A majority of Americans disapprove of protests against restrictions aimed at preventing the spread the coronavirus, according to a new poll that also finds the still-expansive support for such limits — including restaurant closures and stay-at-home orders — has dipped in recent weeks.
The new survey from the University of Chicago Divinity School and The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research finds 55% of Americans disapprove of the protests that have popped up in some states as some Americans begin chafing at public health measures that have decimated the global economy. Thirty-one percent approve of the demonstrations.Katie Orr at NPR:
Protests over stay-at-home orders because of COVID-19 have become more common across the country. In California, a surprising group is behind some of them: those who oppose mandatory vaccinations.
On Thursday, a mashup of people mingled on the sidewalk in front of California's state Capitol in Sacramento. There were Trump supporters wearing MAGA hats and waving American flags. There were Christians, singing along to religious rock songs and raising their hands in prayer. The event's emcee urged Gov. Gavin Newsom to tune into their event.
"Everybody up at the Capitol, tell Gavin Newsom [to tune in to] 107.9 FM, if he wants to hear what we have to say," the emcee told the crowd over loudspeakers. "It could be kind of good for him!"
There were also mothers with their children at the rally. Many people were not wearing face masks or observing social distancing protocols.Hailey Branson-Potts and collegues at LAT:
The crowds protesting California’s stay-at-home orders aimed at stopping the spread of the novel coronavirus have a litany of grievances: Open the beaches. Free the churches. End the tyranny of a governor who has gone too far.
Despite their varied causes, the protesters have been almost entirely white — even in California, a state that mostly is not.
The raucous protests in wealthy, coastal Orange and San Diego counties and at the state Capitol in recent days have, for many, highlighted racial and class disparities amid a pandemic that has killed more than 2,500 Californians — a disproportionate number of whom are black, Latino and poor.
In Los Angeles County, where nearly half of the state’s more than 61,000 confirmed coronavirus cases are located, public health officials say residents of low-income communities are three times more likely to die of COVID-19 than those in wealthier neighborhoods. A Times data analysis found blacks and Latinos under 50 are dying of coronavirus in significantly greater numbers than other groups, including whites. Experts believe one reason is that many work in “essential” service jobs that require them to leave home, putting them at a higher risk of infection.
The overwhelmingly white makeup of the protests is not lost on people of color, some of whom see it as an overt display of privilege. This has been especially striking in California, where Latinos make up 40% of the population, outnumbering whites.