Trump encourages protests against safety measures most people want


A new NBC News/Wall Street Journal survey found a majority of respondents are worried stay-at-home measures will be lifted too soon.

Nearly 60% of registered voters worry that stay-at-home measures to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus will be lifted too soon, according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released on Monday.

The poll comes as supporters of Donald Trump and right-wing causes have ignored social distancing measures to hold protests in multiple states demanding the measures be lifted.

But those protesters are in the minority.

The NBC News/WSJ survey found 58% of those polled worry that social distancing measures will be lifted too soon. Meanwhile, just 32% believe the United States will "take too long" to loosen those measures and reopen the economy.

Trump has egged on those protests.

On Friday, Trump posted a series of tweets encouraging opposition to social distancing efforts: "LIBERATE MICHIGAN!" "LIBERATE MINNESOTA!" and "LIBERATE VIRGINIA, and save your great 2nd Amendment. It is under siege!"

Republicans in those states — which are all governed by Democrats — are calling for the social distancing measures to be lifted.

In Denver, Colorado, health care workers stood in the street on Sunday in opposition to the demonstrators.

At a briefing on Sunday, Trump refused to condemn the protests, which violate the Trump administration's own guidelines on avoiding gatherings of more than 10 people to slow the spread of the virus.

"You’re allowed to protest. I mean, they — they feel that way," Trump said. "I watched a protest and they were all six feet apart. I mean, it was a very orderly group of people."

Trump's comment is false.

For example, the protesters in Michigan — many wearing Trump paraphernalia — were clustered close together as they demonstrated against the stay-at-home measures instituted by Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

Whitmer appeared on ABC's "Good Morning America" and said that the protests are not changing her mind about implementing the social distancing guidelines.

"It’s better to be six feet apart right now than six feet under," Whitmer told George Stephanopoulos.

Other Democratic governors are also defending their actions amid the protests. An organizer of a protest against measures implemented by New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy was arrested for organizing a "prohibited event" that violates the social distancing guidelines, according to the Trentonian.

More protests are being planned in states across the country.

Facebook is removing anti-quarantine protest event listings from its platform for violating stay-at-home orders.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.