Healthcare workers took to the streets Wednesday to counter-demonstrate against anti-lockdown protesters across the US, reminding the social distancing rebels of the fatal implications their actions could pose to the lives of front-line workers.
Protesters across the country in Virginia, California, New York, Colorado, Arizona and Vermont defied lockdown orders and protested in the streets, demanding governors lift lockdown orders as a restlessness among the country grows.
In Richmond demonstrators gathered in cars for a drive-in protest while some more raucous mavericks gathered on foot outside Capitol Square to decry Governor Ralph Northam’s stay-at-home orders, which are slated to last through June 10.
But among the relentless din of cries to re-open the economy, stood silently on the side of the procession was Dr. Erich Bruhn and his wife Kristen, a former nurse.
Dressed in white lab coats and wearing face masks, the couple held placards in front of them, bluntly telling the restless crowd ‘You have no right to put us at risk. Go Home!’
In Arizona, nurse Lauren Leander stood up to protesters who were calling for an end to the lockdown
Healthcare workers took to the streets Wednesday to counter-demonstrate against a lockdown protest in Virginia, reminding the social distancing rebels of the fatal implications their actions could pose to the lives of front-line workers
Among the relentless din of cries to re-open the economy, stood silently on the side of the procession was Dr. Erich Bruhn and his wife Kristen, a former nurse
Dressed in their white coats and wearing face masks, the couple held placards in front of them, bluntly telling the restless crowd ‘You have no right to put us at risk. Go Home!’
The Bruhn’s were accosted and heckled by a number of protesters as they made their way past the couple en-route to Capitol Square
Kristen, meanwhile clutched a sign reading ‘Sign up here to DIE for the economy’, an ironic jibe at the crowd’s willingness to enlist in a protest amid a global pandemic, while healthcare workers are given no such choice.
‘The truth is far more people disagree with opening the country but they’re not coming out to protest because they are at home doing the right thing,’ Dr. Bruhn told NBC 29.
The veteran surgeon went on to reiterate that quite simply ‘more people will die’ if Gov. Northam concedes to the mob’s demands of a premature reopening, and inevitably among the dead would be more doctors and nurses.
When pressed by ABC 13 whether more rural areas should be reopened where the coronavirus infections and death curve has been decreasing significantly, Dr. Bruhn said: ‘Some of those areas, yes. If they had the proper testing and surveillance and everything in place, yeah. But I don’t think there’s a one size fits all solution.
‘But in the places where the virus is getting worse – hotspots, definitely not.’
The Bruhn’s were accosted and heckled by a number of protesters as they made their way past the couple en-route to Capital Square.
However, they weren’t alone in their counter-protesting efforts. In Arizona, nurse Lauren Leander stood resolutely along side a number of her colleagues, dressed in face masks and scrubs, with their arms crossed as lockdown protesters taunted and waived flags in their faces.
‘This was for all my health care workers. I see you. This was for all my patients. I am here as you. This was for the entire country. Help us help you,’ Leander wrote in a social media post, highlighting the photograph.
Attempting to respect social distancing protocol, Dr. Bruhn steps away from one advancing protester who took a dislikening to the surgeon’s message
‘The truth is far more people disagree with opening the country but they’re not coming out to protest because they are at home doing the right thing,’ Dr. Bruhn told NBC 29
They weren’t alone in their counter-protesting efforts. One man, dressed in black and a surgical facemask, stood in front of the cars of drive-by protesters in St. Louis, telling them that ‘No economy is worth more than a life’
Leander (pictured above) wrote on social media: ‘This was for all my health care workers. I see you. This was for all my patients. I am here as you. This was for the entire country. Help us help you’
Leander stood resolutely along side a number of her colleagues, dressed in face masks and scrubs, with their arms crossed as lockdown protesters taunted and waived flags in their faces
A Protester attending a rally at the Capitol to ‘re-open’ Arizona against the governor’s stay-at-home order due to the coronavirus argues with a caregiver
A healthcare worker points to a protester to keep a safe social distance in Arizona
Several tributes to Leander and her colleagues flooded onto social media shortly afterwards.
Among them was one from Zahid Seed, a friend and college of Leander where she works at Banner University Medical Center in Phoenix.
‘Today she stood up for healthcare workers as protesters descended upon the State Capitol. She stood in silence as people called her a “fake nurse” & “paid actor” amongst other horrendous things.
‘Ironically, she has spent many days in the Covid ICU caring for our sickest patients. She stood for those who are on life support and have no voice of their own. She stood for the 42,604 Americans who have died so far.
‘When they inevitably contract Covid-19 and transmit it to their loved ones, Lauren will be one of the first faces they will see when they are admitted to the ICU,’ Seed continued. ‘She may also be one of the last faces that they ever see.’
A counter-protester wears a Trump/Pence Out Now sticker over her face mask as demonstrators outside City Hall call on officials to re-open the economy in LA
Caregivers stand in front of protesters at the main entrance to the Arizona Capitol
A counter-demonstrating caregiver gets a thumbs up from a protester driving in support of a rally at the state Capitol
Protesters rally at the Capitol to ‘re-open’ Arizona against the governor’s stay-at-home order
Anti-lockdown demonstrations were held across the US on Wednesday in Arizona (above), California, New York and Vermont, with thousands defying stay-at-home orders to demand governors reopen their state’s economies as a restlessness grows across the country.
Open Arizona Now: The scenes in Arizona typify the growing restlessness brewing across the US, as stay-at-home orders in some state entered their sixth week
Protesters carry automatic assault rifles as they march towards Arizona’s state Captiol on Wednesday
Protesters drive by in support of a rally with signs urging Gov. Doug Ducey to ‘End the Shutdown’ and ‘Stop Destroying AZ’
A car with a placard that says’ Shutdowns Kill Too! Make America Brave Again’ seen during the protests in New York state
Similar anti-lockdown demonstrations were held across the US on Wednesday in California, New York and Vermont, with thousands defying stay-at-home orders to demand governors reopen their state’s economies as a restlessness grows across the country.
As of Wednesday evening, the US had 837,633 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 46,720 deaths.
In Los Angeles a demonstration dubbed ‘Operation Gridlock LA’ unfolded where honking cars waving American flags gathered outside City Hall.
In Vermont demonstrators braved the snow outside the Statehouse in Montpelier to rally for the end of the state lockdown. A group of nurses counter-protested against their demands, wearing their scrubs and facemasks.
In Albany, New York protesters gathered in front of the State Capitol building on Wednesday afternoon in a protest organized by the group ReOpen New York State.
Dictator Cuomo Give Us Out Lives Back: A woman holds a sign expressing her displeasure with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo at a rally in Albany, New York
Fear the Government not COVID-19: More New York protesters question Andrew Cuomo’s leadership in Albany on Wednesday
One New York Trump supporter accuses Gov. Cuomo of being a communist for implementing strict stay-at-home orders amid the coronavirus pandemic
A young boy holds a sign up calling for the World Health Organisation, Bill Gates, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and for Dr. Anthony Fauci to be investigated in New York
A protester wearing a face mask holds a placard asking Governor Andrew Cuomo to let people go during the Albany demonstration
‘Stop ruining my senior year’, cried one protester, while another called for the government to ‘stop the fear’ by ending the lockdown
One coronavirus protester even parodied a famous chant from the #MeToo Women’s rallies, writing ‘My Body. My Choice: I Choose to work’, as they drove past the Albany rally
People were seen holding signs that said ‘Tell Old Cuomo Let My People Go’ and ‘My Small Business Is Essential’.
Lines of cars honked as a large group of dissidents banded together waving Trump flags, American flags as they ignored social distancing measures.
People from across the state attended the event, including Westchester and Long Island, most of them noticeably not wearing masks as the governor mandated.
Meanwhile in Richmond, prostesters waved American flags, some dressed in army garb, holding signs saying ‘Liberate Virginia’ and ‘Feeding my Family is Essential’ in the protest organized by conservative group ReOpen Virginia.
‘If we don’t come together now to get this economy back open and running and healthy, we could very well not have an economy at all when we decide to do it,’ David Britt, organizer of the Reopen Virginia rally, said NBC10.
The protesters gathered an hour before Virginia lawmakers flocked to the capitol for one-day legislative session to review amendments from Governor Northam on 1,291 pieces of legislation including budget amendments.
It was a surprise session in light of the pandemic and the first such meeting in the state’s 400-year history.
House Delegates met under a canopy outside the Capitol while the Senate met at a giant event space at the Virginia Science Museum 2.5 miles away – and all will stand 10 feet apart at individual workstations to speak and vote. The lawmakers were asked to wear masks and avoid wearing germ-carrying ties.
In California an anti-lockdown protester displayed a placard reading ‘Forced Vaccination is Illegal’ as she drove past a march in Los Angeles
Protesters cruise around Los Angeles City Hall in a motorcade demanding the “Stay at Home” order to be lifted
‘Trust God, not Vaccines’ one protester in the motorcade emblazoned on the side of their car
A protestor wearing a US flag mask says ‘every job is essential’ and orders for the immediate reopening of Los Angeles
Protesters have descended upon Virginia’s capital in defiance of strict lockdown orders to demand Governor Ralph Northam reopen the economy as legislators gathered to discuss how to handle the coronavirus crisis. Participants of Wednesday’s gridlock rally pictured above holding signs that say ‘All businesses are essential’ and ‘the penalty for treason is death’
California: Protesters defied the shutdown in a drive-in demonstration around Los Angeles on Wednesday waving signs that said ‘Open Cali Now’
New York: In Albany New York participants took part in a Operation Grid-Lock to Re-Open New York protest against lockdown measures. Two participants pictured carrying signs that say ‘Freedom of Speech’ and ‘Trump to Fauci – You’re Fired’
Vermont: Protesters braved the cold and snow in Montpelier on Wednesday to protest the state’s lockdown order
Virginia: People were seen dressed as traffic cones and clutching signs that said: ‘Liberate Virginia from Ralph the Runaway Tyrant’
Virginia: In the drive-in protests locals protested while practicing social distancing from the cars, where they waved American flags
Counter protesters in Virginia: Dr. Erich Bruhn and his wife, former nurse Kristin Bruhn, defended the lockdown and protested against Wednesday’s demonstration dressed in their white coats and masks with signs that said ‘You have no right to put us all at risk. Go home!’
Virginia: Long lines of cars were seen blocking trafficking in multiple directions surrounding the Virginia State Capitol
Virginia: Protesters honked in their cars, waved flags, and carried signs as they participated in Wednesday’s drive-in protest
A protester in Virginia carrying a banner that mixed the American and Confederate flag pictured above
The last time the Virginia’s General Assembly was together they vote on a budget on March 12.
On Wednesday, they voted on a plan by Gov. Northam to suspend all new spending in the state’s new two-year budget. His administration expects at least a $1billion shortfall per year, according to NPR.
Capitol Square itself was closed to the public due to the meeting and protesters were seen rallying outside its gates.
Capitol and Virginia State Police were on site to monitor the protesters and urged them to maintain social distancing at Wednesday’s gathering. No arrests so far have been made.
Protesters are demanding that the lockdown order be lifted and businesses open again to get Americans back to work, despite the threat of COVID-19 as there are 9,661 cases of the virus in the state and 327 deaths.
Heavy traffic was reported as the protesters in cars created a gridlock in front of Capitol Square.
Democratic Governor Ralph Northam has issued a stay-at-home order until June 10th, which has sparked outrage among his constituents
Delegate Ken Plum wears a small Virginia state flag as a mask during the veto session at the Virginia State Capitol in Richmond, Virginia on Wednesday as lawmakers gathered to review amendments from Governor Northam on 1,291 pieces of legislation including budget amendments
Virginia: House of Delegates Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn gavels the historic veto session to order in a tent outside the Virginia State Capitol in Richmond on Wednesday
Virginia: Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, rear, presides over the reconvene session at the Science Museum of Virginia on Wednesday
Virginia: Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax gavels the reconvene session to order at the Science Museum of Virginia on Wednesday
Virginia: State Senator Thomas Norment, top center, gathers his caucus in a caucus tent as they prepare for the reconvene session at the Science Museum of Virginia Wednesday. The lawmakers were seen practicing social distancing as they worked together
Virginia: Senate Clerk Susan Schaar, ties a mask on Virginia State Senator Thomas Norment as they prepare for the reconvene session at the Science Museum of Virginia Wednesday
There were a few counter protesters at the scene who discouraged the demonstration and stressed the grave danger the coronavirus poses for the public.
Wednesday protest follows last week’s ‘Reopen Virginia’ protest organized by Virginians Against Excessive Quarantine, ReOpen Virginia and End the Lockdown VA.
Dissenters were seen demanding Northam ease restrictions on businesses and church closures.
The sounds of honking horns reverberated through downtown Richmond, as lawmakers went through governor amendments to bills, changes that were incurred by the pandemic.
California: Protesters took to the streets of Los Angeles on Wednesday to demand the government reopen the state
California: Demonstrators pictured in American flag-themed clothing at a protest outside Los Angeles’ City Hall building demanding the government reopen the economy despite the coronavirus outbreak
California: One woman held a sign that said: ‘The founders trusted us to protect ourselves — why not LA?’
California: Cops were on hand wearing face masks during Los Angeles’ drive in protest on Wednesday outside City Hall
California: One driver held a cardboard sign that said: ‘Stop the Lockdown’ during the caravan protest Wednesday
California: In Los Angeles there are over 15,000 cases of COVID-19 and over 600 deaths
In Wednesday’s session the House of Delegates and the state Senate voted to back Gov. Northam’s proposed delay in the state’s minimum wage increase until May 2021.
He had proposed to push back the increase of the $7.25 minimum wage to $9.50 by four months due to the impact of the coronavirus crisis in the state.
Other amendments that Northam proposed that were voted on included giving renters an extra 60-day eviction grace period, ensure landlords can’t incur late fees, protections for homeowners, short-term grants to small businesses, postpone local elections schedule for May to November, and increase funding for nursing homes and long-term care facilities.
In the Los Angeles protest about two dozens cars surrounded City Hall around noon, idling and blaring their horns as some protesters decked out in star and striped themed apparel took to the street with signs.
In Vermont the anti-shutdown protest was much smaller with just a handful of people participating outside the Montpelier statehouse.
A group of four defiant nurses stood in front of the statehouse to defend lockdown orders and praise medics across the country serving in the front lines of the pandemic. One nurse held a sign that said: ‘Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.’
New York: Furious protesters descended upon Albany on Wednesday. One woman held a sign that said: ‘Dictator Cuomo Give Our Lives Back’
New York: A man holds up signs as demonstrators take part in Operation Grid-Lock to Re-Open New York at the State Capitol in Albany on Wednesday. Lines of cars were seen participating in the protest while some rebels took to the streets on foot
New York: Protesters pictured gathered around a truck decked out with the Trump 2020 logo and waving Trump flags on Wednesday
New York: ‘Our rights are essential’: A protesters pictured wearing a gas mask as he participated in Wednesday’s protest outside New York’s Capitol building in Albany
New York: Demonstrators blocked traffic on Wednesday bearing signs that said ‘Fear the Gov’t Not Covid-19’
New York: A protester pictured carrying a sign that says ‘Free Upstate NY’
New York: These two men held signs that said: ‘Tell Old Cuomo Let My People Go’ and ‘My Small Business Is Essential’
New York: This young woman held a sign that said ‘Stop Ruining My Senior Year’
Vermont: Nurses from the Central Vermont Medical Center stood on the Statehouse lawn on Wednesday in Montpelier to counter a protest by a small group of people in defiance of stay-at-home orders
Vermont: H. Brooke Paige stands outside of the Vermont Statehouse in Montpelier Wednesday waving an American flag in his protest
Vermont: Sarah Toscano, of Hinesburg, stands outside of the Vermont Statehouse on Wednesday during a protest in Montpelier rallying for the state to lift lockdown orders