On Saturday, hundreds of protestors gathered outside the Texas Capitol in Austin to demand that the state be reopened. Similar protests occurred in other states across the nation.
The demonstration, dubbed the “You Can’t Close America Rally,” occurred one day after Trump issued a series of tweets calling for his supporters to “liberate” certain states.
The rallies are in clear violation of the Trump administration’s own social distancing guidelines. which recommend that gatherings be limited to no more than 10 people even in the early phases of reopening. Experts warn that the president’s mixed messaging is undermining efforts to contain the pandemic.
The rally was organized by Owen Shroyer of InfoWars, a far-right website owned by notorious conspiracy theorist Alex Jones. Jones, who is based in Austin, made an appearance at the event. Protestors waved pro-Trump flags and called for the firing of Dr. Anthony Fauci, a public health official who’s response to the pandemic has been praised by Republicans and Democrats.
Anti-vaccine advocates also gathered at the protests, spreading the lie that vaccines are unsafe.
The right-wing demonstrators may get what they want as Governor Greg Abbott is planning to start reopening the state even though Texas is not yet past the projected peak. Experts warn that there is not enough testing being done to safely reopen the country. Yet the Texas GOP appears more concerned with the economy than with lives, with Lt. Governor Dan Patrick claiming that there are “more important things than living.”
On Tuesday, confirmed COVID-19 cases in the United States surpassed 800,000 with more than 44,000 deaths, more than any other country.
Photo: Getty Images