CONCORD, N.H. (CBS/AP) — A few hundred demonstrators cheered and waved signs outside the New Hampshire State House on Saturday during a call to reopen the state.
Members of the crowd carried signs with slogans such as “Live Free or Die,” the state’s motto. Others included “Restore Jobs” and “Kiss My Constitution.”READ MORE: Celtics Beat Short-Handed Raptors For 4th Win In 6 Games
One demonstrator, talk show host Ian Freeman, said the government was guilty of fear-mongering over the state of the virus, and it was time to restore individual rights.
“Even if the virus were 10 times as dangerous as it is, I still wouldn’t stay inside my home. I’d rather take the risk and be a free person,” he said.READ MORE: Keller @ Large: Why 'Don't Talk To Strangers' May Be The Wrong Advice For Children
New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu released a statement on the protest: “New Hampshire’s success at social distancing and mitigation efforts has led some to believe that COVID19 is no longer a serious threat, but we are unfortunately in the middle of a worldwide pandemic and only six weeks in. I would like to urge Granite Staters to be patient. I empathize with the sentiment behind todays rally, but we must be responsible and patient in our actions. I have no doubt that our economy will come back at 100%, but we are being responsible and laying the groundwork with a phased approach that works for NH.”
New Hampshire has had nearly 1,300 cases of the virus and more than three dozens deaths through Friday.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)MORE NEWS: Mother Mourns Loss Of Lowell Murder Victim Dejah Jenkins-Minus: 'I'm Hurt, I'm Numb'