Coronavirus: More protests erupt in SoCal, across US as Americans voice frustrations over public health restrictions

Protesters continued to take to the streets in California and other states over the weekend to demand an end to restrictions.
Protesters continued to take to the streets in some states over the weekend, including in Southern California, as many flouted their governors' stay-at-home orders and physical distancing regulations while demanding an end to restrictions.

Frustrations continued to boil over as public health orders remain in effect, forcing the closure of nonessential businesses across the country and leaving millions of Americans out of work.

Hundreds in San Clemente voiced their concerns over the "safer-at-home" restrictions. Many of the protesters were not wearing masks.

"This is wrong, we want to go back to work. All jobs are essential," said a man who identified himself as J.R.

The Orange County Sheriff's Department said deputies were on scene during the protest and reminded everyone to keep a safe physical distance. No arrests were made.

RELATED: 200-plus gather in Huntington Beach to protest stay-at-home orders: 'We've complied long enough'

A demonstration was also held at Swami's Beach in Encinitas, where people holding signs lined the streets, echoing pleas to return to their jobs.

From Minnesota to Texas, people demanded that states reopen.

In the Lone Star State, vehicles packed streets for a mock funeral to protest the closure of Lubbock small businesses.

On Saturday, the president didn't disagree with protesters, even tweeting to "liberate" some states.

"I just think that some of the governors have gotten carried away," Trump said during a press conference.

The president in recent days has repeatedly compared governors' concerns about a lack of screening capacity to earlier complaints that the states did not have enough ventilators to keep up with the federal government's projections of individuals who would become hospitalized during the virus outbreak.

"To have an American president to encourage people to violate the law is dangerous because it can inspire people to ignore things that actually can save their lives," Washington State Gov. Jay Inslee said.

RELATED: Why 6 feet? The science of physical distancing

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the president's mixed messages could put the U.S. in further danger.

"His earlier delay and denial cause deaths. And so it's very important that we walk the line that's close to evidence, data, science," she said.

Public health experts say the country needs to dramatically increase its testing infrastructure if it is going to safely roll back restrictions and reopen businesses without risking a major spike in infections that would negate weeks of social distancing and economic strife.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious diseases expert, told ABC that "if you jump the gun and go into a situation where you have a big spike, you're going to set yourself back. It's going to backfire. That's the problem."

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. But for some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death.

Separately, Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf announced Monday that the U.S., Mexico, and Canada have agreed to extend restrictions for nonessential travel across their shared borders for an additional 30 days, one sign of a recognition by the federal government that limitations need to continue for some time.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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