The coronavirus pandemic has effected every state across the country, calling for nearly all of the 50 states to shut things down in April. With President Donald Trump reiterating his desire to begin opening the economy back up, many states are taking it a little slower in getting things back up and running while others are lessening restrictions.
North Carolina is one of those states. As a result, a protest group was created in the Tarheel State to push its government to open up the economy. The leader of that organization, Audrey Whitlock, has led the charge, planning multiple protests to counter the actions of Gov. Roy Cooper. Whitlock, though, was unable to attend those protests due to contracting COVID-19. She shared the news to WFAE, a Charlotte radio station. “I remained in isolation/self quarantine at my home per the direction of my county health department,” she stated. “I have not attended any events for Reopen NC.”
The Reopen NC assembly uses a private Facebook group in which Whitlock shared a more in-depth message about what she was going through. The News & Observer documented what was posted in there, showing that Whitlock said she was asymptomatic patient who saw her 14-day quarantine end on Sunday. She then went on to explain that, despite testing positive, she did not feel it was right for the government to mandate her staying home.
“I have been told not to participate in public or private accommodations as requested by the government, and therefore denied my 1st amendment right of freedom of religion,” Whitlock's post read. “If I were an essential employee, I would be denied access to my job by my employer and the government, though compensated, those with other communicable diseases are afforded the right to work. It has been insinuated by others that if I go out, I could be arrested for denying a quarantine order. However, the Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits discrimination by employers, places of public accommodation, and state and local government entities. Where do we draw the line?”
North Carolina has announced that it is not ready to open its state up. Cooper explained that he realizes getting the economy back is important for the long-term and that "we can't stay at home forever," but it concerned about the numbers ever getting to a point like it has in some places. “You only have to look on TV at what’s happening in New York and Italy to see what could happen here.”
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