It’s extremely difficult to keep up with all angles of the coronavirus news.
But it’s been almost impossible to miss the coverage of ‘anti-lockdown’ protests happening across the US.
Armed demonstrators in states like Michagan, Ohio, Texas and Kentucky have taken to the streets to demand an end to stay-at-home orders in place to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
The protests have been heavily backed by conservative and far-right groups; a gridlock organised in Lansing, Michigan on Wednesday was organised by the Michigan Conservative Coalition, reports The Guardian.
Another rally in Texas was arranged by a host of far-right conspiracy theory show Infowars.
Donald Trump seemed to initially throw support behind the protestors with a series of tweets that urged states to “liberate” themselves.
Vice President Mike Pence had to deny that Trump’s tweets were “undermining” state efforts to mitigate the impact of the pandemic.
But a White House briefing on Sunday, Trump went further, calling protestors “great people”, adding that governors have “gone too far” in their lockdown measures.
“Some of these protests are getting pretty intense and governors are getting death threats in Kentucky, Virginia, Michigan,” one reporter told him.
“Are you concerned that your talk about liberation and the Second Amendment… are you inciting violence?”
Trump didn’t seem bothered, brushing the question off with an explanation of “cabin fever”.
I’ve seen the people, I’ve seen interviews with the people, they’re great people.
They’ve got cabin fever, they want to get back.
They want their life back, their life was taken away from them.
I’ve never seen so many American flags.
“There’s Nazi flags there too,” replied the reporter.
“To that I would say no way,” said Trump. “I didn’t see that."
At another point Trump claimed he had a list of governors who had “gone too far”. However, he went on to single out Virginia governor Ralph Northam for new gun control measures that had nothing to do with coronavirus.
"Obviously Virginia with what they’ve done on guns," Trump said. "He’s playing with your Second Amendment, we can’t allow that to happen."
And that is indirectly related to this. People are buying guns at a level we haven’t seen before because of this surge of plague.
So what he did was totally inappropriate. Other than that I’m not going to mention names but I have a list: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7.
Healthcare professionals have spoken out against the protests as the US death toll hits 41,000.
In Colorado, nurses even blocked demonstrators with an ‘counter-protest’ and were heckled.
Home of the brave, land of the free?