Armed protesters demand end to Covid-19 curbs in US state


US President Donald Trump holds up a presidential proclamation declaring a “Older Americans Month 2020” during an event about senior citizens and the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in the East Room at the White House in Washington.(REUTERS)


Hundred of protestors, some of them armed with guns, swarmed Michigan state’s assembly building in Lansing Thursday demanding removal of stay-at-home Covid-19 restrictions.

Michigan is among the hardest hit by the virus with more than 3,700 fatalities till Thursday, and upwards of 41,000 infections.

The state’s Democratic governor Gretchen Whitmer has been under pressure from protestors, mostly conservatives, to lift the restrictions. President Donald Trump has publicly backed the protestors weighed in again Friday asking her in a tweet to “give a little, and put out the fire”.

She extended the restrictions to May 15, after the Republican-controlled legislature refused.

Arms are allowed in the Michigan statehouse. Some legislators wore bulletproof vests to the floor fo the House.

An increasing number of states are reopening and have allowed selected businesses to resume operation with strict social-distancing guidelines as the number of news cases have continued to drop countrywide.

Daily fatalities have dropped significantly, for instance, from the peak of over 4,000 around April 16. On Friday, the toll went up more than 63,019 with 2,029 death in the last 24 hours and the number of infections was up by 29,515 to 1.07 million.

Signalling further continuing improvement in the situation, President Trump will leave the White House for the time since late March. He is scheduled to leave for Camp David – the presidential retreat in the adjoining state of Maryland.

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