Colorado Health Care Workers Confront Protesters Amid Demonstration Against Stay-at-Home Orders

Health care workers in Denver, Colorado on Sunday confronted demonstrators protesting the stay-at-home orders implemented by state governors to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

Photojournalist Alyson McClaran shared several images earlier today showing at least two health care workers standing in the middle of the street, blocking cars filled with protesters.

The counter protesters, who wore N95 masks and blue scrubs, appeared to restrict the movement of the demonstrators who gathered at the State Capitol to demand an end to the stay-at-home order that has drastically slowed the economy, as well as the novel virus' spread.

"They were blocking the roads until the police force stepped in," McClaran said, according to the New York Times. "People were putting their cars right up against them."

Health care workers stand in the street in counter-protest to hundreds of people who gathered at the State Capitol to...

Posted by Alyson McClaran on Sunday, April 19, 2020

Protests broke out in several states this week—among them Ohio, Colorado, Minnesotra and Kentucky—with demonstrators taking to the streets to call for an end to the strict lockdown measures put in place amid the pandemic.

President Donald Trump has faced criticism from Republican and Democratic governors over a series of tweets he posted on Friday that appeared to support the protesters in some states. "LIBERATE MINNESOTA!" the president wrote in one tweet. "LIBERATE MICHIGAN!" he said in another.

Some protesters were seen wearing Make American Great Again apparel and holding pro-Trump signs. Many did not adhere to the White House' social distancing guidelines that advised against gatherings of 10 or more people during their demonstrations.

On Sunday night, Trump sympathized with the protesters and declined to denounce their actions during the White House Coronavirus Task Force news conference. "As far as protesters, you know, I see protesters for all sorts of things," the president said. "And I'm with everybody. I'm with everybody."

Trump also denied that he incited their movement with his tweets. "They have got cabin fever," he said. "They want their life back. Their life was taken away from them."

As demonstrators gathered in Denver on Sunday, more than 2,000 congregated at the Capitol in Washington state to protest their stay-at-home order. Only a few of the attendees wore masks and most ignored the federal government's social distancing guidelines, which recommends all people remain six feet apart.

In a statement, Washington state Governor Jay Inslee said, "I support free speech, but crowd counts or speeches won't determine our course. This isn't about politics. It can only be about doing what is best for the health of all Washingtonians."

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer on Wednesday hit back at the thousands of protesters who demonstrated against her stay-at-home order by calling the event "a political rally" that will "endanger people's lives."

Newsweek reached out to the White House for comment.

Health care workers
Members of the medical staff listen as Montefiore Medical Center nurses call for N95 masks and other critical PPE to handle the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on April 1, 2020 in New York. The individuals in the photo are not the same Denver healthcare workers described in this story. This photo is of a separate, unrelated event. Bryan R. Smith/Getty