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Protesters urge Gov. Tim Walz to reopen economy

The state of Minnesota has been under a Stay at Home order since late March.

ST PAUL, Minn. — In a push from protesters with the "Liberate Minnesota" movement, hundreds are asking the governor to re-think his decision.

"My small business is getting flushed down the toilet," said one protester. 

"My children need their jobs," said another. 

Its been just over three weeks since Governor Tim Walz's executive order to shutdown non-essential businesses across the state went into effect. 

"In the face of 22 million people being thrown into jobless roles, Best Buy furloughing 50,000 people this is not a binary choice, we have to open the economy and beat the virus," said Republican Senate Candidate Jason Lewis, who made an appearance at the rally.

"There’s going to be lots and lots of harm done over something that’s, we’re going off of models that are very flawed," said protester Bruce Bald.

RELATED: 'Liberate Minnesota' protesters rally outside governor's residence

With support backed by the President tweeting "Liberate Minnesota!" earlier Friday, protesters say re-opening the economy is risky business, but its a risk they're willing to take. 

"I’ll be happy to wear my mask and keep others safe. Please, Governor Walz, reopen Minnesota," said protester Ann Johnson. 

With nearly 500,000 Minnesotans filing for unemployment within the last month, several protesters said the potential of another Great Depression is not the way to beat this virus. 

"This is America, this is Minnesota we’re not going to stop our way of life in the name of the latest challenge we’re going to defeat the challenge and we’re going to get folks back to work," said Lewis.

During his daily press briefing, Walz addressed the President's tweet, saying he's attempted to reach out to President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence regarding the context of the tweet, but has not received a response.

RELATED: Live Updates: Minnesota COVID-19 cases top 2,000, more than 100 deaths

"My first responsibility is the protection of Minnesota's people," Walz said. "I think we did see yesterday the president unveiled a three-step plan that mirrored exactly what we're trying to do. He also said governors would be at the forefront. I don't have time to figure out why something like that would happen, I just have to from Minnesota's perspective."

Walz has said increased testing levels will be necessary in order to begin re-opening the state's economy, a view echoed in the Trump Administration's official guidance unveiled on Thursday.

RELATED: President Trump unveils 'Guidelines for opening up America again'

Also on Friday morning, Gov. Walz announced an executive order which will allow some outdoor recreation businesses to reopen, including golf courses.

RELATED: Walz allows some outdoor recreation businesses to reopen

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