Cellphone data shows protesters dispersed across Michigan, raising concerns of spreading coronavirus - 2020-05-04
At "Operation Gridlock," last month's right-wing protest in Lansing over Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's coronavirus executive orders, many participants rebelled against social distancing guidelines by standing close together and not wearing face masks. Afterward, Whitmer chided the protesters, saying they could have spread the virus.
That fear is backed up by newly released cellphone data, which shows the protesters dispersing to smaller communities across Michigan in the following days. A map was released by an advocacy group called the Committee to Protect Medicare, which raised concerns that the protesters could have carried the disease to smaller, rural communities that are ill-equipped to deal with COVID-19 patients.
The data was collected by a firm called VoteMap, which showed more than 300 opted-in devices gathered at Lansing on April 15. The firm collected the data using geo-location data from other downloaded apps. (According to the group, the data is anonymized for privacy.)