'We're winging this.' Coronavirus protests tout independence as national groups eye election - 2020-04-23
As protesters across the country plan to challenge statewide coronavirus orders, they fiercely resist a growing narrative that they are aligned with or funded by national groups, gun rights organizations or entities supporting President Donald Trump's reelection – even as some of those groups take part in the events.
The protests, focused on rolling back stay-at-home orders to slow the spread of coronavirus, snarled traffic in Michigan, blocking a hospital entrance. Thousands of cheering, flag-waving drivers cruised around Pennsylvania. Some demonstrations feature Trump campaign flags, but homemade signs – such as one in Tennessee that encouraged Americans to "fear your government," not the coronavirus – are more prevalent.
They have continued even as some states tentatively began reopening businesses and easing distancing guidelines. More than 46,000 Americans have died from the disease, according to Johns Hopkins University. Trump encouraged states with fewer cases and deaths to begin bringing their economies back online.