Governor Responds to State Capitol “Operation Gridlock” Protest

Protesters waving flags and honking horns took part in “Operation Gridlock” Wednesday in Lansing. They drove past the State Capitol to to protest Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s Stay Home/Stay Safe executive orders put in place to combat the coronavirus outbreak.

The Michigan Conservative Coalition organized the protest, which brought participants from around the state. Coalition member Meshawn Maddock told the Associated Press Whitmer’s orders are “just a disaster.”

Vehicles sit in gridlock during a protest in Lansing, Mich., Wednesday, April 15, 2020. Flag-waving, honking protesters drove past the Michigan Capitol on Wednesday to show their displeasure with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s orders to keep people at home and businesses locked during the new coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

At an afternoon news conference held while the protest was going on outside, Whitmer said she understood their concerns and that people are hurting. She said while she knows the pain and frustration are real,  the state lockdown had to happen because Michigan had the third largest number of coronavirus cases in the U.S.

Whitmer  also said she feared the protestors could have been spreading COVID-19 when she saw people congregating close together without masks and someone handing out candy to children with bare hands.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer speaks in Lansing 4/15/20 (source: Michigan Executive Office of the Governor)