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Protesters in at least 10 states demand end to coronavirus lockdown

Protesters in at least 10 states demand end to coronavirus lockdown
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Demonstrators in at least 10 states across the country gathered on Friday to protest against stay-at-home orders and other emergency measures meant to blunt the coronavirus’s spread.

The protests underscored how antsy some are getting to return to a sense of normalcy after the coronavirus, which has infected nearly 1.1 million people in America, shuttered businesses across an array of industries and pushed more than 30 million Americans into unemployment.

Though some demonstrations were lightly attended, demonstrations occurred in state capitols and cities in California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Tennessee and Washington.

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Several protesters told local media that shutdown orders were imposing too great an economic burden after pushing many small businesses to shutter.

“Businesses are suffering, unemployment checks are not being sent, landlords are not getting rent. We feel like these directives are causing more suffering than is necessary,” New Jersey protester Ayla Wolf told NJ.com

Protesters were seen waving signs accusing their governors of trying to “ruin” their states and warning of “tyranny.” 

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Yet despite the protests, several governors have said their decisions on when and how to reopen their states will be determined based on progress in the fight against the coronavirus and not be political. 

“I get the arguments,” said New York Gov. Andrew CuomoAndrew CuomoDreaming of space exploration? You're better off riding bikes Cuomo likens COVID-19 to the Grinch: 'The season of viral transmission' For Thanksgiving, the Supreme Court upholds religious liberty MORE (D). “This is not a political decision.”

The demonstrators have gotten a boost of support in recent days as President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump alludes to possible 2024 run in White House remarks Trump threatens to veto defense bill over tech liability shield Tiger King's attorney believes they're close to getting pardon from Trump MORE has voiced his backing for several of the protesters, tweeting Friday morning that those demonstrating in Michigan are “very good people, but they are angry.” 

“The president was referencing generally that in this country you have a First Amendment right to protest. I think that's something we all treasure here and we should rightfully," White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said at a press briefing Friday. "You have a right to do that constitutionally, but you must protest within the bounds of the law."

“He encourages everyone to protest lawfully and also to engage in our social distancing guidelines," she continued, "which we think all Americans should engage in.”