MAGA fans endanger public safety with “Operation Gridlock” protest against COVID-19 quarantine

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Call it the American death wish.

The sheer number of people of questionable mental reasoning capabilities who refuse to take the COVID-19 pandemic seriously and push for re-opening the economy against the advice of medical experts — people who believe that the virus and the mitigation efforts to control it are some form of mysterious conspiracy, people who value money over health and safety, people who refuse to wear masks and practice social distancing endangering the lives of others in their communities — is an insanely large percentage of right-wing America.

Now, the Michigan Conservative Coalition — a group of personal liberty-obsessed people whose heretical interpretation of the Constitution would likely have them arguing that they have the right to yell fire in a crowded theater, well, back when you could still go to a theater, anyway — has launched a protest against their state’s Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s shelter in place orders restricting their freedom to infect whomever they come into contact with.

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Dubbed “Operation Gridlock,” the protest consisted of “hundreds, perhaps thousands” of people who drove onto the state capital of Lansing and “surrounded the Michigan Capitol Building to create a traffic jam – a symbolic gesture of disagreement with Gretchen Whitmer’s Stay Safe, Stay Home directive,” according to the local news at WJBK, the Detroit Fox affiliate.

“We are all concerned for those afflicted with COVID 19.  Yes, many of the personal behaviors we have been reminded to use are good practices.  Wash your hands. Cover your cough. Stay home if you are sick,” the Michigan Conservative Coalition posted on their website. “That said,  Michiganders are fed up!”

Scenes of the protest by people more concerned about the faltering economy than the lives of their fellow citizens — no doubt inspired by Donald Trump’s daily broadcast propaganda fests that he has transformed the coronavirus task force press conferences into — were posted on Twitter by a reporter for the ultra-right-wing Sinclair Broadcast Group to show the world what a group of people look like who may actually get to fulfill their mission of having their freedoms pried from their cold, dead hands…after a brief incubation period.

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According to WJBK:

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“While Whitmer acknowledged the pressure her constituents were under as the economy sputters, she’s also rebuked calls to ease restrictions – arguing she’s ‘got to listen to medical experts to know when and how it’s safe to reengage our economy.'”

The Twitter users who responded to Ms. Frost’s thread about “Operation Gridlock” were brutal in their assessment of the rationality and irresponsibility of the protestors.

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While the crisis of the pandemic is creating massive economic hardships across the country as businesses are shuttered and layoffs mount to previously unimaginable levels, the Michigan Conservative Coalition seems to ignore the basic rules of civil society wherein one’s personal freedoms are limited to the extent that they infringe upon the rights of others.

While those participating in “Operation Gridlock” may not care if they get infected with COVID-19, valuing their cashflow over their lives, they don’t have any right to endanger the health of others who don’t share their pecunious pursuits.

If they wish to play Russian roulette with their own lives, by all means, let them prove Darwin correct…as long as they do it at home or at least six feet away from anyone with half a brain.

Meanwhile, check the COVID-19 infection statistics in Michigan in about two weeks.

Follow Vinnie Longobardo on Twitter.

Original reporting by WJBK, Detroit.

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Vinnie Longobardo

Vinnie Longobardo is a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile, & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music, and art.

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