The owner of a restaurant in Michigan crashed a local news team’s live report to blast the government in general for a lack of financial assistance during the pandemic.
“My government leaders have abandoned me,” says the owner, Dave Morris, as he comes up behind WWMT reporter Tarvarious Haywood, who was reporting live from Portage, near Kalamazoo, startling both him and the news anchor.
After realizing that Morris wasn’t a threat, Haywood begins to interview him.
“Four trillion dollars of stimulus money and they gave it to who? Special interest groups and campaign donors,” Morris said.
“So, what’s going on?” Haywood asks.
“Hey, you know what’s going on,” Morris, owner of D&R Daily Grind, responds.
“Tell me. You tell me,” says Haywood.
Morris went on to say that he feels abandoned by the government at all levels and that because of that, he’s been put in a position where he believes it’s time to “fight back.”
“I feel everybody needs to stand up” and defy the state’s ban on indoor dining, Morris said, which is what he’s doing.
“Hey, listen, there was enough money to give every family…$20,000 to go home for two months,” Morris said, an apparent reference to coronavirus stimulus packages passed by Congress.
“They chose to give it to special interests and campaign donors, the Kennedy Space Center…they abandoned us,” he said, adding that he would “gladly walk away” from his restaurant “for 60 days” to “let the virus settle down” if he had the money to do so.
“But I’m not going to do it alone,” he added.
Asked by Haywood if he planned to continue violating the state’s lockdown order, Morris remained defiant.
“This isn’t an order, this is a conspiracy, it’s a tyranny,” he said.
Haywood then asked Morris what he wanted to tell people.
“Wake up! Stand up! This is America! Be free. I’ve got patriots coming out and supporting me the last two days. You know what? It’s a great thing. Wake up! This is America! Don’t let ‘em ramrod you,” he added.
Morris went on to say that other businesses are allowed to be open including some that serve food.
“And you’re gonna blame me? Come on. Come on,” he said. “This is not right and you know it. Everybody knows it. Stand up, America. Give us the money to shut this thing down and calm this virus. But don’t take it out on a select few.”
Morris’ outburst came as a federal judge on Thursday rejected a lawsuit filed by the Michigan Restaurant and Lodging Association seeking to remove a ban on indoor dining in local eateries, issued by the state health department due to the pandemic.
But U.S. District Judge Paul Maloney, a George W. Bush appointee, ruled plaintiffs were not likely to win on the merits of the case.
“At this state, the Court finds that Plaintiffs have failed to demonstrate a substantial likelihood of success on the merits of their federal claims, and accordingly, the request for a preliminary injunction will be denied,” Maloney wrote.
The restaurant association claimed that the health department’s order violated a number of federal laws.
In mid-November, Whitmer announced new pandemic-related restrictions that included closing high schools and colleges, casinos, movie theaters, and indoor dining.
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