Protesters demonstrating against Arizona Governor Doug Ducey's decision to lift his statewide stay-at-home order aimed at slowing the spread of the coronavirus laid over 20 bodybags at the state capitol Tuesday.
They urged Ducey to reconsider the action, with local group Indivisible Phoenix organizing the demonstration, which included at least one individual dressed as the Grim Reaper.
"We need to properly combat the spread of the coronavirus so that we can ensure a safe reopening of businesses, public spaces and schools so we don't wind up with another 532 bodybags," Sharli Schaitberger, a retired healthcare professional who was among the demonstrators, told the local Arizona Republic newspaper.
Ducey's order was set to expire on March 15, but he started easing the restrictions early over what he said were declines in the virus in the southwestern state.
Less than a dozen demonstrators were in attendance Tuesday, which Schaitberger said was done to allow for "proper social distancing."
Cat Castaneda, another demonstrator, told the Arizona Republic she decided to attend the protest to draw attention to the impact the pandemic has had on native communities.
"These bodybags also represent those on the reservations who have no running water, no serious healthcare and no way to get away from this," Castaneda said. "I just wish the people in our government would pay more attention to them, but instead, they are looking the other way every chance they get. It's not fair."
"People want to go back to work, yes, but they want to do it safely," she added.
The US is the country worst hit by the coronavirus pandemic with over 1.3 million confirmed infections and over 82,000 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
Arizona has had 562 deaths and 2,852 recoveries during the outbreak, according to the university.Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.