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Protesters Opposing Gym Closures Did Push-ups and Squats Outside Florida Courthouse (VIDEO)

Naturally, protesters opposing the closure of gyms during the coronavirus pandemic were spotted and filmed doing push-ups and squats outside a courthouse in Clearwater, Florida.

Why is this newsyou ask. Well, it is illustrative—at least in Florida—of what the ongoing debate over state and local response to COVID-19 looks like. There have been protests in a number of states, some of them armed protests, over government restrictions on economic activity and freedoms. Some activities are deemed essential and others are deemed non-essential. Many lawsuits have been filed over this issue, and most of those have focused on restrictions on freedom of assembly in a church context. But at least one gym owner has filed a lawsuit against a governor.

While governors have issued executive orders in an effort to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus and the accompanying death toll, others maintain that these restrictions are draconian and destroying livelihoods.

Gym protesters apparently weren’t wearing masks, and definitely didn’t practice social distancing.

Florida governor Ron DeSantis (R) recently eased up on a “safer at home” executive order, but gyms were supposed to remain closed in the first phase of reopening:

Bars, nightclubs and gyms will remain closed during Phase 1 of re-opening, While personal care services such as barbershops and salons with close contact should remain closed, the portions of those businesses with on-site retail sales may re-open at 25 percent building occupancy.

The plan to reopen gyms is set to be a part of a second phase. Facilities would operate at 75-percent capacity.

Business closures are a tough pill to swallow, resulting in a record high unemployment rate with more than 30 million Americans filing for unemployment. But recent polling suggests that the majority of Americans think that it’s more important to stay inside to slow the spread of COVID-19.

The death toll for COVID-19 in the United States is at least 78,771, according to an update on Sunday from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

[Screengrab via WFLA]

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