PHOENIX - Protests have reportedly been scheduled in response to the stay-at-home order that was issued for Arizona in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The order, officially titled as a "Stay home, Stay healthy, Stay connected" policy, was issued by Gov. Doug Ducey and took effect at 5:00 p.m. on March 31. The order asks Arizonans to limited their time away from their home, and also lists a number of activities that are exempt from the order.
After two protests took place last week, another one titled "Reopen Arizona" has been planned on April 27 at noon.
The flyer on Twitter states, "Join fellow patriots who support the constitution, liberty, and re-opening the Arizona economy."
According to one poster that is being circulated on a Facebook group titled the "Arizona Conservative Republicans," a "Patriots' Day Rally" had been scheduled at the Wesley Bolin Memorial Park at noon on April 20.
"Join fellow patriots who support the constitution, liberty & re-opening the Arizona Economy," a portion of the poster read.
Meanwhile, a similar protest took place at noon on April 19. The protest, titled "Operation Gridlock Arizona", aimed to get participants to drive to the Arizona State Capitol to bring attention to their cause.
"You're not working...your rights and finances are being destroyed...so it's time to PROTEST! We do NOT consent! OPEN Arizona! [sic]" read the description on the event page.
Organizers of the event did urge people to remain in their vehicles during the protest.
Similar protests in other states
Other states have seen similar protests. According to FOX 10 sister station WJBK-TV in Detroit, a conservative group upset with Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer's Stay Home order gathered at the state's capital, Lansing, on Wednesday. The protest was also called "Operation Deadlock."
Meanwhile, FOX 10 sister station KMSP-TV in Minneapolis also reported that several hundred protesters gathered at the home of Minnesota Governor Tim Walz's home on Friday, calling for the state to reopen.
Trump signals support for some protests
On Friday, President Donald Trump, urged his supporters to “LIBERATE” three states led by Democratic governors Friday, in effect encouraging protests against the stay-at-home restrictions.
“LIBERATE MINNESOTA!” “LIBERATE MICHIGAN!” “LIBERATE VIRGINIA,” Trump said in a tweet-storm in which also lashed out at New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo for complaining about the federal response. Cuomo “should spend more time 'doing' and less time 'complaining,'” he said, adding: "Less talk and more action!"
On Thursday, Trump detailed a three-step set of guidelines for methodically easing the restrictions over a span of several weeks in places that have robust testing and are seeing a decrease in COVID-19 cases, assuring the nation's governors: “You’re going to call your own shots."
Local officials react to reopening guidelines
Gov. Ducey has touched on the issue of reopening the state, during a news conference.
In tweets Gov. Ducey made on Monday to his Twitter page, he said he wants to get the economy moving and people back to work when it is safe and healthy for people to do so.
"Slowing the spread of #COVID19 remains our number one focus," Gov. Ducey tweeted.
On Friday, Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego issued a statement on plans to reopen the economy, acknowledging a "strong" pull to reopening the economy in a post-COVID world.
"However, any restart needs to be led by the advice of medical professionals. Restarting the economy too soon is perhaps more disastrous than waiting—it is not a switch to be turned on and off," the mayor wrote. "Currently, Arizona is not meeting the criteria to proceed with a May 1 reopening."
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