A restaurant owner in Michigan made his feelings on COVID-19 lockdowns known in a now-viral video moment when he interrupted a local TV news reporter’s broadcast. Dave Morris, owner of D&R’s Daily Grind Café in Portage, Mich., voiced his frustrations with state lockdown orders to the reporter who appeared to be just starting a live report.
The segment quickly spread through social media and on Thursday night, Morris was invited to be a guest on “Tucker Carlson Tonight.” On the show, Morris talked about his frustrations with the COVID lockdowns.
“This is several months of frustration,” Morris told Carlson. “I think I’m speaking for a whole lot, millions and millions of Americans I’m speaking for here. Our so-called leaders that are using our tax money to pay themselves while they are instilling policy on us to ruin our businesses and our lives.
“This started out as a two-week ‘flatten the curve’. They asked us to cooperate with that. It went from that to shutting us right down for months,” he explained. “They have destroyed, I don’t know, maybe 3,000 businesses in the state are closed right now permanently, and there’s more to come.”
Morris applied for the Payment Protection Program loan on the first day it was available, but as many small business owners found out the money was simply not there. “Instead, that money went in all different directions. It went to campaign donors, special interest groups, maybe a couple museums,” Morris said, “And it didn’t get where it was supposed to go. I never got any of it. And the small business owners like me never got any of it. That’s our money and I want to know what they did with it.”
Morris also said that neither he nor his immediate family who work at the café have contacted COVID. Morris reopened his restaurant for indoor dining this week, defying state orders and said he isn’t worried about repercussions.
“You can only be backed into the corner so far [before] we got to come out fighting here a little bit, and I’m really frustrated with the way things are handled,” Morris said.
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has already indicated her administration may extend the current shutdown of schools and businesses if COVID cases continue at their current levels.