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Karl Stefanovic grills coronavirus protest organiser on live TV

Karl Stefanovic grills coronavirus protest organiser on live TV

Things quickly became heated as Today host Karl Stefanovic went head to head with a conservative American business owner who wants the state of Michigan to open despite the looming threat of coronavirus.

With thousands of angry Michigan residents taking to the streets to protest the Governor’s stay-at-home measures, many were photographed carrying Donald Trump/Mike Pence signs.

Stefanovic spoke to one of the organisers of the protest, small business owner Meshawn Maddock.

“Do you not see it (the protests) as possible negligence?” Stefanovic said to Maddock.

Maddock said she doesn’t care about the condemnation of the world, but just wants to protect businesses in Michigan.

“I don't have medical experience. I am a small-business owner,” she said.

“I know what it is like to lay off seven people in my business, which is upsetting. I am protecting us financially. Those are the things I'm focused on.”

Stefanovic tried a different tactic and pointed out the large crowds that could lead to an outbreak of coronavirus.

"No-one wants to be in lockdown but yesterday 50,000 people turned up. You do realise that could lead to a catastrophe with this virus," he said.

Maddock said that she wasn’t concerned, as the protestors were “very well-behaved” and then slammed the “heinous encroachments” on their liberty.

“I don't see it that way. I see the numbers as plateauing. That's what most of Michigan feels,” she said.

“Everyone behaved because the numbers were dire and terrifying. We are not near those numbers.

“The truth is we are not in the panic that our Governor instituted. Maybe it’s because of our shutdown but if we don’t financially get some of the workers back to work, Michigan will never recover, our nation might not recover.”

Stefanovic then asked if Maddock was worried about contracting the virus.

“I've just responded to you three times. It's not I'm not worried about getting it,” she said.

“I know this is a serious disease, but I think people can safely get back to work. There is no reason why a family who wants to paint their home in quarantine shouldn't be able to buy a gallon of paint. Guess what? They can't.

“These decisions are arbitrary, capricious, not born out of science. Our Governor wants to put a boot on the taxpaying members of Michigan, taxpaying members of Michigan, because she is trying to launch herself into a public limelight and be a Vice Presidential candidate with Joe Biden.”

Her claims come as United States death toll surpasses 41,000 deaths and more than 740,000 infections.