Protesters return to MI capitol as emergency decree winds down

Friday, 01 May, 2020

In addition to protestors outside the legislature, Michigan Sen.

Matt Schmucker, photographer for Michigan State's State News, captured protesters who'd gathered to call for "freedom" from Whitmer's stay-at-home order moving inside the capitol building.

Last week, Whitmer announced an extension of the state's stay-at-home order through May 15. However, it could affect her emergency powers going forward.

"Directly above me, men with rifles yelling at us", Michigan State Senator Dayna Polehanki wrote on Twitter, sharing a photo of the demonstrators. "I have never appreciated our Sergeants-at-Arms more than today".

According to the state, 8,342 have recovered from the virus.

'No one should be surprised that the governor would open a lower-risk field like she has said at previous press conferences, ' the spokesperson said.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced on Wednesday an initiative to help MI workers and their families during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The state is also reporting 103 new deaths.

State officials say there are 40,399 cases of COVID-19 in the state of MI with 3,670 deaths.

Whitmer has come under attack from protesters who argue that her COVID-19 precautions are too strict and are costing them their livelihoods.

Court of Claims Judge Christopher M. Murray ruled said Steve Martinko and other plaintiffs' claims that the order infringed on their constitutional rights were not strong due to the severity of the pandemic. "It would be devastating for the health of our people and our economy", Whitmer said. "People want to spend time with their families, friends, and loved ones".

As the protests moved indoors from the rainy steps of the Capitol, police took the temperatures of those entering the building using a forehead thermometer, according to WOOD-TV, an NBC affiliate in Grand Rapids. Rally members drove their cars around the perimeter honking their horns.

Michigan, which Trump narrowly won in 2016, is considered a crucial swing state in the November presidential election and the state's COVID-19 infections rank among the highest in the country.