Protesters demonstrate against coronavirus restrictions in Pennsylvania

Protesters gathered in Harrisburg, Pa., on Monday to demonstrate against a statewide stay-at-home order put in place in response to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Video footage shows crowds gathering by the state capitol building, with only some wearing the recommended masks or face coverings. 

Some of the protesters were holding flags supporting President TrumpDonald John TrumpNearly 300 former national security officials sign Biden endorsement letter DC correspondent on the death of Michael Reinoehl: 'The folks I know in law enforcement are extremely angry about it' Late night hosts targeted Trump over Biden 97 percent of the time in September: study MORE, and others were waving signs urging officials to “re-open PA.” 


Protesters were also driving cars through the rally honking horns in support of the demonstration and waving signs. 


The demonstration is organized by three groups, “Re-open Pennsylvania,” “End the Lockdown Pennsylvania,” and “Pennsylvania Against Excessive Quarantine,” a local ABC News affiliate reported. 

An “Operation Gridlock Pennsylvania” event is scheduled to begin at noon by a Facebook group called “Pennsylvanians Against Excessive Quarantine” that has nearly 67,000 members. The group was created by Chris Dorr, an Ohio gun activist, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

Pennsylvania officials warned against the planned protest last week. 

“If you come to Harrisburg and you’re not practicing social distancing, then you are putting all of yourselves at risk,” Rachel Levine, Pennsylvania’s health secretary, said Thursday, the Inquirer noted. “So if a gathering like that happens and they’re not practicing social distancing … then they will be more at risk for contracting the dangerous virus.”

Pennsylvania, like nearly every other state, has a stay-at-home order in place to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus. 

Gov. Tom WolfTom WolfExclusive poll: Biden up in Mich., Pa., tied with Trump in Fla. Pennsylvania's mail-in voting free-for-all Could Pennsylvania's Democratic governor deliver Trump the election? MORE (D) laid out a plan last week for reopening the state's economy, but he did not offer a timetable for taking measures to lift restrictions. 

Pennsylvania reported 32,991 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 1,276 deaths as of Monday, according to Johns Hopkins University

Demonstrations against coronavirus restrictions have broken out in several states across the country since last week. 

Trump last week defended protests defying social distancing guidelines. At a Friday White House briefing, he said that he felt some state orders were “too tough.” Trump also tweeted support for protests in Minnesota, Michigan and Virginia, calling to “LIBERATE” the three states.