United States has witnessed 738,923 COVID-19 cases and 39,015 fatalities. As the epicentre of novel coronavirus started shifting from Europe to the US, large parts of the country were put under strict lock-downs, which largely hampered economic activities.
As President Trump claimed that the virus cases in the country have peaked, demonstrations are taking place in several places, to lift restrictions and re-open economy.
Coronavirus demonstrations in the United States
On Saturday, in Texas, a Republican-ruled state, over 250 demonstrators gathered outside the State Capitol in Austin, AFP reported. The protesters clearly did not follow social distancing protocols, important to curb the spread of COVID-19. Among the demonstrators was far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, who demonstrated on his tank-styled truck.
Similar demonstrations were witnessed in New Hampshire, another state governed by Republicans. At Annapolis, Maryland, demonstrators honked their horns, as a sign of protest. Hundreds of US flag wielding protesters gathered in Columbus, Ohio, demanding lockdowns to be lifted. Similar demonstrations were witnessed in San Diego, California.
Trump supports the lifting of restrictions
In numerous tweets and press briefings, President Donald Trump has called for uplifting restrictions, that were put in place to halt the deadly contagion from spreading. In a series of tweets on Friday, Trump wrote: "LIBERATE MINNESOTA", "LIBERATE MICHIGAN" and "LIBERATE VIRGINIA."
The above series of tweets garnered intense criticism from Washington Governor Jay Inslee, who in a series of tweets urged "political leaders to speak out firmly against the president's calls for rebellion."
"His unhinged rantings and calls for people to "liberate" states could also lead to violence," the governor wrote.
Speaking about the anti-lockdown protests at his Saturday's press briefing, Trump said: "I just think that some of the governors have gotten carried away" and imposed "unreasonable" restrictions. Due to 2020 being the election year, Trump has called for uplifting restrictions to limit the damage to the US economy, as the issue features prominently in his re-election bid.