A rally today at noon at the Capitol Complex in Harrisburg could draw thousands of people in support of reopening the state's economy.
Several organizations are behind the statehouse rally. Chris Dorr, an Ohio gun rights activist, created the Pennsylvanians Against Excessive Quarantine Facebook group last week, which now has more than 66,500 members. "Politicians are on a power trip, controlling our lives, destroying our businesses, passing laws behind the cover of darkness and forcing us to hand over our freedoms and our livelihood!" the group's description states.
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Joel Underwood, a spokesperson for the groups, told The Philadelphia Inquirer that attendees are encouraged to practice social distancing and “make their own choice as to whether to remain in their vehicle or not.” Underwood said 1,400 people have said they would attend, including speakers and state Reps. Aaron Bernstine (R-Lawrence) and Riss Diamond (R-Lebanon).
Bernstine told the Inquirer he’ll focus on reopening the state’s economy in a safe way.
Pennsylvania officials are aware of the gathering and have advised against it.
“If you come to Harrisburg and you’re not practicing social distancing, then you are putting all of yourselves at risk,” Rachel Levine, Pennsylvania’s health secretary, said Thursday. “So if a gathering like that happens and they’re not practicing social distancing … then they will be more at risk for contracting the dangerous virus.”