Protesters demonstrate against coronavirus restrictions in Pennsylvania | TheHill

Protesters demonstrate against coronavirus restrictions in Pennsylvania | TheHill

Protesters gathered in Harrisburg, Pa., on Monday to demonstrate against a statewide stay-at-home order put in place in response to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Video footage shows crowds gathering by the state capitol building, with only some wearing the recommended masks or face coverings. 

Some of the protesters were holding flags supporting President TrumpDonald John TrumpMnuchin says it was his idea to put Trump’s name on stimulus checks Trump says he will use Defense Production Act to increase swabs for testing Trump’s ex-deputy national security adviser denies being ‘Anonymous’ MORE, and others were waving signs urging officials to “re-open PA.” 

Protesters were also driving cars through the rally honking horns in support of the demonstration and waving signs. 

Hundreds of people are rallying in #Harrisburg to end the non-essential businesses statewide shutdown

— Matt Petrillo (@MattPetrillo) April 20, 2020

BREAKING — PA PROTEST: Protesters, many of whom appear to be Trump supporters, are demonstrating against state lockdown orders outside the Pennsylvania capitol building in Harrisburg

— NowThis (@nowthisnews) April 20, 2020

At the rally in Harrisburg.

— Edward Worthington (@edworth61) April 20, 2020

The demonstration is organized by three groups, “Re-open Pennsylvania,” “End the Lockdown Pennsylvania,” and “Pennsylvania Against Excessive Quarantine,” a local ABC News affiliate reported. 

An “Operation Gridlock Pennsylvania” event is scheduled to begin at noon by a Facebook group called “Pennsylvanians Against Excessive Quarantine” that has nearly 67,000 members. The group was created by Chris Dorr, an Ohio gun activist, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

Pennsylvania officials warned against the planned protest last week. 

“If you come to Harrisburg and you’re not practicing social distancing, then you are putting all of yourselves at risk,” Rachel Levine, Pennsylvania’s health secretary, said Thursday, the Inquirer noted. “So if a gathering like that happens and they’re not practicing social distancing … then they will be more at risk for contracting the dangerous virus.”

Pennsylvania, like nearly every other state, has a stay-at-home order in place to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus. 

Gov. Tom Wolf (D) laid out a plan last week for reopening the state’s economy, but he did not offer a timetable for taking measures to lift restrictions. 

Pennsylvania reported 32,991 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 1,276 deaths as of Monday, according to Johns Hopkins University. 

Demonstrations against coronavirus restrictions have broken out in several states across the country since last week. 

Trump last week defended protests defying social distancing guidelines. At a Friday White House briefing, he said that he felt some state orders were “too tough.” Trump also tweeted support for protests in Minnesota, Michigan and Virginia, calling to “LIBERATE” the three states. 

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