ReOpenNC holds press conference in downtown Raleigh
ReOpenNC leader Ashley Smith speaks near the Liberty Bell in downtown Raleigh about reopening the state of North Carolina during the coronavirus pandemic.
all right? Yeah, from that. All right. Okay. All right. I went hard line. So hopefully this will work. Testing 12345 I could hear myself. So yeah, I'm with Hardline. So So All right. Okay. Yes, they come on. I think right over there on that corner, they'll go around behind them. They were not. Thank you guys for being here. Yeah, Okay. Really? Are you standing with me or Okay, okay. You're not gonna okay, right? Good morning. Can everyone hear me? Okay, great. Okay. Well, im Ashley Smith, co founder of Reopen and See. Thank you for being here today. We always appreciate your attendance and reporting. Our event today was almost cancelled due to safety concerns as violent protesters indicated that they'll be back in Raleigh today or tonight. But after much thought and consultation and prayer, we opted to come today to have our voices heard over the noise that is currently dominating the airwaves. We will be delivering a petition to speak or more today, and that's gonna be a very powerful event. The headline of our press release yesterday speaks volumes as to why we're here protesting again today. Let me read it with you. Infighting within Republican House and Senate as reps choose ending session while status frozen So with thousands of businesses still not open or some who have opened and defiance of Cooper's illegal orders, then being shuttered by his goon squad, our elected officials how can they even consider ending this session? While statues air being torn down, violent protesters now armed at these events and thousands of business owners inching towards bankruptcy every day that there, without their businesses being open is another day of suffering and and profit loss and job loss? It's just unthinkable. So our pressure reopened and see put pressure on our elected officials to keep the session open, and we've now learned that they will be coming back after a short two week recess, which is a change of plans. This defies even my wildest imagination. Yesterday, Dan Forest indicated that he was filing suit against the governor, and rumor has it that no other Council of State member agreed to co sign close contact with elected officials again. Shows that are direct pressure is forcing the hands of the elected. If we can be out here, reopen and see and our members away from our families, many of us out of work, many of us struggling to hold on every day we are out here to fight this governor's illegal orders. Why wouldn't our elected officials be doing the same? It was more than rumor just days ago that several leading officials, such as Burger, More in others were overheard saying that whether they stayed and work or went home would not affect their upcoming election. Either way, the primary was already behind them, and they were looking at polls that made them confident that it was okay for them to leave rather than staying and fighting for North Carolinians. Really, Cooper. Now, now Cooper puts forth a mandatory mass order statewide. When challenged, he states, it's the data. If any of you watched Trump's town hall in Wisconsin last night, he addressed the issue. Of course, if you increase testing dramatically, naturally, your numbers of infected are going to rise. That's just plain common sense, the president went on to say. But the number being ignored is the death rate, which has not spiked and in fact has gone down. That is true here in North Carolina, as Well, if you look at straight numbers, we still haven't hit the 2017 influenza numbers. Look it up. I've been talking about these numbers for months, and no one shut down our state. Then, as professionals, I ask you, the media, Please stop parroting the numbers being said to you. Dig deep We do. And what we find disproves Cooper's rationale and shows that it just doesn't add up. On a particular day recently, Cooper flew the coop. He walked out, marched, walked out of the mansion, removed his mask. I think some of you will know the image well. It was kind of dangling from his ear there and Walt with with these marchers for a photo op, I'm sure, and it was actually on the exact same side wall that I was arrested on for trespassing. Then he left the group and popped back into the mansion the very next day, at his press conference, he rails about the imminent danger of exposure and how groups like ours are endangering people while he marched with hundreds mask free and openly supports thousands more who have marched and rioted, mostly mask free. It's hard to take this guy seriously, and you need to call him out and stop parroting his stats. Try showing his mask free face on broadcast while reporting the spiking numbers and see how he and North Carolina citizens react to that bizarre contradiction. We're here today, as we have been many times before, working with the police, bringing our message to the people that the time has come to open the state. People are suffering, businesses are closing. People are weary and tired and ready to get back to normal. We need to be trusted. We are responsible adults. I've said it many times. North Carolinians are intelligent adults. We can make good decisions based on the data and the information available to us. Personal liberty brings personal responsibility, and that is what our country is based on. We are still America after all. Am I right? Thank you way need to be trusted. We can make good choices for our safety and the safety of those around us, like Sweden, who's successful approach and now one of the most widely respected worldwide. They kept their vulnerable home. They made suggestions and recommendations. They did the shopping for them. They ran the errands for them and the rest of the young, healthy population went on about. Life is mostly normal, and there, through the worst of it, Coopers and anti state. Treating adults like Children and overreaching of power is a failed social experiment, and it has to end now. And finally, if you, the media, really want to do your job effectively and fairly join us as we walk across the street and we go into the Legislature and we hand deliver petitions with over 6000 North Carolinian signatures directly to speaker more and we will show them that in 24 hours we collected a large voice of North Carolinians and the signatures are still pouring, pouring in, more calm. Every minute the people of North Carolina are speaking and we are demanding to be heard. I'll take some questions. The first petition is against the Met. The mask mandate and the second petition is a call to investigate Roy Cooper's actions with the various executive orders. So we're calling for an investigation or a lawsuit. We're calling for the Council of State and our elected officials to investigate. We're not states like Arizona. We're not wearing well, you know, the thing is that it has to be an individual choice. I believe that people will make good choices. I make a choice to socially distance when I'm in public, which is what we were told would work perfectly all alone. And so I'm personally a person who cannot wear a mask so I'll socially distance and that's a responsible decision that I'll make. However, we haven't seen a crime and death rates here in North Carolina, and I would like to point out that a non congregate living facilities in our state we've seen less than 500 deaths total in the general population of 10.5 1,000,000 people. Does that really substantiate a mask mandate? On top of all of the other edicts and decrees that have been made by King Cooper? I don't think so. Value and I don't see a value and shutting down a population of taking away people's constitutional rights over a virus. Absolutely not. I've talked to doctors who are very concerned of a continued shut down and the fact that we're going to do nothing but harm our immune systems and prolong the inevitable by staying closed, and I also never read in the Constitution that any of us are promised. We're not constitutionally guaranteed a virus or pathogen free existence. It just doesn't exist. To live is to take risk fast to your point right way. Do you see well? But interestingly enough, the death right hasn't. So what does that tell you? We have means to battle this virus. Why are we locking down and crashing our economy and causing deaths of despair and starvation worldwide? The out the outlying overall reaches of this of the fallout of the shutdown itself are so much more far reaching than that of the virus. And we have to take all of those things into consideration. And we are a free people, and we have a right to make these decisions ourselves. One man does not have the right to make that decision for 10.5 1,000,000 people. I'm sorry he doesn't I don't care under what circumstances Abbas Mint do its job. It's not the state's job to keep us healthy. Medical hospitals have never been close to being overrun in North Carolina. Our goal was to flatten the curve. We've flattened our entire way of life. I think we have continually seen moving goal posts that have continued to take away chip chip piece by piece, the liberty of law abiding North Carolinians. And it has to stop. And also there put it on the business is to enforce the mask, the mandate and gonna find them. If they don't enforce the mass mandate, what is that gonna do? Take more money out of the pockets of businesses that he's already shut down? What is his ploy? What is his in game? In this business is air suffering. And now he wants to put Mawr stress and more responsibility on businesses to collect, to claim what money from them, because they're not enforcing his mandate. It's all silliness, It's nonsensical. And it's what we've continued to see this entire time. We've seen it over and over and over again, with contradicting points in every single executive order that he's put forth and the lack of the concurrence of the Council of State on every single executive order that he's put forth. It's unconstitutional, it's illegal, it needs to be investigated, and he needs to have his day in court. We have orders. We're asking for all of them to be investigated All of his actions in the handling of this crisis. I need to be investigated. Any other questions, You guys? Yes, that's I would like to say, just a piece for business owners. I know that you're being called now to be the mask enforcement task force from a governor who shut you down and stole your livelihood and in many cases, bankrupted you and stole everything that you've worked for. So as a business hunter myself, I have a challenge for you. Put a sign up on your door that says masks are required. But under the 80 a law, we're gonna assume that if you're not wearing a mask, you have a medical condition that would exempt you from it. And we're not going to harass you. Thank you for your business. That will give you a way out of having to get in the middle of someone's health care choices there, doctor. And now the legality of it. And I'm sure that it will increase your business. So thank you, guys. Yes, Yes, yes. Thanks. Have a good day. Right. Three, huh? Great, Merrill. Uh, Keith in and let's just like your writing are they doing something cause I think they're gonna walk in there and try to find something to time more. Okay, get that event happening hard for us to get through the doors, get through security and do all that. I don't get that absolutely. Right. Okay. Where you going? And it's looking up. You're not going one of them up good video station When they go inside, the more yeah, I found when I wrote go. I wanted to be Don't be our last. All right? Yes. Way we're here. You're wrong on it. Doing more? Not a but none of having. Right? Yeah. All right. Hey, more not in here. You know, they don't know, uh, with town.