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Lt. Governor McGeachin, two local mayors to speak at rally against stay-home order

Coronavirus

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Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin | Mike Price, EastIdahoNews.com

REXBURG — Two local mayors, Lt. Governor Janice McGeachin and an Idaho Freedom Foundation representative will speak at rally advocating for reopening Idaho and an end to Gov. Brad Little’s stay-home order.

McGeachin’s office confirmed she would be the keynote speaker at the “All Jobs are Essential Rally” in Rexburg Saturday. She will be joined by Sugar City Mayor Steve Adams, Rigby Mayor Jason Richardson and Idaho Freedom Foundation President Wayne Hoffman, according to a flier posted by Adams.

The rally was originally going to take place at Porter Park. However, Adams said there was a misunderstanding about the location, and he’s no longer sure where it will be held. EastIdahoNews.com will update this article when it’s announced.

The stay-home order only permits essential businesses to operate and encourages people to only travel for essential reasons. It also bans large gatherings to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.

“A situation like this could easily justify a social disobedience kind of rally, but I don’t know that that’s our goal. At least, it’s not my goal,” Adams told EastIdahoNews.com.

Adams said he initially supported the stay-home order, but has had a change of heart.

“After about a week of watching what was going on and trying to understand what science or good data might be behind it, it just wasn’t there,” Adams said.

He said the point of the rally for him is to get that information out to the public.

“I think there’s great cause to take measures and be careful with what’s happening with the coronavirus, but I just think that government stepping in to decide which businesses can stay open and which ones close … is unnecessary,” Adams said.

The federal and state governments disagree with that assessment of the data. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare and Idaho’s local health districts have all discouraged large gatherings to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Those planning to attend are being encouraged to maintain social distancing. People were encouraged to maintain social distancing at a similar rally in Boise on April 17, although many attendees did not.

“COVID-19 is a real disease and is infectious, but we must not let it cripple us,” the flier for the Rexburg event states.

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