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A Maryland man who protested against the state’s stay-at-home order demanded Sunday that the governor “come clean” about his coronavirus strategy.
“We want the governor to come clean with us,” Dan Mead, who protested Saturday in Annapolis, said on “Fox & Friends Weekend.” “We want the state back open. I work for a construction company. We do testing. You can get back to work, and you can do it safely.”
Gov. Larry Hogan “supposedly has a plan; however, he doesn’t give us his plan,” Mead said.
“We’re adults,” he added. “We need to know when the businesses are opening. People are hurting. Businesses are going to fail.”
Protesters in cars circled the State House in Annapolis on Saturday, furiously honking their horns.
“We have freedom in the United States. We have liberty, and it’s our liberty to protest,” said Mead, who served in the military. “It is our freedom to protest. We did it safely, and we did it effectively.”
Maryland was one of many states where protests were held Saturday, including Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Texas and Wisconsin. Governors in some of those states have started to roll back stay-at-home restrictions.
Protesters have carried signs declaring that their jobs are “essential for them,” as well as slogans invoking constitutional rights. Many people waved American flags and sported President Trump 2020 campaign paraphernalia.
The protests and rallies have gained momentum across the country as unemployment continues to soar.
More than 22 million people filed for unemployment over the past month since stay-at-home orders have forced most businesses to close in an attempt to stop the spread of coronavirus. Only essential businesses have remained open.
During a news briefing Saturday, Trump supported the protesters. “There are a lot of protests out there, and I just think that some of the governors have gotten carried away,” he said. “We have a lot of people that don’t have to be told to do what they’re doing. They’ve been really doing everything we’ve asked.”
In Ohio, protesters on Saturday called for Republican Gov. Mike DeWine to resign. DeWine extended the state’s stay-at-home order until May 1, but recently reiterated his desire to reopen the state after the order expires.
“Ohioans have done a great job, a phenomenal job, fighting back, staying home, ensuring physical distancing. We’ve been doing all the things that needed to be done. I’ve never been prouder to be an Ohioan, and I’m very grateful for what you have done. You have flattened the curve,” DeWine said in a statement this week.
The protesters demand an immediate repeal of the order so they can return to work.
Speaking on “Fox & Friends” on Sunday, Melissa Ackison, a conservative Ohio state Senate candidate who protested the day before, said she participated because “I happen to value my constitutional freedoms and those who fought and died to build the framework of the republic that we are watching crumble right before our eyes.”
As a small business owner, she said she understands the consequences of the current situation.
“I understand quite differently than the governor, who has no business background, no private sector background, the implications of shutting business down,” she said. “I can’t tell you how many people have been in my living room, calling me on the phone. We have businesses, generational businesses, that will never open again, and this is a testament to the president coming in, with a plan for the governors because they’re completely inept to be able to operate in a business-like acumen.”
Critics have pointed out that reopening the country too soon could easily result in a second spike of the virus, negating the progress made over the past month. Most governors, particularly Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York, refuse to consider reopening their state until consistent, widescale testing is available.
“It will be very, very difficult to recover from this,” Ackison said.
She added that the state’s “unemployment systems are overburdened to the fact that they spend hours and hours on the phone.”
“I have grown men in my living room crying trying to figure out how they’re going to go grocery shopping for their families,” she added.
Ackison acknowledged that it’s appropriate for those with compromised immune systems to shelter in place, but said “the rest of us” should be able to “get back to work to take care of our families.”
Fox News’ Peter Aitken contributed to this report.
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