TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) — Governor Laura Kelly has extended the statewide stay at home order until May 3, but some Kansans say it’s time to reopen the state now.
Protests have been happening across the United States over the last few weeks. Now, a protest is under plans to be held outside of the Kansas State Capitol building on Thursday, April 23. Organizers of the event say keeping the state closed any longer is not an option.
“People have been at home, they’ve been out of work, they’ve been laid-off. We’ve got business owners that have been losing money and hemorrhaging personally and financially,” explained David Schneider, rally organizer. “The damage is now to the point that we can’t stay home any longer.”
According to the Facebook event information of the April 23 protest, hundreds are considering making the journey to the state Capitol on Thursday to urge the Governor to reopen Kansas businesses, but rally organizers say they anticipate thousands to attend.
Governor Kelly was asked about the planned protest at her daily press conference and she said she understands people’s frustrations and supports their freedom to protest, but, she says, she will do what she feels is best for the people of Kansas.
“I will not get distracted from what it is I need to do, which is one, continue to protect the health and safety of all Kansans, but two, also to prepare a very detailed plan for reopening the economy,” said the Governor.
The Kansas Department of Health and Environment Secretary, Dr. Lee Norman, said that a large gathering of protesters could be a cause of the continuing coronavirus spread in the state.
“The only good thing I can say about that is that it’s outside and breezy and that will provide a good measure of forgiveness,” said Secretary Norman. “But other than that, I can’t think of any good reason for that to occur.”
Organizers of the protest at the Statehouse are asking people to stay in their cars to protest, in order to prevent the spread of the virus.
“We’re encouraging folks to write messages on their cars, have signs maybe on their cars, but we’re not encouraging folks to get out of their cars,” said Schneider.