JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Hundreds of people assembled in the capital city Tuesday, waving Trump 2020 flags and singing the national anthem, to protest Missouri’s stay at home order.
The “Reopen Missouri” protesters gathered to demonstrate against Missouri’s stay at home order in place during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The order was originally intended to expire Friday, but Gov. Mike Parson extended it with plans to “reopen the economy” May 4.
More stringent orders have been put in place at the local level, including in Kansas City and St. Louis.
Protesters compared Parson’s stay at home order to Nazi Germany and accused him of taking away Missouri’s freedoms. Others railed against vaccinations or Bill Gates, the Microsoft co-founder who has found himself at the center of conspiracy theories regarding the pandemic.
But many demonstrators seemed eager to get back to work.
Adrian Vesper, owner of St. Louis Installation, drove to Jefferson City with a friend Tuesday to participate in the event. He said his office furniture distribution company is paying rent on furniture he doesn’t own but is stuck in a warehouse because workers are unable to install the pieces.
“My hope is that we lift this ban on businesses and open doors again,” Vesper told The Missouri Times.
They’ve begun marching to the Governor’s Mansion pic.twitter.com/48IDujTE1N
— Kaitlyn Schallhorn (@K_Schallhorn) April 21, 2020
Several children were present at the protest, and most demonstrators did not practice social distancing, as recommended by the state and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Some wore masks.
However, one protester accosted a news reporter covering the event — because he was wearing a protective face mask.
Law enforcement officials estimated about 200 people gathered on the north side of the Capitol building before marching just a couple of blocks uphill to the Governor’s Mansion. While most people walked, dozens drove by in cars with horns blaring.
At least one of those cars was from out of state: Michigan.
Kaitlyn Schallhorn is the editor of The Missouri Times. She joined the newspaper in early 2019 after working as a reporter for Fox News in New York City.
Throughout her career, Kaitlyn has covered political campaigns across the U.S., including the 2016 presidential election, and humanitarian aid efforts in Africa and the Middle East.
She is a native of Missouri who studied journalism at Winthrop University in South Carolina. She is also an alumna of the National Journalism Center in Washington, D.C.
Contact Kaitlyn at firstname.lastname@example.org.