(NEW YORK) — More protestors took to the streets on Monday in defiance of stay-at-home orders amid the COVID-19 pandemic, that has sickened nearly 800,000 people and killed over 42,000 people, according to Johns Hopkins University.
Protests took place in Maine and Pennsylvania’s capitals, with people saying their governor’s orders to shut down the states are akin to “tyranny.”
These demonstrations follow the weekend protests that gripped Michigan, Minnesota, Maryland, California, Colorado, North Carolina, Virginia and Kentucky — with people demanding their states open back up for business.
Many attending did not follow social distancing guidelines and were not wearing masks.
These events were largely organized on Facebook, to which the company said it will remove anti-quarantine events. The decision came after consulting with state governors who were worried Facebook was enabling the further spread of the virus by organizing events that defy stay-at-home orders.
However, Facebook will only remove events slated for California, Nebraska and New Jersey due to the current orders in effect.
Unless government prohibits the events during this time, we allow it to be organized on Facebook. For this same reason, events that defy the government’s guidance on social distancing aren’t allowed on Facebook,” a Facebook spokesperson clarified to ABC News.
Health officials say that, in order to reopen the country, more testing needs to be done and contact tracing efforts need to be bolstered. Some studies claim that millions need to be done weekly in order to safely reopen the country again — a theory Dr. Anthony Fauci, one of the nation’s top medical experts on the coronavirus pandemic, supported on Monday. He says 1.5 to two million tests need to be run per week.
Fauci, appearing on Good Morning America on Monday, cautioned that hastily reopening the country could create a second wave of COVID-19, essentially causing plans to “backfire.”
“Unless we get the virus under control, the real recovery economically is not going to happen,” he said.
To assist with those efforts to put the economy back on track, Vice President Mike Pence confirmed Monday that the Center for Disease Control will assist the governors of all 50 states with “coronavirus surveillance.”
“We’re going to deploy specific coronavirus teams on a 12-month, 18-month rotation to each and every state and that information should be reaching your state — those personnel — this week,” he said in a conference call with state governors on Monday.
In addition, the federal government is looking into amping up swab production needed for COVID-19 testing.
The COVID-19 pandemic has claimed over 168,000 lives worldwide, sickening over 2.4 million people, according to the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.
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