Defiant healthcare workers clash with anti-lockdown protesters in Colorado


Healthcare workers clashed with anti lockdown protesters in Colorado on Sunday, defiantly standing in front of the cars of demonstrators who flocked to the state Capitol in their hundreds to urge Gov. Jared Polis to lift COVID-19-induced stay-at-home orders.

Protests against state lockdowns implemented to combat the novel coronavirus outbreak continued nationwide this afternoon, as a fervent disdain for the restrictions that have shut down much of the country’s economy continues to slowly spread across the US.

Titled ‘Operation Gridlock’, the day’s largest demonstration took place in Denver, where 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 called Gov. Polis a tyrant and insisted the ongoing economic cost of the shutdown was no longer worth the few lives it would save. But the protesters’ efforts weren’t met without resistance. 

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.

 

You shall not pass: A group of healthcare workers stood in the street to counter-protest the calls for re-opening, silently obstructing cars as they drove down towards the Capitol, dressed in scrubs and facemasks

Photographs captured 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

Photographs captured 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

The nurse refuses to move despite the protester attempting to engage in a verbal altercation with him

The nurse refuses to move despite the protester attempting to engage in a verbal altercation with him

One incensed protester stepped out from his SUV to confront a male healthcare worker

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

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

The immovable force: cars are forced to drive around the counter-protester who refused to move out of the road

The immovable force: cars are forced to drive around the counter-protester who refused to move out of the road

Demonstrators flocked to the state Capitol in their hundreds to urge Gov. Jared Polis to lift COVID-19-induced stay-at-home orders

Protesters walk the sidewalk in front of the State Capitol and wave placards during a protest against the stay-at-home order issued by Colorado Gov. Jared Polis

Traffic backs up along Lincoln Avenue at 14th Street as protesters in cars augment the demonstration with a cacophony of honks and chants, from a distance

Traffic backs up along Lincoln Avenue at 14th Street as protesters in cars augment the demonstration with a cacophony of honks and chants, from a distance

Photographs captured 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.

PRESIDENT TRUMP PRAISES PROTESTERS

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.’ 

The president rejected the assertion 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,’ Trump said. ‘These people love our country. They want to get back to work.’ 

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’

For those who made it through the blockade, the vast majority of those outside the Capitol were not wearing masks or gloves, stood in large groups just inches apart, and some even brought their children along for the occasion.

Many protesters wore hats and t-shirts in support of President Trump. 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 told the Denver Post. Death is a part of life and it’s time to start living again.’

Another protester, Jim Fenimore, told the outlet he decided to attend because he believes 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

A proteset rides his horse to join in a car protest against the stay-at-home order

One man even rode a horse up and down the street, with an American flag draped over his shoulder

For those who made it through the blockade, the vast majority of those outside the Capitol were not wearing masks or gloves, stood in large groups just inches apart, and some even brought their children along for the occasion

For those who made it through the blockade, the vast majority of those outside the Capitol were not wearing masks or gloves, stood in large groups just inches apart, and some even brought their children along for the occasion

Many protesters wore hats and t-shirts in support of President Trump

Many protesters wore hats and t-shirts in support of President Trump

Free Colorado: A passenger waves a placard out of a convertible with its top down during a car protest against the stay-at-home order

Free Colorado: passengers waves a placards and flags out of convertible cars during a car protest against the stay-at-home order

Free Colorado: passengers waves a placards and flags out of  convertible cars  during a car protest against the stay-at-home order

Gov. Polis acknowledged last week that the current level of social distancing and other restrictions is not sustainable for the long term, but said any reopening would need to happen gradually, with some precautions in place for several months

Gov. Polis acknowledged last week that the current level of social distancing and other restrictions is not sustainable for the long term, but said any reopening would need to happen gradually, with some precautions in place for several months

As of Sunday evening, Colorado has 9,433 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 411 recorded deaths

As of Sunday evening, Colorado has 9,433 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 411 recorded deaths

Fenimore demanded Colorado lift its stay-at-home order ‘before the scheduled 26 reopening’. Denver’s order is actually set to lift on April 30.

‘Every day that goes by is hurting the state,’ he said. ‘I don’t want anyone to see anyone die, but there are far more deaths for other reasons.’

As of Sunday evening, Colorado has 9,433 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 411 recorded deaths. The pandemic and stay-at-home orders have wreaked havoc on the state’s economy with more than 232,000 people filing or unemployment in the last four weeks.

Gov. Polis acknowledged last week that the current level of social distancing and other restrictions is not sustainable for the long term, but said any reopening would need to happen gradually, with some precautions in place for several months.

A spokesperson from Polis’ office said the governor respects citizens’ right to protest but that ‘those participating are only endangering themselves.’

Other similar demonstrations were held in Tennessee, Oregon, Illinois, California, Montana and Washington State earlier today.

Though the each of the protests were relatively small in size, they signify a growing sentiment among aggrieved workers across the US that the country must resume its economic activity sooner rather than later – albeit with measures in place to prevent a ‘second wave’ of coronavirus infections.

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.’   

The president rejected the assertion 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,’ Trump said. ‘These people love our country. They want to get back to work.’ 

The reporter then pointed out that some protesters had waved Nazi flags. 

The president said he was, clearly, against that from happening. 

Other similar demonstrations were held in Tennessee, Oregon, Illinois, California, Montana and Washington State (above) earlier today

Other similar demonstrations were held in Tennessee, Oregon, Illinois, California, Montana and Washington State (above) earlier today

Demonstrators crowd together at a protest opposing Washington state's stay-home order to slow the coronavirus outbreak Sunday

Demonstrators crowd together at a protest opposing Washington state’s stay-home order to slow the coronavirus outbreak Sunday

Justin Bailey, of Tacoma, Wash., holds an assault rifle and a flag as he protests in Washington

Justin Bailey, of Tacoma, Wash., holds an assault rifle and a flag as he protests in Washington

Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death: Though the each of the protests were relatively small in size, they signify a growing sentiment among aggrieved workers across the US that the country must resume its economic activity sooner rather than later

Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death: Though the each of the protests were relatively small in size, they signify a growing sentiment among aggrieved workers across the US that the country must resume its economic activity sooner rather than later

Beranese Nel, left, disregards social distancing guidelines to have her photo taken with Justin Young, holding an assault rifle, at a protest in Olympia, Washington

Beranese Nel, left, disregards social distancing guidelines to have her photo taken with Justin Young, holding an assault rifle, at a protest in Olympia, Washington

A man wearing a cutout mask gathered with hundreds of others at a 'Hazardous Liberty! Defend the Constitution!' rally in Olympia, WA

A man wearing a cutout mask gathered with hundreds of others at a ‘Hazardous Liberty! Defend the Constitution!’ rally in Olympia, WA

Flatten the Fear: Waving flags and holding signs, Freedom Rally participants voice their opinions to passing traffic on the Market Street Bridge in Chattanooga, Tenn

Flatten the Fear: Waving flags and holding signs, Freedom Rally participants voice their opinions to passing traffic on the Market Street Bridge in Chattanooga, Tenn

Heath experts and state governors across the country have continuously countered the cries for immediate reopenings, insisting that any premature return to normalcy would be disastrous, inevitably leading to soaring new numbers of infections and a subsequent sharp increase in deaths.

President Donald Trump has signaled support for the protests though. After a public fall-out with several governors over his wrongful claims to have ‘absolute power’ to reopen the US economy earlier this week, Trump encouraged demonstrators in Michigan, Virginia, Minnesota, to ‘liberate’ their states, claiming their Second Amendment was ‘under siege’.

The US is the epicenter of the COVID-19 crisis, with 759,204 recorded and 40,276 deaths. Despite the ominous statistics, President Trump cited ‘positive signs’ in the fight against the pandemic on Saturday, believing the worst is now over.

‘We continue to see a lot of positive signs that the virus has passed its peak,’ the President said, just days after the White House issued guidelines for the gradual reopening of the country.

After a week in what Trump described as an indicator that the worst of the crisis is behind us, the president says he will now shift his focus to kickstarting an economic recovery after four-weeks of lockdowns.

Trump said that Texas and Vermont will allow some business to re-open next week, with strict social distancing measures still being enforced.

Residents in Florida and other states returned to the beach Saturday despite an increase in COVID-19 deaths and infections. Meanwhile, three Northeastern states reopened boatyards and marinas for personal use only.

Give Me Liberty or Give Me COVID-19: The US is the epicenter of the COVID-19 crisis, with 759,204 recorded and 40,276 deaths

Give Me Liberty or Give Me COVID-19: The US is the epicenter of the COVID-19 crisis, with 759,204 recorded and 40,276 deaths

After a week in what Trump described as an indicator that the worst of the crisis is behind us, the president says he will now shift his focus to kickstarting an economic recovery after four-weeks of lockdowns.

After a week in what Trump described as an indicator that the worst of the crisis is behind us, the president says he will now shift his focus to kickstarting an economic recovery after four-weeks of lockdowns.

Protesters in Indianapolis called the coronavirus outbreak a 'Fake Crisis' and said 'Fauci was wrong'

Protesters in Indianapolis called the coronavirus outbreak a ‘Fake Crisis’ and said ‘Fauci was wrong’

My Freedom Doesn't End Where Your Fears Begin: Kristen Holland holds a sign during a Freedom rally on the Market Street Bridge in Chattanooga, Tennessee

My Freedom Doesn’t End Where Your Fears Begin: Kristen Holland holds a sign during a Freedom rally on the Market Street Bridge in Chattanooga, Tennessee

Residents protest stay-at-home orders involving the closing of beaches and walking paths in Encinitas, California

Residents protest stay-at-home orders involving the closing of beaches and walking paths in Encinitas, California

Other states are expected to gradually ease lockdown restrictions while other states, such as New York, have issued no indication that measures will be relaxed any time soon.

Nationwide, food banks are reportedly struggling to meet increased demand from out-of-work Americans, while school systems are largely shuttered, with home schooling plans in place.

The rollout of CARES Act stimulus checks has provided some temporary relief, but there are still reports of an unemployment system that is overwhelmed by new applications, resulting in workers being unable to register.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk