Organizer of North Carolina group protesting quarantine rules sidelined with coronavirus
An organizer of a North Carolina group calling on the state to ease its coronavirus restrictions was unable to attend two rallies because she tested positive for the disease, a report said.
Audrey Whitlock, who administers the Facebook page of ReOpen NC, was under quarantine for two weeks ending Sunday after testing positive for coronavirus, according to news station WFAE.
“I remained in isolation/self-quarantine at my home per the direction of my county health department. I have not attended any events for ReOpen NC,” Whitlock told the outlet.
‘She never left her house during her quarantine, so she has not been at any rally or any of the functions that we’ve done,’ fellow organizer, Ashley Smith, told a local television station.
‘I’m not responsible for other people’s choices. I’m for personal liberty,’ Smith explained.
‘Everyone has their own decisions to make. If they want to come, that’s up to them. I’m going to be there. I’m not afraid of the virus. I’m more afraid of losing my constitutional rights and losing my livelihood than I am of the virus.’
Around 1,000 people rallied in downtown Raleigh last Tuesday arguing the order violated their constitutional rights.
Still, Whitlock’s condition is troubling given her central role in an anti-lockdown protest movement that demands an end to scientifically-informed measures designed to contain the spread of the virus that’s killed nearly 55,000 people in the U.S. so far. On Saturday, North Carolina reported 571 new COVID-19 cases, the largest day-to-day increase that the state has seen so far. Since March 27, North Carolinians have been under a stay-at-home order.
That order was set to expire on April 29, but last week Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper extended it until May 8.
In a Facebook post, Whitlock wrote, ‘I will take a stand every day until we are a free people again, to sound the alarm because someone has to do the right thing in the face of wrong.’
In her post, she wrote about how the restrictions put in place amid the COVID-19 pandemic were violating her First Amendment rights as well as her 5th and 14th Amendment rights.
‘We are mostly business owners and employees that are losing our income and denied our right to provide for our families. We have come together to demand action from their elected officials,’ the group explains on their Facebook page.
She said she was ‘forced’ to quarantine which violated her First Amendment rights.