'If I get sick, I get sick': Protestors continue rallying to reopen Michigan

Posted at 3:58 PM, May 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-09 19:39:47-04

SHELBY TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WXYZ) — As frustration with Michigan's stay-home order grows, a rally was held for more than four hours in Shelby Township, with politicians hoping to win over supporters and citizens tired of the pandemic-related restrictions.

Dozens of people showed up to rally side by side against the state’s reaction to the pandemic.

"A lot of it's fake, some of it's real but a lot of it's fake," said Jim Valente, an Open Michigan Now protestor.

Many without masks, not social distancing, holding Trump posters and homemade signs say its personal freedoms they're fighting for.

"It’s like World War II, we fought for our freedoms and a bunch of people died," Jim Valente said.

"If I get sick, I get sick, and I don’t believe the masks are helping anybody, said Ken Valente, a CPA and protestor out in Shelby Township Saturday.

"We fought to keep our freedoms, this is the same thing," Jim Valente continued.

Tens of thousands have been diagnosed with COVID-19 in Michigan since March when Governor Whitmer issued a stay-home order, following several neighboring states. The spread of the virus has slowed from the early April trajectory, but it has been a tough two months.

As of Saturday, May 9, the state has reported 4,526 deaths and 46,756 cases of coronavirus in Michigan. Overall, 22,686 have recovered from the virus, according to the Michigan health officials.

"Horrible, horrible. I am a travel agent, and I lost so much money, and people are scared and everything is shut down, said Phyllis Lacovone, a local travel agent.

Some politicians running for election were also in attendance, hoping to win over an audience frustrated with those currently in office.

"I mean we started in March, now this is going to be at the end of May," said Lacovone. "Give me a break."

'If they want to stop people from making a living, why don’t they stop getting paid," said Ken Valente. "I mean period, not in an escrow to be paid later, not get paid and see how it feels. It doesn’t affect them so what do they care."

The latest stay-at-home order extension is set in place until May 28.

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