Protesters Surround Michigan State Capitol Over Gretchen Whitmer’s Stay-at-Home Order

Hoisting American flags and handmade signs, protesters returned to the Michigan Capitol to denounce Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s stay-home order and business restrictions.

Speakers on Thursday took turns addressing a crowd on the Capitol lawn. Meanwhile, drivers leaned on their horns as they traveled past, a repeat of what occurred April 15 but not close to the thousands who participated in vehicles at that time, paralyzing traffic for miles.

“The virus is here. It’s going to be here. So, we need to get out and live our lives and quit taking our economy deep into socialism. It’s time to let people go back to work. That’s all there is to it,” said protester Joni George, a resident of Flushing, Michigan.

Whitmer, a Democrat, wants Republican lawmakers to stretch her emergency declaration by 28 days to ensure that health care workers continue to have special legal protections. It expires late Thursday. But at the same time, she believes she has other powers to respond to the crisis and does not technically need the Legislature’s consent.

The declaration is the foundation for Whitmer’s stay-home order and other directives aimed at managing the coronavirus, which has infected more than 40,000 Michigan residents and contributed to the deaths of 3,670.

Asked why he was at Thursday’s protest, Dave Trute of Muskegon, Michigan, said: “We’re trying to get rid of our tyrannical governor, and she’s overstepped the powers that we the people have given her.”

The stay-home order is in effect through May 15. Meanwhile, the governor is gradually allowing businesses to resume operating.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death.

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