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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Several states say they’ve made progress against COVID-19 and are moving ahead with plans to reopen local businesses as early as Friday.

That’s coming as pressure mounts from growing nationwide protests against stay-at-home orders, including Minnesota.

Hundreds protested Minnesota’s legally-enforceable order, but not a single demonstrator was arrested, ticketed or fined.

Most did not wear masks, or practice social distancing.

And President Donald Trump refused to criticize it, or any state protests.

“They want to go back to work,” Trump said.

READ MORE: Days After ‘LIBERATE MINNESOTA!’ Tweet, Pres. Trump Says He ‘Received A Very Nice Call’ From Gov. Walz

There are 42 states that are under stay-at-home orders guided by President Trump’s Coronavirus Task Force, a jaw-dropping 95% of the United States population.

The Minnesota protest against it was coordinated by conservative activists, Republicans and Trump supporters.

Now, a local family of pro-gun activists is gaining national fame for organizing quarantine protest groups.

“Our rights are being taken away at an alarming rate,” says one site, and the economy “totally obliterated.”

Northfield brothers Ben, Chris and Aaron Dorr run Minnesota Gun Rights websites. And now, according to the Washington Post, they also run Facebook “quarantine” groups in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Ohio and New York.

Ben Dorr (credit: CBS)

Ben Dorr is a prominent Midwest “pro-gun, no compromise” activist. Last year, he disrupted an anti-gun protest at the Minnesota Capitol.

Dorr responded to critics of his protests on Twitter, blaming “the radical, leftist media” who “hate patriotism.” And describing “wonderful drive-in rallies are the work of every day Americans who just want their lives, jobs and freedom back.”

Stay-at-home protesters in Minnesota are frustrated like the rest of Americans, but polling consistently shows they represent a small minority of citizens.

Almost half of Americans — 48% — are worried about severe economic disruption in their lives.

But 66% — Republicans and Democrats alike — are worried states will lift restrictions too “quickly” and virus deaths will rise.

Here are some of the sources we used for this Reality Check:

https://pewrsr.ch/2VOIG41

https://www.voanews.com/covid-19-pandemic/minnesota-mom-leads-protest-against-stay-home-order

https://www.facebook.com/events/1201743216823346/?active_tab=about

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/us/coronavirus-stay-at-home-order.html

https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2020/04/19/pro-gun-activists-using-facebook-groups-push-anti-quarantine-protests/

https://poll.qu.edu/national/release-detail?ReleaseID=3658

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Pat Kessler

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