Michigan has been one of the states at the forefront of the growing divide between President Donald Trump's supporters and the advice of health experts.
Knowing the economy is a key talking point in favor of Trump's reelection, many of his supporters are demanding that governors who instituted stay-at-home orders reopen non-essential businesses designed to curb the spread of the virus in their states.
The pathogen has killed over 60 thousand Americans, but these supporters insist that the lockdown orders are more dangerous to Americans than any death toll.
They've expressed this opinion in Michigan by protesting against Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer—with whom Trump has picked fights on Twitter.
These demonstrations took the form of typical protests while also featuring conspiracy theories and idiotic dances. Thursday's protest in front of the Michigan State House, while bizarre, seemed no different than past protests.
The demonstration occurred as the Michigan state legislature debated an extension of Governor Whitmer's orders.
Now this is happening. https://t.co/w1CkLB3T3s— Leon Hendrix (@Leon Hendrix)1588261403.0
Hundreds listening to speaker on the steps of the state Capitol. Few masks and little social distancing. @WOODTV https://t.co/f305C6HlFC— Leon Hendrix (@Leon Hendrix)1588255259.0
But rain continued to pour down and before long, protestors were heading toward the building, with guards checking their temperature as they entered.
Many of the protestors were armed.
That's when things began getting grim, as several of the demonstrators tried to bypass guards and enter the chamber to disrupt the session.
Multiple armed gunmen storm Michigan’s State House, State police are protecting @GovWhitmer and blocking the gunmen… https://t.co/vxB9W49Wzj— Rob Gill (@Rob Gill)1588270214.0
Directly above me, men with rifles yelling at us. Some of my colleagues who own bullet proof vests are wearing them… https://t.co/RQ0MfxNkdq— Senator Dayna Polehanki (@Senator Dayna Polehanki)1588264705.0
The aggression comes only two weeks after Trump expressed support for the demonstrators, urging them to "LIBERATE" Michigan—a continuation of his constant urging for governors to reopen their states.
LIBERATE MICHIGAN!— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1587136961.0
The endangerment and chaos, to many, were a direct result of Trump's rhetoric.
I live in Michigan. There are a lot of militia, KKK groups, assholes with guns in this state. And Trump has unleash… https://t.co/3yZYM6gX2o— Jeannie Slater (@Jeannie Slater)1588275175.0
Multiple armed gunmen storm Michigan’s State House today. This is what happens when you elect an unhinged populist… https://t.co/k63fPTs7qV— Jelle Simons (@Jelle Simons)1588278294.0
Do not lose sight of the fact that Donald Trump has delivered for Vladimir Putin in spades. https://t.co/ovdXvPu3V2— Publius (@Publius)1588276269.0
People can only imagine what will happen in response to a Trump loss in the November election, if this is any indication.
Things will get very bad in November in the likely event that Trump refuses to accept the outcome of a legitimate e… https://t.co/0JY3fuhKtR— Stephen Wolf (@Stephen Wolf)1588276585.0
I don’t think enough people understand yet what is going to happen in November. https://t.co/7Ghpy7ohI9— Mass for Shut-ins (is a podcast) (@Mass for Shut-ins (is a podcast))1588275237.0
Another glaring double standard stuck out to people...
I want y’all to realize that when they called Black protestors “thugs” in Ferguson, we were armed with cardboard s… https://t.co/8fNoBbfxL5— brittany packnett cunningham does not do remixes. (@brittany packnett cunningham does not do remixes.)1588275962.0
If Black, Brown or Native people did this they would be in jail or dead. https://t.co/eEq5pFtnhV— Rebecca Nagle (@Rebecca Nagle)1588277821.0
White supremacy is being allowed to storm the government waving guns in the air while Black folk are executed for s… https://t.co/qFPkvSXrrk— Derek Johnson (@Derek Johnson)1588276213.0
The climate is getting increasingly hostile and Americans can't depend on the President to steady it.