(JTA) — Chants comparing Michigan’s governor to Hitler were among those heard at a protest of the state’s stay-at-home order by thousands of demonstrators.
The protesters, who had planned a major traffic jam around the capitol in Lansing on Wednesday, left their cars and ignored social-distancing rules.
The governor, Gretchen Whitmer, said later in interviews that it would likely spread the COVID-19 virus.
“They waved American flags, Trump flags and Confederate flags,” Mlive reported about the protesters. “They held up signs comparing Whitmer to Adolf Hitler. Chants included ‘recall Whitmer’ and ‘lock her up.’”
Whitmer first approved the state’s stay-at-home order on March 23, and in recent days extended and tightened the mandate.
About two weeks after the March 23 order, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the state dropped each day, The Washington Post reported, citing statistics compiled by Johns Hopkins University. The number of deaths from the virus began to drop, as well.
“Michiganders have every right to hold our government accountable, but this rhetoric is intolerable in any democratic society,” Noah Arbit, founder and chair of the Michigan Democratic Jewish Caucus, said in a statement.
“It was particularly jarring to see these signs during the Passover holiday and only five days before Yom HaShoah, the Holocaust Remembrance Day.”
Arbit called on Michigan’s Republican Party chairwoman to disavow the comparison and apologize to Whitmer and Michigan Jews.
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