After initially acknowledging the authority of U.S. states to decide how best to mitigate the coronavirus outbreak, President Donald Trump has been encouraging anti-lockdown protests against Democratic governors in battleground states he needs to win to be reelected in November. As VOA’s Brian Padden reports, the president’s critics accuse Trump of trying to exploit the pandemic response for political gain, while supporters say Trump is channeling the frustration of American workers who say they are harmed more by the economic shutdown than the deadly virus.

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