North Carolina health care workers staged a counterprotest Tuesday against a “Reopen N.C.” rally in Raleigh as anti-lockdown demonstrations entered a second week in the state capital, per the News Observer.

Why it matters: Leading coronavirus modeling shows the country’s collective sacrifice of an economic shutdown — which has resulted in over 26 million jobless claims — has likely prevented hundreds of thousands of deaths, serving as a sign that social distancing is working.


The big picture: Grassroots protests to reopen economies have been held across the U.S. in the past two weeks, as the number of coronavirus cases continue to rise along with the death toll. COVID-19 has infected more than 1.1 million people and killed over 217,000 in the United States.

What they’re saying: President Trump fueled reopening protests in Michigan, Minnesota and Virginia last week in tweets urging people to “LIBERATE” the states.

  • Trump defended the protesters again at an April 19 news briefing, saying they “have got cabin fever” from having their lives “taken away from them.” But in a rare rebuke of a Republican governor, Trump said last week he “strongly” disagrees with Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp’s plans to reopen non-essential businesses.
  • New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said after protests in Albany last Wednesday there could be a potential “second wave” if restrictions were eased too soon and suggested people who want to work “get a job as an essential worker.”

Of note: Facebook said Monday that it has deleted events for anti-quarantine protests in Nebraska, New Jersey and California that defied government guidelines.

The bottom line: The U.S. cannot afford to stay on lockdown until a cure or vaccine arrives. Safely reopening communities and economies requires data that is currently difficult to find.

Protesters from a grassroots organization called Reopen N.C. gather to pressure North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper to reopen the state in Raleigh, N.C., on April 28, 2020. Photo: Peter Zay/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Protestors outside the Louisiana Governor’s Mansion on April 25 in Baton Rouge. Photo: Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Protestors outside the Freedom Tower in Miami, Florida on April 25. Photo: Adam DelGiudice/AFP via Getty Images

Protestors outside the Freedom Tower in Miami, Florida on April 25. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Protestors outside the Texas State Capitol on April 25 in Austin, Texas. Photo: Gary Miller/Getty Images

Protestors outside the Texas State Capitol on April 25 in Austin, Texas. Photo: Gary Miller/Getty Images

Protestors outside the Louisiana Governor’s Mansion on April 25 in Baton Rouge. Photo: Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Protestors outside the Louisiana Governor’s Mansion on April 25 in Baton Rouge. Photo: Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Demonstrators gather in front of the Colorado State Capitol building for a “reopen Colorado” rally in Denver on April 19. Photo: Jason Connolly/AFP via Getty Images

Demonstrators hold signs outside of the New York State Capitol Building on April 22 in Albany, New York. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images

People take part in a “reopen” Pennsylvania demonstration in Harrisburg on April 20. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

Some 2,500 people demonstrate outside the state Capitol to speak out against against Washington Gov. Inslee’s stay-at-home order on April 19. Photo: Alex Milan Tracy/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Protesters gather outside the Indiana governor’s mansion. Photo: Jeremy Hogan/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

New Hampshire residents rally at the State House in Concord on April 18, calling on the government to re-open the state for business. Photo: Joseph Prezioso/AFP via Getty Images

Jessica Lilly, right, with her children aged 7 and 4, join a crowd gathered at the corner of Main Street and Walnut Avenue in Huntington Beach, Calif., to protest state closures on April 17. Photo: Jeff Gritchen/MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty Images

Sarah Mason joins a crowd at Huntington Beach, Calif., to protest state closures on April 17. Photo: Jeff Gritchen/MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty Images

Police officers watch the crowd at Huntington Beach, Calif. as they protest state closures on April 17. Photo: Jeff Gritchen/MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty Images

Protestors in Huntington Beach, Calif. protest state closures on April 17. Photo: Jeff Gritchen/MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty Images

Protesters yell in unison when Infowars’ Alex Jones arrives for an April 18 protest at the State Capitol in Austin, Texas. Photo: Mark Felix/AFP via Getty Images

A protestor in Austin, Texas on April 18. Photo: Sergio Flores/Getty Images

Protesters at the Texas State Capital on April 18 in Austin, Texas. Photo: Sergio Flores/Getty Images

Hundreds of New Hampshire residents rally at the State House in Concord on April 18, calling on the government to re-open the state. Photo: Joseph Prezioso/AFP via Getty Images

Hundreds of New Hampshire residents rally at the State House in Concord on April 18, calling on the government to reopen the state. Photo: Joseph Prezioso/AFP via Getty Images

Hundreds of New Hampshire residents rally at the State House in Concord on April 18, calling on the government to re-open the state. Photo: Joseph Prezioso/AFP via Getty Images

Protesters outside the Orange County Administration Building demanding the end of stay-at-home orders and the reopening of Florida businesses on April 17. Photo: Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

A “Reopen Maryland” rally outside the State House in Annapolis, Maryland on April 18. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

Go deeper: Michigan protesters rally over Gov. Whitmer’s stay-at-home order

Editor’s note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.