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Conservatives Fuel Protests Against Coronavirus Lockdowns

Conservatives Fuel Protests Against Coronavirus Lockdowns
Sunday, 19 April, 2020, 12:50

Dave Litrell stood at a socially un-distant length from his fellow protesters on Saturday.

Some shook hands. Others hugged. More than a hundred people rubbed elbows and shoulders, their signs and flags touching, many with their faces unmasked. Mr. Litrell, 46, held his 6-year-old daughter as those surrounding him chanted to reopen the American economy outside the State Capitol building in downtown Austin.

“I don’t fear a potential pathogen,” he said of the fast-spreading coronavirus that had compelled most governors to shut down their states, including the closing of nonessential businesses. “I think there’s potential pathogens around us all the time, and for the most part, we’re healthy.”

Mr. Litrell, wearing a MAGA-style red cap reading “Make Austin Weird Again,” is a bartender in Texas’ capital city. At least he used to be. The restaurant where Mr. Litrell works has cut his shift to five hours a week, from 35. He started getting unemployment.