Anti-Lockdown Protestors Burn Masks in NYC

Anti-Lockdown Protestors Burn Masks in NYC

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Anti-lockdown protestors on Sunday burned face masks as they marched through Manhattan, New York, following similar demonstrations in California, upstate New York and Minnesota.

Skyrocketing COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations have prompted state and city officials around the United States to issue new lockdown guidance.

As a result demonstrators gathered in Washington Square Park Sunday afternoon for the 'No Lockdown in NYC' event. They carried signs reading 'Stop COVID Tyranny', 'No More Lockdowns' and 'Medical Freedom Now'. Pictures show some of the protesters confronting other New Yorkers wearing masks.

Upstate protesters marched to the home of Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz Sunday, calling for an end to state restrictions.

New York as of Sunday had a positivity rate of 2.74 percent. Hospitalizations rose to 2,562, Governor Andrew Cuomo said. As of Sunday, there have been 278,956 confirmed cases and 19,537 deaths in New York City, the Daily Mail reported.

In California protesters had earlier marched across the Pacific Coast Highway and cheered when a face mask was set aflame during a protest against the state's month-long curfew that started Saturday. On Saturday demonstrators headed to Minnesota Governor Tim Walz's house over new lockdown measures.

New York City shut down in-person classes in the nation's largest school system last week after the positivity rate surpassed 3 per cent. That angered families who believe it is too stringent a standard and question why bars and restaurants can remain open.

Gov Andrew Cuomo said Sunday that one major concern is Staten Island.  'Staten Island is a serious problem. Staten Island is also a problem in terms of overburdening hospitals and we're running into a hospital capacity issue on Staten Island, which we have to be dealing with over the next few days,' he said. 

The US has had more than 12.2 million diagnosed infections and at least 256,745 deaths from the coronavirus as of Sunday evening. CDC scientists believe that somewhere around 40 per cent of people who are infected do not have obvious symptoms but can still spread the virus. 

The newest restriction from California Gov. Gavin Newsom came as The Golden State recorded a concerning uptick in cases, hospitalizations and positivity rates.

Restrictions require people to stay home from 10pm to 5am unless they are responding to an emergency, shopping for groceries, picking up takeout or walking their dogs. The month-long curfew could be extended if rapidly worsening trends don't improve.

Following the protest Los Angeles County — the nation's most populous- on Sunday also banned in-person dining for three weeks. Officials had warned that these restrictions could come if the county's five-day average of new cases was above 4,000 or hospitalizations were more than 1,750 per day. Sunday's five-day average was 4,097 cases and there were 1,401 hospitalizations.

The California Department of Health and Human Services reported more than 15,000 coronavirus cases statewide Saturday — by far the highest level since the pandemic began in March. Another 14,000 cases were recorded Sunday. 

California's average daily number of coronavirus cases has tripled in the last month, the Los Angeles Times found in an analysis, while COVID-19 hospitalizations have doubled in the same time period.

A group had also gathered in Huntington Beach at 10:01 p.m. Saturday night in defiance of the curfew, waving American flags and not wearing masks. More than 100 people rallied Saturday in downtown Fresno, urging Gov. Newsom to 'open California safely.'  

More than 1 million people traveled by plane in the United States on Friday despite the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) issuing new guidelines last week as Dr. Anthony Fauci urged Americans to do a 'risk-benefit assessment' before Thanksgiving travel.

With the coronavirus surging out of control, the nation's top public health agency pleaded with Americans on Thursday not to travel for Thanksgiving and not to spend the holiday with people from outside their household.

Despite those warnings, 1,019,836 passengers flew in the US on Friday, according to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

That number is 1.5 million less than on the same day in 2019 and it's the second-highest number of people to travel by air since the pandemic hit the US in March. On October 18, the TSA reported that 1,031,505 people boarded flights.

Meanwhile, Dr. Fauci has urged Americans to really look at the bigger picture before they travel or make plans for the holidays.

The CDC's Thanksgiving warning came last week and was some of the firmest guidance yet from the government on curtailing traditional gatherings to fight the outbreak.  

Rhode Island Democratic Gov Gina Raimondo announced a 'two-week pause' with some business closures and capacity reduced for restaurants and houses of worship starting November 30. Officials will reevaluate COVID-19 caseloads on December 13 and if they have not eased, she said 'a full state lockdown' will follow.

In New Hampshire, Republican Gov Chris Sununu previously resisted calls for a statewide mask mandate but issued an order requiring face coverings to be worn in public spaces indoors and outdoors. 

In Kansas, rural hospitals are running into difficulty trying to transfer patients to larger hospitals for more advanced care.

Illinois and Washington have limited stores to 25 per cent capacity. Maryland has limited stores and restaurants to 50 per cent capacity.

In more promising news COVID-19 vaccine program head Dr. Moncef Slaoui said the first Americans to receive a coronavirus vaccine could get it as soon as December 11.

'Our plan is to be able to ship vaccines to the immunization sites within 24 hours from the approval, so I expect maybe on day two after approval on the 11th or the 12th of December,' he said on 'State of the Union' with Jake Tapper.

Pfizer submitted an emergency use authorization application to the Food and Drug Administration and a committee there is set to meet on December 10.

Slaoui pinpointed December 11 or December 12 as the first dates vaccines would be available.  Slaoui, who is leading the Trump administration's Operation Warp Speed, also said he believed life in the US could get back to normal in May.

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