The “Operation Gridlock” protest was organized by the Michigan Conservative Coalition.

“This arbitrary blanket spread of shutting down businesses, about putting all of these workers out of business, is just a disaster. It’s an economic disaster for Michigan,” coalition member Meshawn Maddock said. “And people are sick and tired of it.”

Critics of Whitmer, a Democrat said to be a possible running mate for Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, have taken umbrage at what they call inconsistencies and overreach in her policies, including the more stringent extension last week of a stay-at-home order through the end of April.

That order barred Michigan residents from moving between homes in the state or using motorboats, and stopped stores from selling carpeting, flooring, furniture, garden supplies or paint.

Six Republican members of US Congress from Michigan – Fred Upton, Paul Mitchell, Tim Walberg, Bill Huizenga, John Moolenaar and Jack Bergman – sent Whitmer a letter on Tuesday calling on her to amend the order instead of “needlessly shutting down large sectors of the economy and further restricting the lives of residents”.

Republican National Committee Chairman Ronna McDaniel tweeted that Whitmer was turning Michigan into a “police state”.