Vaccine Mandate Protest by Michelle Tanner
‘A horrendous overreach’? Hundreds rally in protest of hospital's coronavirus vaccine mandate An anti-vaccine mandate protest on Saturday had hundreds of St. George residents flocking to the front of the St. George Regional Hospital, days after Intermountain Healthcare announced it would require its employees to be vaccinated for COVID-19. Michelle Tanner,
who appears set to join the St. George City Council in January pending the official results of this month's municipal election, organized the protest. A registered nurse practitioner at St. George’s Intermountain Healthcare facility, she and some other Intermountain Healthcare employees spoke to the crowd about why they believed the mandate should be reversed. “So, for me personally, making a personal health decision for myself to not get the vaccine, I have that right. I am covered by the Equal Protection Clause in the 14th Amendment, and if an institution like Intermountain is going to be accepting government funds coming from we-the-people tax dollars, they absolutely have to honor our constitutional rights,” Tanner said. Intermountain announced on Wednesday that employees must receive at least one dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or the Johnson & Johnson vaccine by Jan. 5. The due date for the second dose of Pfizer or Moderna is Feb. 9, according to a press release. The requirement is in response to federal vaccination requirements President Biden announced in September, it said. The hospital system said "an estimated 80% of Intermountain caregivers" are fully vaccinated. Appeals court:Vaccine mandate for larger businesses temporarily halted Tanner was not the only city council candidate to show up. Greg Aldred, who did not win a seat on the council, showed his support for the protest as well. “This protest, I want to be clear, is not about being vaccinated or unvaccinated. It's truly about having your rights and your choice,” Aldred said. Though the intention was an anti-mandate protest, many of the people who came were anti-vaccine. Protesters of all ages showed support for Tanner and other healthcare workers present. Cars on the streets honked in support throughout the event. “I am fully vaccinated; however, I think this mandate is a horrendous overreach of our federal government infringing on our rights with this mandate. I am against mandates. I think people should have the right to choose what they want and what they don’t want,” Stacy Welker, a nurse practitioner, said. During the protest, several people shouted “let's go Brandon,” a dig at President Biden that has been popularized over social media as an alternative to a crass phrase criticizing the president following a NASCAR race on Oct 2. The protest remained friendly. “I’m a realist. I don’t pretend that us gathering here, showing that as a community we adamantly oppose this. ... I don’t pretend that is going to change progressive elitists at the top of Intermountain," Tanner said. "But, what I do hope to accomplish and what is already being accomplished here, is the community knowing that we are not alone." Elle Cabrera covers breaking news and topics. Please help us to continue producing this content at thespectrum.com/subscribe. COMMENT Democratic Response: With all due respect, Michelle, this has been settled law for over 100 years. Jacobson v. Massachusetts, 197 U.S. 11 (1905), was a United States Supreme Court case in which the Court upheld the authority of states to enforce compulsory vaccination laws. The Court's decision articulated the view that individual liberty is not absolute and is subject to the police power of the state. "MY BODY, MY CHOICE" "ALL OUR BODIES, NOT YOUR CHOICE"