Around 100 freedom-loving Boulderites peacefully gathered outside the Board of Health on Iris and Broadway to wave signs in support of health and liberty.
Hundreds of motorists enthusiastically honked in support as they drove by.
People at the rally were unified in their commitments to personal responsibility, free speech, scientific evidence, health, friendliness, and freedom from overreaching government mandates that squash free-choice and jeopardize health.
Beyond that, people had a wide variety of perspectives regarding vaccine and mask effectiveness and appropriate use. Some expressed enthusiasm for the vaccine. Others were more cautious.
People at the rally expressed many concerns about health and freedom, including the county’s indoor mask mandate, federal vaccination mandates, and the censorship of medical information.
Mask Mandate Concerns
Boulder County health officials approved a mask mandate in early September.
Some cited evidence that masking children in school do not help them, but rather causes great harm. Dr. Vinay Prasad, a hematologist and oncologist, and associate professor of epidemiology at UC San Francisco, says this about masks for schoolchildren: The potential educational harms of mandatory-masking policies are much more firmly established, at least at this point, than their possible benefits in stopping the spread of COVID-19 in schools. See article in Atlantic for more.
According to Stanford Professor of Health Policy, Jay Bhattacharya, MD, PhD., the problems stemming from masking children in school far outweigh their questionable benefit.
The survival rate among American children with confirmed cases of COVID-19 is approximately 99.99%, according to Bhattacharya, Masking may (or may not) save even a single child. The risks, however, are psychological distress and reduction in education.
FOR High school students, Suicide is Much Bigger Problem than COVID-19
What the evidence now shows, according to recent CDC Director Robert Redfield, is that suicide is a much, much bigger problem than COVID-19.
There has been another cost that we’ve seen, particularly in high schools. We’re seeing, sadly, far greater suicides now than we are deaths from COVID. We’re seeing far greater deaths from drug overdose.~ Robert Redfield, Virologist and former Director of CDC
Concern about Federal Vaccine Mandate
People at the rally also expressed concern about the new federal mandate requiring all employees of businesses with more than 100 workers to be vaccinated or undergo weekly testing for the COVID-19 virus.
While many like vaccines, they do not like the government mandates for health. They also do not like that vaccine makers have no liability for vaccines. Furthermore, although the Pfizer vaccine now has FDA approval, the other vaccines have not even been approved by the FDA. Others at the rally expressed concern about conflicts of interest resulting from a revolving door between the FDA, the CDC, and pharmaceutical companies.
While most at the rally agree with CDC data showing that vaccines are protective, most believe that this mandate is not in the best interest of our citizens, that it violates the US Constitution, and that the growing federal overreach threatens our democracy.
One of the US leading doctors, Dr. Marty Makary from Johns Hopkins said “I’m pro-vaccine but blanket requirements outside of health care go too far.” You can read more about his reasons in this article: Why COVID-19 Vaccines Should Not Be Required for All Americans – USNews. Aug. 5, 2021. Dr. Makary argues that mandating vaccines for “every living, walking American” is not supported by science. He also notes the power of natural immunity as recently affirmed in an Israeli study, which found a 6.7 times greater level of protection among those with natural immunity vs. those with vaccinated immunity. Furthermore, Dr. Makary cited a Cleveland Clinic study showing that vaccinating those who are already immune with natural immunity has no scientific support.
Dr. Makary makess that case that “Instead of talking about the vaccinated and the unvaccinated, we should be talking about the immune and the non-immune.”
He goes on to say, “The goal of our pandemic response should be to reduce death, illness and disability, but instead what you’re seeing is a movement that has morphed from being pro-vaccine to vaccine fanaticism at all costs.”
People at the rally also expressed frustration at the lack of good data and politicians basing policy on fear, rather than evidence.
Marty Makary addressed this issue in his Wall Street Journal piece Covid Confusion at the CDC. “The CDC’s failure to report meaningful data has left policy makers flying blind. In the absence of good data to answer the basic questions Americans have been asking, political opinions have filled the vacuum. Strong data might have prevented much of the polarization over Covid.”
Below is an excerpt from the Daily Camera about the rally:
Susanne Brown, a retired St. Vrain Valley School District teacher, said she planned to return this school year to substitute teach, but after the county reinstated the indoor mask mandate she changed her mind.
“I realized that I cannot be in a classroom all day wearing a mask, and I can’t subject the children to that,” she said. “From what I’ve read, I believe that the cloth masks may even be harmful. I know there’s other people saying something else, but I’ve done a lot of reading and my conclusion is it’s more harmful to wear your mask.”
Matt Menza called for the resignation of all members of the Board of Health during the public hearing portion of its meeting Monday.
“I think you all need to resign immediately and find other jobs because you don’t know what you are doing,” he said. “You need to leave our kids alone and unmask them right now.”
Officials with Boulder County Public Health did not respond to requests for comment after the protest or the Board of Health meeting Monday night.
Chris Campbell, emergency management planner at Boulder County Public Health, said the county tests between 1,800 to 2,000 people each day for the virus. He said the county will continue to make both testing and vaccinations assessable and free.
“We have vaccinated — with at least one dose — 82% of the community,” he said.
According to a recent study from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, unvaccinated people are 11 times more likely to die of coronavirus than someone who is fully vaccinated. The study also said vaccinated people are five times less likely to get infected with the virus and 10 times less likely to be hospitalized.