Courtesy of the Raleigh Police Department

At least 100 coronavirus truthers violated Governor Cooper’s stay-at-home order Tuesday by gathering outside the state legislature in Raleigh to protest that stay-at-home order. 

One woman was arrested for violating social distancing guidelines, police say. 

Dubbed #ReopenNC, the protest stems from a Facebook group that already has more than 27,000 members who believe the government’s response to the pandemic—which has already infected more than 5,000 state residents and killed at least 108—is overblown. In their view, the state’s priority should be ending the shutdown by May 1.

Ironically, some of them wore face masks.

“We are losing our small businesses, which are the backbone of our economy,” according to the group’s Facebook page. “The shutdown is not warranted, nor sustainable for our area. The vulnerable can be isolated or protected in other ways, without sacrificing our entire state economy.”

The state reported that 105 additional coronavirus patients were admitted to the hospital yesterday, and the state logged 22 deaths. 

Epidemiologists have warned that upward of 750,000 North Carolinians could contract the virus if the state reopens too quickly, as opposed to 250,000 if the stay-at-home orders stay in place through June 1.

The protesters—in particular, the man in the American flag tank top and American flag fedora-type hat, sitting on the bed of a truck with an American flag and “#ReopenNC” written on the back window—believe they know better. 

At a press conference yesterday, Cooper did not commit to extending the state’s order, which currently expires on April 29. He said that relaxing it “wholesale” too soon could be a “catastrophe,” though he also alluded to easing off some restrictions in May. According to state epidemiologists, Cooper added, the measures North Carolina is taking to flatten the curve are working.

That social distancing has worked so far has only increased calls on the right to end it. Civitas Action, the 501c4 arm of the influential right-wing Civitas Institute, has been pushing Cooper to “begin formulating plans to re-open our economy. … It’s becoming increasingly clear that North Carolina is going to weather the viral storm, but now we need to get out of the economic flood.”

Cooper and Republican leaders in the General Assembly are in talks about a COVID-19 stimulus plan, including tax relief, when the legislature convenes its short session later this month. 

Contact Raleigh news editor Leigh Tauss at 

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11 replies on “A Bunch of Dumbasses Protested the Coronavirus Shutdown in Downtown Raleigh”

  1. Throwing any sort of pretense of impartiality and journalistic integrity right out the window. With the state of print and journalism in general, you would think that this paper would take things a little more seriously. If I were the EIC I would immediately fire the writer that put this worthless article on my desk. I understand you have a bias, but openly mocking people that are exercising their Constitutionally protected right to peacefully protest, despite the Governor’s order, is just pathetic. Cover the news. Leave your opinions for the editorial section and try not alienating half the population as well.

  2. You can’t continue to protect people from themselves. The gene pool needs some chlorine, and this might be just the way to do it. But the punchline is that they seem to have forgotten that business was in the tank because of this virus BEFORE any of the preventive measures carried the weight of law, and before NC had even topped 100 cases or a single death. But if they think that 5000 cases and 125 fatalities later people are going to be MORE inclined to come through those doors they want opened so badly, I say let ’em. There was a woman in Orange County a few years back that didn’t bother fencing her chickens in, and when asked if she was worried they’d get killed out in the road, she just said, “The ones that’d get hit’s already dead.”

    Please proceed, slackjaws.

  3. It’s quantifiably ridiculous that you tote 108 total deaths from COVID-19 as an even infinitesimally meaningful toll when over 200 people die every single day in North Carolina.

  4. This is America and we have the right to protest peacefully. Your Ad hominem only proves that you’re the epitome of what you’re calling these protesters that want to feed their family

  5. You mean the dumbasses who would really like to save their small businesses, not that you would understand that.

  6. Patrick Henry is rolling in his grave.

    Look up the REAL numbers about coronavirus:

    Based on testing approximately 16% of the US population as been infected (3 Million tested, 500 Thousand Infected) — that’s 50 Million people– even if selection bias in testing is an order of magnitude, THAT MEANS 5 Million people have been infected.

    If you are healthy (no heart disease, diabetes, COPD emphysema, etc) and over 70 your chance of dying is a fraction of 1%, under 70 it;s essentially ZERO.

  7. Don’t know who the state-worshiping douches canoe is that wrote this article, but “Indy” should be replaced with “MSM Lapdog”.

    Fearless independent local journalism, my left nut.

  8. I believe this hyped up “scare” over the Corona Virus, while this has been the most successful scare so far, as far as causing the most amount of money and chaos, from an operational level that was a success if that was the goal, like the Onion news for instance. However, in the end, this will go down the drain like Global Warming did when it comes time to show actual numbers, and just like the oceans didn’t rise, and the numbers reflected such, the virus total will be far less than the 2.2 million “apocalyptic” prediction said. So Americans will just be that much more wary of FAKE news and HYPE in the future.

  9. The idiots like the obviously extremely biased one who wrote this propaganda have been 100% wrong on everything related to this virus and continue to prove themselves wrong. The far left has been constantly calling Trump a dictator but they fully support every restriction on freedom and it has only been the left that supports curtailing individual freedom and liberty, something that is and always has been the benchmark of what a true liberal actually is. These people are showing that they hate freedom and love oppression, I just don’t get why. Apparently to get to their utopia it requires the desecration of human rights.

  10. I don’t think calling these protestors a “bunch of dumbasses” is helpful here. If anything it is counterproductive and takes away from your professionalism as a writer. It only fuels the fire on both sides of the argument. These “dumbasses” are just concerned citizens practicing their right to protest, regardless of whether or not you agree with what they did.

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