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COVID-19 vaccine mandates

‘Medical freedom is the last straw’: Protestors urge pushing back against mandates

Make a plan regarding your choice

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ONTARIO — Pushback over mandates for certain employees in public sectors to get vaccinated against COVID-19 or lose a job have picked up major steam since President Joe Biden announced on Sept. 9 related executive orders for federal employees and private businesses. Experts estimate 80-100 million of the nation’s working class will be impacted, and Biden is expected to meet today with executives from mega corporations, including Walgreens, Microsoft and Walt Disney Co., to continue the conversation.

While the conversation of personal freedoms over medical choices continues, many lawsuits are now looming or underway. Recent polls by the Washington Post and ABC news found that less than half of Americans support workplace vaccine mandates, and also indicated a partisan divide over the matter, including by Republican led-states, some of which are trying to ban such requirements.

Public health officials and medical experts say that in addition to wearing masks and keeping safe physical distances from others outside your household, vaccines are another safeguards in preventing spread of the virus.

Local pushback

People around the U.S., including many elected officials and citizens in the Western Treasure Valley have joined the pushback. Locally, citizens who are actively protesting are urging their neighbors to stand up for what they believe in — even if it means taking a new job — and to continue pursuing information beyond what is being broadcast on TV.

About 50 to 75 people participated in a protest in downtown Ontario on Saturday, lining up on Oregon Street across from Moore Park, with their signs at about noon, then moving to a nearby parking lot to hear speakers on the topic.

Two of those speakers were RN Mike Wherry, who has currently left his job at the hospital, and Derek Kovick, a liver transplant patient, who is being told he must now be vaccinated in order to get the lifesaving procedure. The two are longtime residents of New Plymouth.

Wherry said the vaccine mandate is “absolutely inhumane as far as my belief system lines up — to tell people they can’t make a living unless they get this shot.” He said when the vaccine that is fully approved by the FDA is not available, people will have to get one of the others available under the emergency authorization use rule.

“To substitute with an emergent experimental vaccine is incredible in itself — to even wobble in that direction,” Wherry said. “I can’t believe it, but yet, I can.”

‘There is hope’ for alternative treatments

Wherry said his biggest message to people that if they don’t already know and haven’t heard, is there is hope in other ways of fighting COVID-19 that “is not necessarily seen on TV, not being pushed on the nightly news.”

“The message that continues to be pushed is, ‘You are crazy if you don’t believe what’s on the news on television,’” Wherry told the protestors. “I’m here to remind, encourage and tell you: You are not crazy.”

There are myriad doctors who have been censored from massive online platforms, such as YouTube he said, who have tried to spread messages of alternative treatments that are working. This includes ivermectin, hydroxychloroquine, budesonide and other treatments.

“I want to give people information to know that there is not only medication to treat COVID-19, but medication to prevent them from getting sick,” Wherry said, adding that there is a huge upside to “what has been told to us over the last year and a half.”

Ivermectin won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2015 for its treatment for malaria, according to the www.nobelprize.org. Additionally, according to medical journals, about 3.7 billion doses have been administered to humans for about 30 years to treat a range of issues, including onchocerciasis — the first parasitic disease it was used to treat in Africa. Touted as a ‘wonder drug’ from Japan in resources on the U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, state it was initially developed for animals in the late 1970s, with human use starting in the early 1980s, and, according to those resources has “continually proved to be astonishingly safe for human use.”

Wherry urged people to seek alternative resources than broadcast media and “to find some truth out there,” starting with places such as myfreedoctor.com.

Wherry says another big part of his message is that parents and guardians alike need to not only stand up against mandates for vaccines, they need to “push back in a big way against mask mandates within schools.”

Prior to the pandemic, he and his medical colleagues were told to use N95 masks, as others were not adequate. Having to tell people that they would be “fine” wearing cloth masks around the community is “one reason I couldn’t go back to the hospital and push that narrative, that lie.”

Wherry, who was furloughed from the hospital during COVID, says he also could not morally give or receive the vaccine, adding that his message is “all about sharing the truth and to eliminate the fear that’s out there.”

‘Start building an army’ of like-minded people

Kovik reminds people who are in worker classes that must get a vaccine or lose their job, and potentially face no unemployment benefits because of it, to make a decision or enact a plan.

“In reality, they’ve had plenty of time to get a plan B going,” he said. “Some people thought this nightmare would go away on its own. But it’s not. You have to be proactive.”

As such, Kovick urges people stop complaining and get active.

“Get out, stand up and use your voice,” he said, adding “we can’t just have a few people standing up for everyone’s rights.”

“It’s going to take an army. That’s how things got to this point,” he said. “Afterward we’re mad, but we never did anything to stand up and stop it.”

Kovick says it’s too late to call and pester school leaders, adding that people need to be more strategic.

“Start building groups of neighbors and other people who are like-minded. Start from there. Start building an army and planning how to fix it — even if that means pulling kids out of school. You can’t pull them out without a plan. Kids are our future. You have to have a place to send them, private school or some other facility or online. You have got to be organized.”

‘There is always an answer’

Saying the virus is here, it’s real and there is no denying it, Kovick draws the line when it involves requiring a vaccine for children that has barely been studied.

“Medical freedom is the last straw,” he said. “Once they control that, it’s going to be really hard to get anywhere once we are stripped of that. That’s what they did to me. I’m at their mercy. If I don’t get vaccinated [for COVID], I don’t get the transplant.”

While he has other facilities lined up that are considering the procedure, including University of Utah and the Mayo Clinic, Kovick is still waiting for answers about his transplant.

“You’re health is wealth. If you don’t have health, it doesn’t matter how much money you have, because if you don’t agree, you won’t get treated and won’t be healthy,” he said.

Saying it is a catch-22, Kovick said people have to play the game and beat it by staying calm, poised and thinking about things.

“There is always an answer to everything, there is always an alternative different plan, a different route. It might be a longer and bumpier road, but we can get there,” he said.

Kovick urges people to stop fighting with their neighbors who have conflicting viewpoints and to stay focused on their goal. To those who haven’t made a decision of what to do by the deadline of Oct. 17, he urges them to be proactive, either getting the shot or planning for the alternative.

“Step up and be a leader. No more following,” Kovick said. “Even if you are leading your own family — you don’t have to lead the community or state — lead something.”

Wherry who is now working for a local butcher, said since leaving the hospital he has spent a lot of time with God while grinding meat.

“I know where I am supposed to be, and that’s a huge part of it,” he says. “Not being where I compromise my health, my future, my whatever — fill in the blank.”

He and Kovick urge others to be prepared to create a secondary plan for making a living if getting a COVID-19 vaccine is something a person is truly uncomfortable with.

“The better they can keep their self values, and not compromise their own moral autonomy,” Wherry said.

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