HARTFORD, CT – Organized by the Liberatarian Party of Connecticut, a group of protesters, mostly in their vehicles, honked as they drove past the state Capitol Monday.
“We see clearly how our rights have been stripped away,” the group said in a Facebook post.
The group responding to President Donald Trump’s call to resist stay-at-home orders is seeking to end the “lockdown” and it wants Gov. Ned Lamont to reopen the state for business.
“We either stand up and say we have freedom to live out our lives and make safety & health choices for ourselves, or we will be forced to comply with every unconstitutional order, and leave our children in a state with no remaining rights or individual liberty,” the group wrote on its Facebook page.
Asked about the protest before it happened, Lamont said they should talk to Dr. Albert Ko and visit the emergency department at Yale New Haven Hospital and “see why we are being so careful before we just open the doors.”
Organizers of the protest began honking their horns around 5 p.m. as Lamont was ending his press briefing, which is taped at the state Capitol. The horns were audible in the last two minutes of the press conference. They lasted past 6 p.m. before the caravan rolled across town to pass in front of the governor’s mansion. Some counter-protestors were noted within the rolling group.
During the press conference, Lamont reported that hospitalizations for COVID-19, which had dropped over the weekend, were back up again to 1,919. However, that’s still below the 1,946 reported on April 17.
There are 19,815 people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and there have been 1,331 associated deaths in the state.
“This is no time to take our eye off the ball,” Lamont said.
Lamont has closed non-essential businesses and schools until at least May 20.
Lamont said the White House Task Force led by VIce President Michael Pence has recommended that illnesses decrease for at least 14 days and cases and hospitalizations decrease for another 14 days before the state could consider reopening. That’s a total of 28 days of downward trends.
“We’re going to have a much better sense of infections, immunizations, fevers, precursors to what may happening out there so we’ll be much better informed over the next few weeks,” Lamont said.
Lamont announced a partnership Monday with “How We Feel” a new application developed by Zeng Zhang that allows anyone to track and report their COVID-19 symptoms.
Aggregate data from the app is then shared with select scientists, doctors and public health professionals who are actively working to stop the spread of COVID-19. The app doesn’t ask you to sign in or share your name, phone number or email address.