Analysis

America Is Reopening, Whether Politicians Like It Or Not

(Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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After extended coronavirus shutdowns, the U.S. economy is beginning to reopen, even if some politicians aren’t on board.

The government-mandated shutdown has put tens of millions of Americans out of work, and is projected to lead to as many as 75,000 “deaths of despair,” which include drug overdoses and suicides. Americans are eager to regain their freedom, and return to some sort of normalcy, and it’s beginning to show. (RELATED: FLASHBACK: Jan.21: Fauci Say Coronavirus ‘Not A Major Threat’ To U.S.)

After a memo leaked last week, detailing Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s plans to close all beaches and state parks, massive backlash ensued. Hundreds of protesters gathered in Huntington Beach to protest the order, while one rural Northern California county decided to let all businesses in their area reopen.

Newsom ended up backing off the strict measures detailed in his memo, and proceeded to make a deal with local officials in Orange County, allowing beaches to remain open. Other states have been rocked by protests, including Michigan, which saw armed protesters storm the state capitol, demanding an end to the shutdown. While Michigan remains under a stay at home order, Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer did relax some restrictions on outdoor activities such as golfing and boating. (RELATED: Bill Barr Memo Orders U.S. Attorneys To Be On The ‘Lookout’ For Civil Liberties Violations Amid Coronavirus Crisis)

After an adviser to Democratic Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam stated that Virginia could be closed for business for as many as two years, the state government quickly disavowed the remarks, and is now set to begin reopening next week. Northam announced that he will begin allowing some “non-essential” businesses, such as restaurants, and salons to reopen next week, with reduced capacity. Northam, Newsom and Whitmer have been three of the most authoritarian governors in the country throughout the crisis, but even they were forced to acknowledge the passionate protests demanding an end to the lockdown.

Virginia's Governor Ralph Northam delivers a speech. U.S., August 24, 2019. REUTERS/Michael A. McCoy

Virginia’s Governor Ralph Northam delivers a speech. U.S., August 24, 2019. REUTERS/Michael A. McCoy

Other examples of governors who have acquiesced to the pleas of protesters include Republican Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker. The left-leaning Republican had ordered his state shutdown until May 18, but announced earlier this week that he would allow outdoor activities such as golf to resume. Cara Cullen, who owns two golf clubs in the state told the Daily Caller Tuesday that she was planning to reopen, with or without Baker’s permission.

As sick as the American people are of having to live under coronavirus restrictions, it seems like public officials are also tiring of enforcing the restrictions.

Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott decriminalized social distancing violations Thursday after Dallas salon owner Shelley Luther was jailed for refusing to close her doors. Dallas County Judge Eric Moye criticized Luther for “selfishly” keeping her business open before sentencing her, leading to a firestorm of criticism from Republican officials in the state.

“Throwing Texans in jail whose biz’s shut down through no fault of their own is wrong,” Abbott said.

The Police Benevolent Association of the City of New York (NYCPBA), a union which represents New York Police Officers, also came out against enforcing coronavirus restrictions this week after a video surfaced showed NYPD officers violently apprehending a citizen who allegedly violated social distancing guidelines.

“The NYPD needs to get cops out of the social distancing enforcement business altogether,” PBA President Patrick Lynch said in a statement. “The cowards who run this city have given us nothing but vague guidelines and mixed messages, leaving the cops on the street corners to fend for ourselves.”

With Americans sick of living under coronavirus restrictions, and law enforcement becoming increasingly sick of enforcing said restrictions, it’s not hard to see which way the wind is blowing. The coronavirus shutdowns are coming to an end, whether politicians like it or not.