MURRAY, Utah (ABC4) — Protesters called it an anti-mandate demonstration.
Hundreds of people were outside Intermountain Medical Center Saturday afternoon to have their voices heard regarding the vaccine mandates issued by the federal government.
There were signs all over the protest with messages that noted how protestors felt: “freedom not force,” “protocols kill,” “mandate truth,” “we are not lab rats.”
Several of the protestors said they would risk losing their job instead of getting vaccinated against Covid-19. Protestors stood out and yelled out slogans to voice their opposition to the mandates.
“Freedom is my mandate,” Marvin Moorehead shouted as cars drove by with some of the honking for support of the protestors.
Moorehead , who wore a “let’s go Brandon” t-shirt and said he supports those who are anti-vaccine and anti-mandate, called the mandates “a dictatorship.”
“We are having our freedoms taken from us and our liberties trampled so I think it is important for us to get out here and spread the message of this communism they are doing,” said Moorehead.
Many noted it’s all about freedoms and added there is too much misinformation, too much government involvement, and not enough unity, although they did not say what the misinformation was they heard or where they heard it from.
“I have lost one job already, I’ll lose another,” said Wendy Farris as she held signs protesting the mandates.
“Masks don’t work and people are fed up with it,” she said. “It will never end; it’s one vaccine, it’s two, it’s three, it’s four, it will never end.” Farris said she lost her job for saying no to wearing a mask and now in a new job, she said no to being vaccinated for the mandate.
Other protestors felt the issue of mandates were beyond what most people say they are but they were ambiguous as to what that issue actually was.
“There is an enemy in the room and it is not me and it not you and it is not vax or anti-vax, that is not the enemy,” said a woman who goes by Michelle.
As Biden’s national mandate is challenged in court, Utah legislators this week passed SB2004 which would give working Utahans exemptions from Covid-19 vaccines and prevent their employers from firing them.
“What we said was you can implement vaccine mandates but you just have to allow for some nuance and allow for some exemptions and the easiest thing to do was to find those exemptions already existing in state law and our public education and our higher education that provide for medical, religious, and strongly held personal belief exemptions,” said Majority Assistant Whip and State Senator Kirk Cullimore.
Intermountain Healthcare said this is a statement to ABC 4:
Based on federal government COVID-19 vaccination rules, all U.S. hospitals and health systems are required to have their employees fully immunized or have started the immunization process by December 5, 2021. Medical and religious exemptions are permitted under the government requirements.
In Utah, three major health systems – HCA/Mountainstar, Intermountain Healthcare, and University of Utah Health – are working to comply with the government requirement to have all employees vaccinated.
To not remain in compliance with federal government rules would put at risk healthcare access for hundreds of thousands of people who rely on Medicare and Medicaid. Some of the most vulnerable in our community – including underserved populations, the elderly, and children – would not have their care covered.
ABC 4 also spoke to a nurse Saturday that works for a home health and hospice company. She said government and employers should not be telling employees what to do.
Intermountain Healthcare originally said employees will have until Jan. 5 to get their first shot. They have since changed it to December 5th. Those who don’t comply will be placed on administrative leave