Democratic lawmakers have joined with advocacy groups in criticizing President Donald Trump for encouraging recent protests against stay-at-home orders enacted by state and local governments in response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic—including Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who accused the president of using the COVID-19 crisis to garner voter support.In a Saturday appearance on MSNBC\u0026#039;s \u0022AM Joy,\u0022 the Massachusetts Democrat declared that during this crisis, Trump has failed in his responsibility to keep Americans safe.\u0022He has failed abysmally in that, and he has also failed just in the notion of what he\u0026#039;s telling people, saying liberate, free Michigan, Virginia, encouraging people to come out and trying to turn this health crisis into a political rally for himself,\u0022 Warren told host Joy Reid, referencing Trump\u0026#039;s Friday tweets about the protests.\u0022That is absolutely the wrong kind of leadership,\u0022 Warren said. \u0022It is the kind of leadership that puts lives at risk, and it is the kind of leadership that undermines the very strength of this country.\u0022After dozens of demonstrators on-foot and thousands of people in their vehicles descended on the Michigan Capitol Wednesday with signs that read \u0022Liberty once lost is lost forever\u0022 and \u0022Security without liberty is called prison\u0022 to protest Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer\u0026#039;s stay-at-home order, Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.) called the event \u0022inescusable.\u0022Dingell added to her criticism of the \u0022Operation Gridlock\u0022 protest during a Saturday appearance on MSNBC\u0026#039;s \u0022Weekends With Alex Witt.\u0022 The congresswoman emphasized the importance of preventing more deaths from COVID-19 and urged against politicizing the pandemic and containment measures.As for Trump encouraging the protests throughout the country, Dingell warned \u0022adding this kind of kerosene to a tinderbox is very dangerous\u0022 and said that she connected with \u0022a lot of people on both sides of the aisle\u0022 to express her concerns and call for political unity in the fight against the pandemic.Reporting Saturday on a protest outside the Texas Capitol building in Austin, the New York Times noted:The rally rode a wave of similar protests\u0026nbsp;at statehouses and in city streets this past week, with people also gathering on Saturday in Indianapolis; Carson City, Nevada; Annapolis, Maryland; and Brookfield, Wisconsin. As some governors expressed interest in reopening their states, some prominent local conservatives turned to Facebook groups and other social media to set up protests.In Austin, the Times reported, \u0022there were Trump signs, flags, caps, and T-shirts. There were loud chants of \u0026#039;Let us work! Let us work!\u0026#039; but also \u0026#039;Fire Fauci! Fire Fauci!\u0026#039;\u0022 Anthony Stephen Fauci is the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a lead member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force.Demonstrators are gathering outside the Texas Capitol building to protest stay-at-home orders, chanting “Fire Fauci, Fire Fauci”pic.twitter.com/oI7GIzZPUr— Mike Coudrey (@MichaelCoudrey) April 18, 2020Over the past week, there have also been protests against stay-at-home orders in Huntington Beach, California as well as at the statehouses in New Jersey and Virginia. A Republican state lawmaker is organizing a \u0022Re-Open Maine\u0022 Convoy and Parade for Monday outside the Governor\u0026#039;s Mansion in Augusta.Frustration over state stay-at-home orders boiled over into protests in Texas, Indiana, New Hampshire, Nevada, Maryland, Utah, and Wisconsin Saturday. Polls suggest the protesters are actually part of a very vocal minority. https://t.co/bmBJlPzAnb— Vox (@voxdotcom) April 19, 2020Trump came under fire Friday for proclaiming in a series of tweets, \u0022LIBERATE MINNESOTA!\u0022 and \u0022LIBERATE MICHIGAN!\u0022 He added: \u0022LIBERATE VIRGINIA, and save your great 2nd Amendment. It is under siege!\u0022 The latter comment was an apparent reference to gun control measures recently signed by Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam.The criticism continued throughout the weekend, with Rep. Barabara Lee (D-Calif.) tweeting Sunday morning that \u0022Trump is *literally* trying to incite violence in states across the country. It\u0026#039;s despicable how low he’ll sink to score political points.\u0022Following the president\u0026#039;s tweets, he was asked during a Friday press briefing: \u0022Sir, are you concerned, though, that people coming out in protest are going to spread COVID to other people?\u0026nbsp; They\u0026#039;re congregating in ways that health experts have said they should not.\u0022Trump responded: \u0022No, these are people expressing their views. I see where they are and I see the way they\u0026#039;re working. They seem to be very responsible people to me, but it’s—you know, they\u0026#039;ve been treated a little bit rough.\u0022The president stopped short of saying that the states seeing protests should lift their stay-at-home orders but said \u0022I think elements of what they\u0026#039;ve done are too much.\u0022Later in the briefing Fauci was asked: \u0022Does that concern you though, as a health expert, when you see folks congregate? And are you worried if that\u0026#039;s encouraged?\u0022Fauci said: \u0022Well, I mean, I\u0026#039;m looking at it from a public health standpoint. I certainly could understand the frustration of people, but my main role in the task force is to make recommendations to protect the health and the safety of the American people. And I would hope that people understand that that\u0026#039;s the reason why we\u0026#039;re doing what we\u0026#039;re doing, and hopefully we\u0026#039;ll put an end to this.\u0022This post has been been updated with comment from Rep. Barabara Lee (D-Calif.).