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Protesters demand governor lift COVID restrictions

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Posted at 3:58 PM, Apr 18, 2021

FRANKFORT, Ky. (LEX 18) — For the second time in as many weeks, critics of Governor Andy Beshear gathered on the state capitol grounds to protest his leadership during the pandemic.

More than one hundred protesters brought their signs and voices of frustration outside the governor’s mansion to demand that the governor lift COVID-19 related restrictions.

Now, the governor had said, just last week, that when the number of Kentuckians who’ve received the first dose reaches 2.5 million, he will lift capacity restrictions and physical distancing requirements for most businesses.

The protesters gathered on Sunday object to that, arguing that that’s an unfair ultimatum. They see that goal as the governor coercing Kentuckians to get vaccinated.

Many of the signs displayed messages calling into question the science and research behind COVID-19. Mostly there were many anti-mask and anti-vaccine signs.

The crowd cheered when one speaker said that vaccine appointments are going unfilled. Protesters who spoke with us believe even if we reach the vaccination goal, nothing much will change.

“My question is what are we turning back to normal. So when he says get vaccinated, what is really lifting. And he flat out said, ‘we’re still masking.' We’re still doing all that, so that’s kind of a lie to me," said Adrienne Longfellow.

A spokesperson for the governor sent us this statement today which reads:

To end this pandemic, a majority of Kentuckians and Americans need to receive one of the safe, effective vaccines. Gov. Beshear is encouraging more Kentuckians to get a life-saving vaccine so that we can safely and quickly lift many restrictions and finally defeat COVID, which has already killed more than 6,200 Kentuckians.

Gov. Beshear has taken decisive action to slow the spread of COVID and end this pandemic. While other states are seeing the beginning of another surge, the cases in Kentucky dropped for weeks and have now leveled off, which means fewer Kentuckians will be sick, hospitalized, and lost in coming weeks.