Protesters disrupt Kentucky governor’s coronavirus briefing, chanting ‘we want to work’
Protestors disrupted Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear’s (D) coronavirus briefing Wednesday, chanting for the governor to “open up Kentucky.”
About 100 people had gathered on the lawn of the State Capitol by the time Beshear spoke, and could be heard throughout the governor’s televised briefing, the Courier Journal reports.
The protesters were also chanting “we want to work” and “facts over fear.”
Beshear acknowledged the protesters about halfway through his hourlong briefing, but said he would not be adhering to the demands to reopen the state economy, which he said would lead to more fatalities.
“We do have some folks up in here in Kentucky today — and everybody should be able to express their opinion — that believe we should reopen Kentucky immediately, right now. Folks, that would kill people. That would absolutely kill people,” Beshear said, according to the Courier Journal.
“My job isn’t to make the popular decision, but the right decision,” he added, “and the decision that saves peoples’ lives.”
Kentucky has reported 2,210 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 115 deaths.
Many of the protesters appeared to be crowded together with less than the recommended six feet distance between them, and only a few appeared to wear masks or face coverings, based on photos and videos of the protests.
The hundreds are now walking around the Capitol. They plan to stay outside @GovAndyBeshear’s press room while he speaks to the state. You have to wonder if they will be able to be heard from inside the room — then picked up on microphones and broadcasted out. @WKYT pic.twitter.com/XdGlSyHOSh
— WKYT Nick Oliver (@WKYTNick) April 15, 2020
Beshear put in place a statewide “healthy-at-home” order March 25, under which people can go outside to get groceries, exercise and for other essential activities. All nonessential businesses are closed, with restaurants open for drive-thru, delivery and takeout services.
Nearly all states across the country have stay-at-home orders in place to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus.
Updated: 10:35 p.m.
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