HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) — Some Americans are desperate to get back to work and now fear over lost paychecks during the coronavirus pandemic is fueling protests across the nation. Demonstrators are heading to Harrisburg on Monday and the protest begins at noon.
The organizers of Stand Up to End the Shutdown Pennsylvania say they are encouraging social distancing in their messaging, but Pennsylvania state officials are worried that the six-foot rule will not be followed.READ MORE: 3 Sharon Hill Police Officers Fired After Being Charged In Shooting Death Of 8-Year-Old Fanta Bility
State Sen. Sharif Street, of Philadelphia, said footage of weekend protests in about a dozen other states give him reason for concern.
“The manner in which this is being done, if it’s not done properly, if they don’t observe social distancing, they don’t wear masks, they could literally endanger their own lives and then take the virus back to their families,” Street said.
Video from Michigan’s state capitol last Wednesday shows thousands of people protesting the governor’s strict stay-at-home order to slow the spread of COVID-19.
The organizers are using Michigan’s protest as a guide. They expect between 7,000 to 10,000 people to flood the street outside of the state capitol to pressure Gov. Wolf to reopen the state economy.READ MORE: 74-Year-Old Woman Killed In Medford House Fire
“I want them to open safely and as soon as they possibly can, maybe by May 1,” Protester Donna Merritt said.
Donna Merritt, of Exeter Township in Berks County, plans to attend the protest with her daughter. She says more businesses should be allowed to reopen using the same protections as essential businesses are using now.
“Thousands of people are working thousands of people are doing it safely and I don’t see why and many others don’t see why other companies can’t be innovative and get back to work as well safely,” Merritt said.
Philadelphia Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley says he wishes people would not gather to protest because there is a good chance someone in the crowd will have the virus and pass it to others in the crowd.MORE NEWS: Ex-Horsham Clinic Staffer Faces Child Sex Abuse Charges After Allegedly Sending Nude Pictures To Teen Patient
“They’re going to get together and pass the infection amongst each other and bring it back to other people. So they’re risking their health and the health of everybody else,” Dr. Farley said.