About 100 protesters gathered for the Rally for Freedom to oppose government mandates that aim to protect public health.
About 100 protesters waving US flags and holding placards denouncing mask and vaccine warrants gathered along the sidewalk of 700 East in Liberty Park on Saturday, making Salt Lake City one of dozens of cities in the world to protest against restrictions related to public health.
The international group World Wide Demonstration on Saturday promoted such events – called Rally for Freedom – everywhere from Denmark to South Africa to Taiwan. The group has held other rallies throughout the pandemic to protest public health mandates as well.
One of the main topics among the protesters was President Joe Biden’s executive order asking companies to require vaccines if the company employs 100 or more people, a move that could affect around 100 million Americans. Federal employees will also be required to show proof of vaccination.
Protester Andrea Woolley, of Sandy, said she “could face a job loss very soon” because of the executive order because she does not want to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
âI’m glad Utah isâ¦ standing against the warrant,â Woolley said, referring to Attorney General Sean Reyes’ opposition to the warrants. Reyes and 23 other state attorneys general signed a letter calling the warrant unconstitutional.
Woolley and the other protesters likened many public health measures put in place during the pandemic to tyranny.
âA government shouldn’t be able to impose anything on humans,â Harris said.
Harris, of Logan, said he thought he and millions of other Americans who contracted COVID-19 and recovered are now protected by natural immunity, much like someone who contracted chickenpox would be. immune to this virus after recovering.
A study from Emory University found that patients who had previously contracted the flu retained “broad and lasting immunity” for months after infection. A study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that people previously infected without the vaccine were twice as likely to contract COVID-19 again as those previously infected who received the vaccine.
Not all protesters aligned with the severity of the pandemic. Harris, who said his symptoms of COVID-19 resembled those of the flu, said the pandemic is a “huge” problem. Woolley said she does not “recognize” the pandemic and has lived life unchanged for the past year and a half.
âI’m dedicated to my own business, to my own life,â Woolley said.
In Utah, 2,776 people died from COVID-19 on Friday and more than 21,000 people were hospitalized for COVID-19. More than 665,000 people have died from the virus nationwide, according to the CDC.
Ray Adams, of Tooele, called the pandemic “tampering” and that he has resisted public health measures against COVID-19 “every hour”.
Adams has said he is not a conspiracy theorist because there are too many facts that he believes prove there is a global organization benefiting from the pandemic.
âI believe the vaccine is how they’re going to purge Americans,â Adams said.