As the majority of states have issued orders for residents to stay at home as health care workers and government officials struggle to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus pandemic, right wing groups have held protests of the measures in several cities.
According to conservative economist Stephen Moore, those protestors are just like Rosa Parks.
“I think there’s a boiling point that has been reached and exceeded,” Moore told The Washington Post. “I call these people the modern-day Rosa Parks — they are protesting against injustice and a loss of liberties.”
Rosa Parks, deemed “the first lady of civil rights,” was a civil rights leader pivotal in Montgomery bus boycott, which sought to end the unlawful segregation of black and white Americans.
Parks, in 1955, famously refused to give up her seat in a “coloreds only” section of a public bus to a white man after the “whites only” section was filled. She was arrested and charged with a violation of Chapter 6, Section 11 segregation law of the Montgomery City code, however, Parks had not taken a white-only seat.
Moore, according to the Post, serves on the White House council to reopen the country, as well as on a coalition of conservative leaders and activists pushing state governments to ease stay-at-home orders.
Such orders are meant to promote social distancing and protect individuals from spreading and contracting COVID-19. Opponents of the measures have argued that they’re not worth the severe economic fallout — unemployment has hit record levels and companies across industries are at risk of collapse — that has ensured.
In Michigan, thousands of protestors clogged the streets and descended on the state capitol to protest against Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer after she added additional restrictions to the state’s stay-at-home order. However, evidence does not indicate that the demonstrations represent a mass movement. Despite claims to the contrary, polling conducted by Gallup as recently as April 15 show that Americans overwhelmingly support measures to stop the spread of coronavirus by a wide margin.
In addition, The Guardian reported this week that the protests in Michigan were organized by a Republican nonprofit called Michigan Conservative Coalition, which has also operated under the name Michigan Trump Republicans, according to public filings. According to Politico, the protests were co-organized by a different Republican nonprofit linked to Trump cabinet member Betsy Devos.
People have undoubtedly been asked to sacrifice their daily lives as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has killed a reported 35,443 people in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control. Public health officials across the country have urged state and federal officials to take strong steps to reduce the spread of the disease. According to the New York Times, 42 states have state-wide orders and three have issued orders for part of the state.