Resolute health care worker stands in the street in counter-protest to hundreds of people who gathered at the Colorado state Capitol on Sunday to demand the stay-at-home order be lifted
The organized protests titled ‘Operation Gridlock‘, which was the day’s largest demonstration took place in Denver.
Hundreds of protesters ignored social distancing guidelines to huddle together on the lawn of the state Capitol, waving flags emblazoned with slogans such as ‘Your “health” does not supersede my right’, ‘Freedom over fear’, and ‘I would rather risk coronavirus than socialism’.
Mobilized by a number of groups on social media, the protesters labelled Colorado Gov. Jared Polis a tyrant and insisted the ongoing economic cost of the shutdown was no longer worth the few lives it would save.
The protesters’ efforts however, were not without resistance as the healthcare workers made their stance known.
Leaning of a truck, this woman yelled “You go to work, why can’t I go to work,” at a man dressed in scrubs during a protest on Sunday. The nurses stood in front of protester’s vehicles staring back at the drivers with their arms crossed, refusing to move under a cacophony of horns and heckles
As tensions continue to boil over amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic that has placed large swaths of the nation at a standstill, it is pitting groups of worker as each other.
In Denver on Sunday, hundreds of Coloradans descended on the capitol to voice their anger about the government’s response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
A small group of health care workers blocked hundreds of protesters as they made their way through the capital – A group of healthcare workers stood in the street, clad in their scrubs and facemasks, to counter-protest the calls for re-opening, silently obstructing cars as they drove down towards the Capitol, in a dramatic showdown.
The healthcare workers stood in the middle of traffic to counter hundreds who had gathered at the Colorado capitol in Operation Gridlock.
Video taken at the scene showed one man dressed in scrubs standing calmly in front of a line of cars as a woman holding a banner reading “Land of the Free” screamed at him.
“You go to work, why can’t I go to work?!” the woman yelled in the footage. “I’ve saved people’s lives too!”.
One healthcare worker, nurse Marc Zenn posted on twitter ‘Two nurses, who have witnessed first hand the toll Covid is taking in Colorado, stood up and peacefully counter protested. Here is how they were treated. I had to join them.’
The vast majority of the protesters outside the Colorado Capitol on Sunday were not wearing masks or gloves, neither did they observe social distancing as they stood in large groups. Some even brought their children along
Witnesses said for the protesters who made it through the blockade, the vast majority of those outside the Capitol wearing masks or gloves. The were not observing the prescribed social distancing protocols as they, stood in large groups just inches apart, and some even brought their children along for the occasion
To date, Colorado has experienced more than 9,700 cases of COVID-19 and at least 420 deaths, while the nationwide toll is climbing past 769,000 cases with more than 40,000 deaths.
In addition to deaths and sicknesses, the outbreak has wreaked havoc on the economy. Some 22 million people filed for unemployment benefits in the past four weeks, the worst period of joblessness in American history. Despite a landmark $2 trillion stimulus package meant to avert some pain of a financial crisis, some Americans who are running out of money have grown frustrated with a slate of social distancing measures designed to save lives and stop the spread of the novel coronavirus, and launched protests in Michigan and Washington.
The Denver Post reports that protesters gathered in Denver for about four hours on Sunday, carrying banners and honking horns throughout the capitol.
Photographs emerging from Sunday’s protests showed scenes of the nurses standing in front of a number of vehicles, staring back at the drivers with their arms crossed, refusing to move under a cacophony of horns and heckles.
One incensed protester stepped out from his SUV to confront a male healthcare worker. The driver was seen angrily approaching the nurse, ordering him to move out of the way, but the healthcare worker remained unmoved, opting simply to look in the other direction.
‘No all heroes wear capes,’ one Twitter user wrote in support of the healthcare workers.
Another wrote: ‘Colorado health care workers, who have been putting their lives on the line to save others, stand in the street in counter-protest. The selfishness and ignorance of today’s protest is peak privilege. #ThisIsAmerica’.
President Donald Trump has continued to call for the country to reopen. Since last week his supporters have come in a form civil disobedience to the state orders to remain indoors and maintain social distancing. Here Justin Bailey [photo], of Tacoma, Wash., wearing a Trump 2020 shirt holds an assault rifle and a flag as he protests in Washington
On Friday President Trump appeared to encourage people to fight against restrictions specifically in states with Democratic governors, tweeting the phrases “LIBERATE MICHIGAN!” “LIBERATE MINNESOTA!” and “LIBERATE VIRGINIA!”
President Donald Trump has continued to call for the country to reopen. He said the U.S. has adequate testing capabilities and last week unveiled a three-phase plan that governors could enact to help Americans start “our life again.”
President Trump appeared to praise the actions of the protesters during his Sunday White House briefing, despite the demonstrations defying state stay-at-home orders.
“I’ve seen the people. I’ve seen interviews of the people. These are great people,” Trump said.
“They’ve got cabin fever. They want their lives back.”
Trump rejected the view that he was inciting violence with his words of encouragement, as one reporter pointed out that governors around the country were seeing an uptick in death threats, “No, I am not. I’ve never seen so many American flags,” the president countered.
“These people love our country. They want to get back to work.”
At the various protests many people wore hats and t-shirts in support of President Trump, with some suggesting that the drastic national response to the coronavirus has all been a political ruse to make the economy crash and cause Trump to lose support ahead of the impending election.
One man even rode a horse up and down the street, with an American flag draped over his shoulder.
‘Pot shops are open, abortion clinics are open and my church is closed,’ protester Mary Conley said, while observing that ‘death is a part of life and it’s time to start living again.’
In the Colorado capital on Sunday, healthcare workers who are in the front line of the covid-19 pandemic containment efforts, wearing scrubs and masks confronted the anti-lockdown protesters
In the face of apparent encouragement from President Trump in Friday tweet for the public to fight against restrictions specifically in states with Democratic governors, tweeting “LIBERATE MICHIGAN!” “LIBERATE MINNESOTA!” and “LIBERATE VIRGINIA!” – His supporters came out in the hundreds in Colorado to protest the lockdown over the weekend
Several governors said the U.S. does not have the testing capacity needed for states to relax social distancing measures.
One governor described the optimistic views, coming from the White House, of reopening for business in weeks as ‘delusional’.
Another governor said the claims of the adequate supply of test kits to the states as an outright lie.
Supporting the views of the governors, many health officials have warned against jump-starting society too soon, saying doing so could be catastrophic and result in a renewed outbreak.
“We have to have something in place that is efficient and that we can rely on, and we’re not there yet,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, told The Associated Press last week.
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