Protesters hit some streets of San Diego in the US with placards reading "COVID is a LIE" on Sunday, opposing the stay-at-home orders along with beach closures in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. This follows last week's protest demanding the reopening of the economy, which was dubbed by some as sponsored by a right wing network, even as polls showed that most Americans supported the stay-at-home orders.
More than 200 people reportedly rallied with US flags, with most of them not following social distancing or wearing any protection. Two police motorcycles circled the area while many officers were on foot keeping the roads clear, reported Times of Sandiego.
Some of the placards read "open San Diego," "practice media distancing," "herd immunity, not herd mentality," along with anti-vaccine slogans and those demanding jobs.
The protests began at around 1 pm. "Don't compare your protests for a beach opening up to our fight for basic human dignity," the leader of a social activists group tweeted.
The San Diego's Showing Up for Racial Justice group issued a statement criticizing the protests, saying that the bulk of these people are members of extremist groups that are taking advantage of this moment to advance their political agenda. "These same organizations and participants have been the drivers behind anti-LGBTQ+, anti-Muslim, and anti-vaxx protests, both locally and statewide."
Even a one-time candidate who stood for San Diego Superior Court judge said that he was one of the co-hosts of the protest. Local journalist Matt Hoffman tweeted: "San Diego County has 3.3 million residents- the vast majority of whom are following social distancing guidelines and state/county health orders. Also polls show most Americans favor stay at home orders to reduce the spread of the virus."
The San Diego County's Health Department previously announced that it would lift restrictions starting Monday, while leaving it up to cities and state parks whether or not to open beaches.