DETROIT — As sweeping stay-at-home orders in 42 U.S. states to combat the new coronavirus have shuttered businesses, disrupted lives and decimated the economy, some protesters have begun taking to the streets to urge governors to rethink the restrictions.
A few dozen protesters, many with young children, gathered in Virginia’s state capital of Richmond on Thursday in defiance of Democratic Governor Ralph Northam’s mandate, the latest in a series of demonstrations this week around the country.
The protests have taken on a partisan tone, often featuring supporters of President Donald Trump, and critiquing governors whose shelter-at-home directives are intended to slow the spread of a pandemic that has killed more than 31,000 across the United States.
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On Wednesday, thousands of Michigan residents blocked traffic in Lansing, the state capital, while protesters in Kentucky disrupted Democratic Governor Andy Beshear’s afternoon news briefing on the pandemic, chanting “We want to work!”
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States including Utah, North Carolina and Ohio also saw demonstrations this week, and more are planned for the coming days, including in Oregon, Idaho and Texas.
The United States has seen the highest death toll of any country in the pandemic,