There are some who are fear the coronavirus, and then there are others who have “no fear whatsoever” of contracting it.
Melissa Ackison says the coronavirus pandemic has “filled her with anger,” according to Time. The Ohio state Senate candidate says the “stay-at-home orders are government overreach” and “the labeling of some workers as essential ‘arbitrary.’”
“It enrages something inside of you,” said Ackison, who said on Thursday that she has “no fear whatsoever of contracting the virus,” as she was attending a protest against Republican Gov. Mike DeWine’s stay-at-home orders at the statehouse in Columbus.
The Ohio protest joins a growing number of groups who are pushing back against the state's decision to “stay-at-home,” defying social distancing rules and pressuring governors to ease up.
The biggest protest thus far took place in the streets of Lansing, Michigan, on Wednesday, where thousands jammed together, looking “much like one of the president’s rallies - complete with MAGA hats and Trump flags…” - a rally that showed protestors’ discord for Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. Outside of the Capitol, some chanted “Lock Her Up,” a throwback to Trump’s calls during the 2016 election about rival Hillary Clinton.
The protest comes at a time when Michigan recorded over, “2,000 deaths from COVID-19 as of Thursday, and close to 30,000 confirmed infections.”
Battleground Michigan’s protest was organized by Michigan Conservative Coalition, a group founded by a GOP state representative and his wife, Meshawn Maddock, “who is on the advisory board for an official Trump campaign group called ‘Women for Trump’ and is also the co-founder of Michigan Trump Republicans.”
Trump has pushed for easing stay-at-home orders and has unveiled a framework for governors to follow on Thursday, but he acknowledges that it is the state governors who have the final say on when the orders will end.
Showing his support and sympathy with their frustration, Trump mentioned - “They’re suffering … they want to get back” — and dismissed concerns about health risks of ignoring state orders and potentially exposing themselves to the virus.
“I think they’re listening. I think they listen to me,” he said. “Nobody wants to stay shut.”
Whitmer on the other hand, among other governors, expressed concern about the gathering, saying “it put people at risk and could prolong the shutdown.”
Other protest gatherings included one at the Texas capitol in Austin on Thursday, where people chanted “Free Texas” and “Make America Free Again.”
Ackison, who views DeWine’s efforts as “constitutional overreach,” wants Trump to act with authority and ultimately force the governors to reopen the states.
“We put President Trump in office for a reason,” she said. “If he’s not able to give a convincing enough argument to these governors that they need to open up, then he needs to do something to take action.”