Texas Protest Reflects Spread of Frustration with Coronavirus Closures

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“I am not worried about getting the virus,” she said. “If we caught the virus, I think we are in good enough health to fight it. “

The urgency of the Texas rally was eased somewhat on Friday by Governor Greg Abbott, who announced that he would do precisely what the protesters are asking: to reopen Texas.

Abbott, a Republican, said he was taking a “step-by-step” approach to reopening the state’s economy, including lifting restrictions in the coming days on unrelated medical procedures, stores retail and public access to state parks.

The same week that some governors expressed interest in the reopening of their states, prominent local conservatives turned to Facebook groups and other social media to organize protests. Eric Moutsos, a former Salt Lake City police officer, held a demonstration in his city on Saturday evening to demonstrate against what he called a government override.

“Thank you to government officials for your recommendations, but we’re going back to work,” said Moutsos in an interview.

He said he asked the protesters to stay several feet apart, as recommended by public health officials. “We obviously know that people are going to violate this, but we cannot enforce that, just as the government cannot,” said Moutsos, who supports Trump.

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