Wednesday, protesters gathered at the state capitol for “Operation Gridlock,” a campaign opposing Governor Whitmer’s Stay Home, Stay Safe Order. The rally, organized by the Michigan Conservative Coalition, ignored social distancing recommendations and called for the governor to ease restrictions.
A statements from the group’s website reads,
“Michiganders are fed up! Our governor and her allies are infecting ALL of us with their radical, progressive agenda. There is NO reasoned and public plan to promote our overall physical and economic health.”
Organizers felt with government offices closed, public protest was their only option and with that hundreds of cars, flags, and signs flooded Lansing.
In Whitmers latest press briefing she said,
“I understand the frustration people are feeling. I’m frustrated too. No one want to be here in this moment, but we are and we have to do the best that we can.”
“If you want to take it out on me…that’s fine. I support you right to free speech and I respect your opinions. I just urge you. Do not put yourself at risk and don’t put others at risk either.”
Still opponents of Whitmer’s order not only feel as if the state economy is being crippled unnecessarily, but also consider it a violation of constitutional rights.
Their attorney, David Helm, said,
“We believe it is over-broad…What we are saying, is that people have the right to associate with their friends and family. And that is being unjustly infringed.”
Despite increasing backlash, the governor has no plans of letting up anytime in the near future.
“What facts and science has showed us is that reengaging our state too soon or too fast will lead to a second wave of COVID-19 in Michigan,” said Whitmer.
The governor cited the flu pandemic of 1918 and noted how social distance guidelines were relaxed prematurely and it sparked a second surge of cases.
“As tough as this is right now, we know we do not want to go through this again. It’s so important that states, regions, and the country as a whole get this right…getting it right saves lives and will be better for our economy in the long run.”
Whitmer announced Monday she is working with experts for a data driven approach to reengage the state.
Photos: Anna Liz Nichols, Michigan Advance