FRANKFORT, Ky. (WDRB) — Hundreds of people showed up to a "Freedom Rally" on Saturday at the state Capitol in Frankfort, Kentucky, to call for businesses to reopen amid a government-ordered shutdown to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Several lawmakers spoke with protesters, including State Reps. Kim King, Stan Lee, Savannah Maddox and State Sen. John Schickel, according to an event flyer posted to Facebook. Other speakers included Jack Roberts, pastor of Maryville Baptist Church in Hillview, Kentucky, and event organizer Dr. Lee Watts.
Many people carried signs and American flags, and one person waved a Confederate flag. Others brought guns.
Some signs read, "No king but Jesus," "Poverty kills too," and "My health, my choice."
Many rally attendees said they were taking a stand for liberty and constitutional rights and voiced opposition to Gov. Andy Beshear's guidelines for wearing face masks and social distancing in public.
"I think that our businesses of all different varieties have the ability to operate safely knowing that we should still be mindful of CDC recommendations in terms of social distancing," said Maddox, a Republican from Dry Ridge, Kentucky. "I think that we can make those types of decisions and operate in a way that will keep Kentuckians healthy and allow us to get back to work."
In addition to chants and speeches, people listened to music while gathered in front of the Capitol.
Beshear on Thursday outlined Phase 1 of a plan to reopen the state's economy, beginning May 11 with manufacturing, construction, horse racing, car dealerships, some professional services and dog grooming and boarding. The governor did not hold a daily briefing Saturday to update the state on the pandemic.
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