Leading infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci is urging caution about lifting coronavirus stay-at-home orders following a recent string of anti-lockdown protests across the country. "There's no doubt in my mind, when you pull back mitigation, you are going to see cases — another peak, another spike," Fauci said on CNN. "And you're going to have to turn the clock back."
His warning came amid re-open demonstrations in states around the U.S., including one in Michigan where protesters, many armed with semi-automatic weapons, overran the Capitol building.
"My colleagues who own bullet proof vests are wearing them," tweeted one representative. "I'm not embarrassed to say — I was afraid."
The president tweeted in support of the protesters, saying, "These are very good people, but they are angry. They want their lives back again... See them, talk to them, make a deal."
Governor Gretchen Whitmer is standing her ground.
"The worst thing we could do is to abandon all social distancing to pretend we are done with COVID-19 and resume life as it was," Whitmer said.
Maine's governor Janet Mills has also been under fire for keeping her state under lockdown, and an angry restaurant owner gave out her private cell phone number on Fox News.
Other "reopen" protests have occurred in North Carolina, Colorado, Arizona and others as the unemployment rate reaches 18% — a level not seen since the Great Depression.
Some states have started lifting stay-at-home orders in an attempt to ease the economic hardship, while others are remaining steadfast in their commitment to prevent a resurgence of new cases.