, and some construction teams, but said they must respect social distance and wear masks. On April 18, Minnesota opened golf courses and training facilities, as well as bait shops for fishing, shooting ranges and game farms. But campsites, sporting goods and equipment rental, charter boats and fishing services will remain closed.
A few hours after the president’s tweets, several Democratic governors joined Cuomo, expressing their displeasure with Trump.
Washington Governor Jay Insley, who filed an unsuccessful Democratic presidential bid in 2020, said Trump's tweets “encourage illegal and dangerous actions,” and said the president “puts millions of people at risk of contracting Covid-19.”
Inslee added: “His aimless rhetoric and calls for people to 'liberate the states' can also lead to violence. We've seen this before. ”
And in Michigan, Governor Whitmer expressed hope that the president’s comments would not provoke new protests.
“There is a lot of concern here,” she said. “The most important thing anyone with a platform can do is try to use that platform to tell people," We can get through this. "
Deciding when and how to resume work can be politically very dangerous. Restoring the usual rhythm of life too quickly carries the risk of new cases of illness and death, but too late means that people may be left without a livelihood.
For Trump, the calculation is also dangerous, because he is trying to mobilize his main supporters, again abandoning his sporadic attempts at bipartisanism. The open support for those who challenge the orders to stay home can help the president revive a coalition of conservative Republicans and working class populists who agree with anti-government sentiment that helped Trump win the 2016 election.
A large majority of the country's population, including Republicans, are concerned about the danger of the country opening too quickly. But among very conservative voters, 65% said they were more worried that renewal would be too slow, according to a April 16 Pew Research Center poll.
Those who took part in the early resistance movement include Stephen Moore, an advisor to Trump's Covid-19 economic recovery task force and founder of the new Save Our Country group, which advocates for a fast economic opening.
Moore said in an interview that he helped organize a group protest in Wisconsin and pay legal fees. This may be due to mass gatherings in the state.
“We must protest against this injustice on the part of the government,” he said.
According to the publication, Trump is also supporting some of the darkest corners of the Internet, where extreme right-wing activists encourage protesters to challenge Democratic governors and demand the lifting of restrictions.
Owen Schreyer, author of Infowars, a conspiracy theft website, urged people to rally at the “You Can't Close America” rally on the steps of the Texas Capitol in Austin in violation of home quarantine. After a public call, Twitter blocked his record, motivating this decision by the fact that Schreyer violated the policy of manipulating the platform and spam.
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