Donald Trump defends coronavirus lockdown protesters saying they ‘just have cabin fever’ and ‘love our country’ – The Sun

PRESIDENT Donald Trump has defended the actions of protesters who gathered in cities across the nation to push for businesses to be reopened amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The protesters, mostly right-wing followers, anti-vaccination advocates and gun rights activists, have been pictured standing close together without masks or gloves, in defiance of the social distancing guidelines meant to slow the spread of the virus.

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Since last week, thousands of demonstrators — in more than a dozen states — took to the streets to demand stay-at-home orders be lifted.

But public health officials have warned that lifting restrictions too early could lead to a spike in cases.

Trump has since excused the actions of the protesters, some of whom waving Nazi flags, declaring: "They've got cabin fever and they want their lives back."

The president rejected the assertion that he was inciting violence, as one reporter pointed out that governors around the country were seeing an uptick in death threats.

"No, I am not — I've never seen so many American flags," Trump exclaimed.

"These people love our country and they want to get back to work."

The reporter then pointed out that some protesters had waved Nazi flags.

Taken back by the question, Trump affirmed that he was "clearly against" that from happening.

Earlier this week, in Michigan, thousands had protested — some carrying rifles — as they demanded stay-at-home orders were lifted.

It comes as Donald Trump urged three states, that have seen anti-lockdown protests, to "liberate" on Friday — echoing the language of the protesters as others condemned their actions.

The US president tweeted "liberate Minnesota!", "liberate Michigan!" and "liberate Virginia” in quick succession, giving little context to the messages.

Since then, he's defended that messaging by saying that some states have taken their stay-at-home orders too far.

He's mocked Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer for telling large retailers to rope off their home improvement sections.

At Sunday's briefing, however, Trump praised Whitmer's overall response to the pandemic.

He also linked new gun control laws in Virginia, signed by Democratic Governor Ralph Northam, to the state's effort to contain the virus, despite there not being a connection.

With more protests planned, Trump demurred from telling the demonstrators — many of whom have shown up in pro-Trump merchandise — to stay home.

"And when the virus passes, I hope we're going to be sitting next to each other at baseball games, football games, basketball games, ice hockey games," Trump said.

"I hope we're going to be sitting next to each other — the Masters is going to have 100,000 people, not 25 watching the course."

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