"Give Me Liberty, bring on COVID" seems to be the rallying cry for thousands of protesters across America who are fed up with being protected from disease.
Despite warnings, explanations and scientific proof to the contrary, protestors are convinced that the coronavirus threat is either grossly inflated, does not truly affect them and the area in which they live, or does not exist at all.
Some, including New Jersey's Kim Pagan, were arrested for violating emergency orders. Pagan organized an anti-lockdown rally in Trenton. Others, like the Austin, Texas, protest organized by Owen Shroyer and attended by Infowars' Alex Jones, featured hundreds of people shouting "Fire Fauci," referring to the nation's leading infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci.
Dr. Fauci is not employed by the U.S. Government.
Made up of mostly pro-Trump supporters, some even toting "Trump 2020" signs, these protests are sprouting up in some states, appearing in Maryland, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Texas, Idaho, Florida, California, Kentucky, Ohio, and North Carolina. Three in particular, though -- Michigan, Minnesota and Virginia -- have Democratic governors that Trump wants to swing Republican in November's presidential election.
On Thursday, President Trump read a measured, reasonable, scientifically-based outline for states to follow in determining how and when to reopen businesses and communities during his daily coronavirus task force briefing. One day later, he countered everything he had laid out and encouraged protestors in a series of tweets to "LIBERATE MINNESOTA," "LIBERATE MICHIGAN," and "LIBERATE VIRGINIA."
On the latter, he added "...and save your great 2nd Amendment. It is under siege!", referencing the gun control bill that Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam just signed into law.
As he does with everything, Trump is playing a political chess game that he is determined to win. In this case, though, the cost may be human lives, many of whom support him. They, however, are completely willing to pay the price if it means freedom to roam streets, offices, stores, and workplaces, all fired up by the threat of gun control and the "fake news" of deaths and disease.
Governors on both sides of the aisle are understandably disturbed at the president's behavior and its potential impact on their constituents.
Said Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (via Daily Mail):
'The president's statements this morning encourage illegal and dangerous acts.
'He is putting millions of people in danger of contracting COVID-19. His unhinged rantings and calls for people to 'liberate' states could also lead to violence.'
He called the tweets 'fomenting domestic rebellion and spreading lies' and said they were in contrast to the 'sensible' guidelines Trump had unveiled Thursday on re-opening the economy.
The more time Americans spend in isolation, the more desperate many are becoming as they watch their livelihoods dry up.
"You’re trying to supposedly cure a problem but you’re doing more damage in my opinion than you are trying to cure the problem by forcing people to stay in their homes, not be able to earn a living, you know isolation kills, too.," said protestor Marco Caceres.
Yet the fact remains that the restrictions have been the only effective weapon against the spread of the disease, at least for the masses. It has been a completely different story for essential workers and healthcare professionals.
In fact, "corona-rebels" are not the only ones organizing protests. Anti-Trump activists, who are angry about the president's response to the pandemic and perceived lack of support for healthcare workers dying on the front lines, laid body bags on the ground outside of his properties.