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More U.S. protests call for lifting coronavirus restrictions as governors push back

Coronavirus Apr 20, 2020 12:48AM ET
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4/4 © Reuters. Demonstrators place fake body bags outside Trump National Golf Club Los Angeles in protest against U.S. President Donald Trump's response to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, in Rancho Palos Verdes 2/4

By Doina Chiacu and Barbara Goldberg

(Reuters) - Protests flared in U.S. states on Sunday over stay-at-home orders while governors disputed President Donald Trump's claims they have enough tests for the novel coronavirus and should quickly reopen their economies.

An estimated 2,500 people rallied at the Washington state capitol in Olympia to protest Democratic Governor Jay Inslee’s stay-at-home order, defying a ban on gatherings of 50 or more people.

Despite pleas from rally organizers to wear face coverings or masks as public health authorities recommend, many did not.

“Shutting down businesses by picking winners and losers in which there are essential and non-essential are violations of the state and federal constitution,” rally organizer Tyler Miller, 39, an engineer from Bremerton, Washington, told Reuters.

In Denver, hundreds of people gathered at the state capitol to demand the end to Colorado's shutdown. As protesters clogged streets with cars, healthcare workers in scrubs and face masks stood at intersections in counterprotest.

Stay-at-home measures, which experts say are essential to slow the spread of the virus, have battered the U.S. economy and more than 22 million Americans have filed for unemployment benefits in the past month. Demonstrations to demand an end have previously erupted in a few spots in Texas, Wisconsin and the capitols of Ohio, Minnesota, Michigan and Virginia..

"These people love our country," Trump, who has touted a thriving economy as the best case for his re-election in November, told a briefing in Washington on Sunday. "They want to get back to work.”

In New York, the U.S. epicenter of the pandemic, hospitalizations continued decline to 16,000 from a high of 18,000, and the number of patients being kept alive by ventilators also fell. There were 507 new deaths from COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the coronavirus, down from a high of more than 700 a day.

"If the data holds and if this trend holds, we are past the high point and all indications at this point are that we are on a descent," Governor Andrew Cuomo said at a daily briefing, while urging residents to continue social distancing.

To get a baseline of how many people were infected with the novel coronavirus, Cuomo said the state would do the most aggressive anti-body testing in the nation in the next week using a random sample.

NOT ENOUGH TESTS

The United States has by far the world's largest number of confirmed coronavirus cases, with more than 750,000 infections and over 40,500 deaths, according to a Reuters tally.

Cuomo, along with other governors, are clamoring for more tests to detect new infections as well as to test for immunity as part of their plans to reopen their states.

Republican Governor Larry Hogan of Maryland during a CNN interview said claims by Trump and Vice President Mike Pence that states have plenty of tests were "just absolutely false."

Democratic Governor Ralph Northam of Virginia told CNN the idea states have enough tests was "delusional."

The region of Maryland, Virginia and Washington D.C. is still seeing increasing cases. New Jersey reported on Sunday that its new cases rose by nearly 3,900, the most in more than two weeks. Boston and Chicago are also emerging hot spots with recent surges in cases and deaths.

Several states, including Ohio, Texas and Florida, have said they aim to reopen parts of their economies, perhaps by May 1 or even sooner.

The governors of Michigan and Ohio on Sunday said they could double or triple their testing capacity if the federal government helped them acquire more swabs and reagents, chemicals needed as part of the testing process.

Trump's guidelines to reopen the economy recommend a state record 14 days of declining case numbers before gradually lifting restrictions. Yet the Republican president appeared to encourage protesters who want the measures removed sooner with a series of Twitter posts on Friday calling for them to "LIBERATE" Michigan, Minnesota and Virginia, all run by Democratic governors.

Inslee of Washington redoubled his attacks on Trump's call to "liberate" states, saying the president was encouraging people to violate state laws on self-isolating.

"These orders actually are the law of these states," he said. "To have an American president encourage people to violate the law, I can't remember any time during my time in America where we have seen such a thing."

U.S. lawmakers are nearing an agreement on approving extra money to help small businesses hurt by the coronavirus pandemic and could seal a deal as early as Sunday, congressional and Trump administration officials said.

Congress established the program last month as part of a $2.3 trillion coronavirus economic relief plan, but it has already run out of money.

Graphic: Tracking the novel coronavirus in the U.S., https://tmsnrt.rs/2w7hX9T

More U.S. protests call for lifting coronavirus restrictions as governors push back
 

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Comments (11)
Chris Sundo
Chris Sundo Apr 20, 2020 1:40AM ET
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Trump and GOP are corrupt and have damaged USA. Whatever Trump thinks he blurts out for his immediate benefit. REMEMBER THE MILLIONS of dollars of shipments to China for high-quality medical gear in January against the advice of the USA's intelligence committee and among warnings that those PPE would be needed shortly? Now America is buying back junk from China for PPE. Sounds like a smart prez? Main problem is that Americans have now become the victim of their GOP systematically syphoning the wealth away from the masses to the upper crust, while at the same time re-electing those traitors who cause undereducation The GOP gutted the education system, the healthcare system, the computer integrity systems and the manufacturing base. Corrupt gov't will always try to weaken the masses for the benefits of the upper crust. Such approach will have dire consequences by calculation alone. We have a stu'pid prez here and those who elected him and all others are now paying the price. Halleluja
Chris Sundo
Chris Sundo Apr 20, 2020 1:20AM ET
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NO POTUS who encourages people to violate state laws (on self-isolating or other) will be re-elected! Mark my word. Americans won't be THAT gullible. During the next 9 months, he could practice discipline and do what's right instead of acting out like a criminal. Criminals all work with the 4 d's (distract, deflect, deter, divide) Inslee said "These orders actually are the law of these states,"__ "To have an American president encourage people to violate the law, I can't remember any time during my time in America where we have seen such a thing."
DrFunkenstein hayson
DrFunkenstein hayson Apr 19, 2020 7:01PM ET
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virus is not near as lethal as was hyped by the media. SARS-CoV-2 antibody testing in 3330 people near San Francisco estimates that between 2.49% & 4.16% of its population has already been infected.This is 50-85x higher than “confirmed cases” of #COVID19 and estimates an actual mortality rate of 0.12-0.2%.latest Stanford study
Sam Crowther
Sam Crowther Apr 19, 2020 3:47PM ET
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Alright people listen up. The economy can reopen...we have enough science and common sense practice (well some of us) to do so. There are millions of people at home working from home whom would gladly go ear at a resturaunt where people work that are home right now and cant work from home. So check it out, the economy is going to reopen on a practical commin sense bases. It doesnt and wont need to be so extreme as things will not return to exact normal however people can go out to eat and wash their hands and not touch their nasty faces without using common sense.
Menin Socrato
Menin Socrato Apr 19, 2020 3:47PM ET
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Hah, if muricans had common sense, Trump wouldn’t have happened. Admit it, you’re doomed.
Kilo Byte
Kilo Byte Apr 19, 2020 3:47PM ET
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Menin Socrato  Italy, Portugal, Spain and Belgium all have much higher Covid deaths per million.  Worry about your own union, eurotrash.
Chris Martin
Chris Martin Apr 19, 2020 3:47PM ET
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What is with you (I suppose) adults that use a cartoon to put across what you portray of yourself??? Thre only "doom" facing anyone is you and the likes of you.
Chris Martin
Chris Martin Apr 19, 2020 3:47PM ET
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True, but I must say I'm concerned for those who may abuse that rational by visiting places, taking up space due to the type place they may live as unfortunate as many live inner city. I like your initial thought but it's not for everywhere, I think.
Buzzy Jefferson
Buzzy Jefferson Apr 19, 2020 3:47PM ET
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Menin Socrato  - Where you from?
Jason Zou
Jason Zou Apr 19, 2020 3:41PM ET
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Comparing much more deadly covid-19 to flu, or to any noncontagious causes of death, their minds do not function right to help anyone. This has nothing to do with politics, and have everything to do with life or death.
ten lee
ten lee Apr 19, 2020 2:59PM ET
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“number of patients being kept alive by ventilators also fell” - Typo?
Chris Martin
Chris Martin Apr 19, 2020 2:59PM ET
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nope
ali bakr
ali bakr Apr 19, 2020 2:38PM ET
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40,000 out of 300,000,000. Cancer is still here too. Automobile deaths. Its not like they stop making microwave ovens or taking people off the street for worldwide drivers ed.
Chris Martin
Chris Martin Apr 19, 2020 2:31PM ET
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The Governors, many of whom hate the Trump and Republicans are of the Son Of Mario ilk. We could test forever abus according to the Allergan pumped Pelosi he's evil? No, he blames those such as WHO I describe above WHO have always been haters.A loathsome group. Yes, the Wuhan Virus like the Hong Kong Flu, Asian Flu, SARS, Bird Flu, among others named appropriately for their origin Sp as nish Flu... People that want our economy to fail ste the leftist problem that propagandists from China pay some here to sensationalize, argue goin and breed hate.
Steven Kilgore
Steven Kilgore Apr 19, 2020 1:54PM ET
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The virus will always be with us, we have no way of stopping it aside from a polio type of move. That aside the stay at home orders were to get a handle the virus and get mesures in place to handle it.
Rommel Bernardino
Rommel Bernardino Apr 19, 2020 1:54PM ET
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you are selfish! work in the hospital and see how you react!
Kaveh Sun
Kaveh Sun Apr 19, 2020 1:54PM ET
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Test all and isolate ones w the virus (vaccine later if found)
Kaveh Sun
Kaveh Sun Apr 19, 2020 1:22PM ET
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It is too early. The virus is still out there. If we can identify all people with the virus and isolate them, life can be back to normal. The only way to do it is through testing but Trump and others have no will to test all. Fauci is out of touch.
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Kaveh Sun
Kaveh Sun Apr 19, 2020 1:22PM ET
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maga king u want weak peole die.
Kaveh Sun
Kaveh Sun Apr 19, 2020 1:22PM ET
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maga king iceland and sweeden are the only 2 countries open. They did a lot more testing than usa. Almost 25% icelander were tested. Germany death rate is at the bottom so they slowly open up. Usa death rate is near the top.
Chris Martin
Chris Martin Apr 19, 2020 1:22PM ET
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You wanna stay there with Wong, Chen and Chan, the 3 stooges-
Chris Martin
Chris Martin Apr 19, 2020 1:22PM ET
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wrong, haven't you seen that CCP is at bottom? Really a miracle !An example for the world, right?
ali bakr
ali bakr Apr 19, 2020 1:22PM ET
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Sun, you would make a good California governor. There are many viruses still out there and always will be. The world is still round last time I checked but you gotta see it for yourself to believe it I guess.
 
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