This morning President Donald Trump issued two tweets in support of anti-lockdown protestors in Commack, Long Island, New York who lashed out at News 12 Long Island reporter Kevin Vesey as he covered their event.
While the majority of white Trump-supporting demonstrators peacefully picketed the roadside, four minutes into covering the event, several protestors started yelling at Vesey through bullhorns, giving the reporter the middle finger, telling him “Go home, you’re fake news” and “Fake news is not essential,” and trying to invade his personal space without masks, risking the possibility of attempting to infect him with COVID-19.
In response to videos of the protestors attacking Vesey, Trump tweeted, “People can’t get enough of this. Great people!” and “FAKE NEWS IS NOT ESSENTIAL!” Numerous times in the past, Trump has referred to the media as the “enemy of the people.”
Here is video of Vesey’s report:
This was my story that aired on TV today -- a recap of yesterday's events, and what's happened since. https://t.co/cfGrBYiLGJ— Kevin Vesey (@Kevin Vesey) 1589578327.0
The protest was organized by a Facebook group called the Setauket Patriots who later issued a public apology to Vesey via Facebook, stating:
“The Setauket Patriots group, would like to apologize on how you were treated… The few who decided to Harass you and try to prevent you from doing your job are not members or affiliated with the Setauket patriots group in any way, shape or form…. As with all mass rally events, you will always get a few idiots to disrupt an otherwise peaceful, pleasant demonstration and they should have been removed by Police.”
On April 29, President Donald Trump cheered on armed anti-lockdown protestors in Minnesota, Michigan and Virginia — three states run by Democratic governors — by telling them to “liberate” their states. Trump later defended the tweets, saying that some state’s social distancing policies are “too tough.” Meanwhile, anti-lockdown protestors in Michigan have openly discussed assassinating its female Governor Gretchen Whitmer, causing the state legislature to shut down this week.
New York remains the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak. As of May 16, the state has had 346,000 confirmed cases and 22,304 deaths.