Hundreds of vehicles streamed into downtown Annapolis, Maryland, near the statehouse Saturday, many waving American and Trump flags with signs, honking as traffic moved at a crawl in protest of statewide closures meant to flatten the curve of COVID-19 cases.
More than 1,700 people have signed an online petition for Saturday’s event, organized by the group Reopen Maryland.
Hundreds take over downtown Annapolis for #ReopenMaryland protest from their vehicles. Many demanding @GovLarryHogan allow businesses, schools and churches to open their doors @WTOP pic.twitter.com/k7leHl3vk9
— Melissa Howell (@Mhowell003) April 18, 2020
Robert Vitek was among the protesters and said the shutdown is an infringement on his rights.
“Governor Hogan’s draconian restrictions on our ability to leave our houses — he has no authority to do such a thing,” Vitek said. “It’s not like it’s the Bubonic plague or Ebola.”
Organizers are urging the governor to reopen businesses, churches and schools, stressing that there are other ways to safely social distance without shutting down the economy.
Schools are expected to remain closed through May 15.
Cases continue to rise in Maryland, with 736 new cases reported as of Saturday morning, bringing the state’s total to 12,308. So far, 463 patients have died from complications related to COVID-19 in the state.
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