A group of protesters met outside Mammoth High School again on Wednesday morning in opposition to the Mammoth Unified School District’s impending vaccine mandate, which is set to begin December 17.
Students aged 16 and up who do not comply with the mandate will not be permitted to participate in any in-person school activities at the high school, including attending classes or competing on sports teams.
The school will instead accommodate these students by establishing remote learning options. Religious and medical exemptions are being accepted upon careful review.
Roughly 15 members of the community exercised their first-amendment rights by standing at the corner of Meridian Boulevard and Sierra Park Drive from about 7:50 to 8:50 a.m. to protest the mandate, holding signs and passing out flyers to passersby.
The protest appeared to be organized by the Mono County Assembly, whose website describes Covid-19 vaccination requirements as “medical fascism”; its website’s homepage states: “96 research studies affirm natural immunity [is] superior to Covid injections. Over 18 months of an allegedly highly contagious disease on the loose means you have an extremely high probability of having NATURAL IMMUNITY!”
There was a diverse group among those protesting. The one thing all had in common was opposition to the School Board’s vaccine mandate.
The Sheet interviewed a portion of the protestors to hear their reasoning for dissent. Everyone interviewed had different things to say.
One man, a single father who lost his job when the pandemic initially hit, was there protesting with his young child alongside him. He explained that if he were to be forced to take his daughter out of school, he wouldn’t be able to take care of her at home.
A mother of a student explained her mistrust towards the vaccine, claiming that the FDA never approved it but instead only mandated its emergency-use authorization.
Her sentiment was that, if we as a society start complying to emergency authorizations without proper research and legislation, we will fall down a slippery slope of complying to more extreme, restrictive government mandates.
*The FDA has stated publicly that the “Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 emergency use authorization vaccine has been approved for those over the age of 16 after extensive study.”
She went on to state that ivermectin, listed as an anti-parasitic by the FDA, was an effective alternative drug treatment in preventing and treating Covid-19.
A systematic review, meta-analysis, and trial sequential analysis performed by the American Journal of Therapeutics in 2021 concluded with moderate certainty that significant reductions in Covid-19 deaths are possible using ivermectin, and its apparent safety and low cost suggest that it could have a significant impact on the pandemic globally.
However, according to the FDA, ivermectin has not been authorized nor approved for use in preventing or treating Covid-19 in humans or animals, but instead only to treat infections caused by some parasitic worms, head lice, and skin conditions like rosacea. The FDA states that currently available data do not show ivermectin as an effective treatment against Covid-19. The FDA also states that clinical trials assessing ivermectin tablets for the prevention or treatment of Covid-19 in people are ongoing, but taking it in large quantities without supervision is iudangerous.
Another alternative drug she named as effective in treating and preventing Covid-19 was hydroxychloroquine, which has been approved by the FDA to treat malaria, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis.
However, the FDA has done an analysis summary of its use in treating hospitalized patients with Covid-19, finding that the drug has not shown to be safe and effective; the report found serious heart rhythm problems and other safety issues, including blood and lymph system disorders, kidney injuries, liver problems and failure, caused by this drug.
Despite these statements released by the FDA, the woman adamantly trusted her belief that ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine can be trusted to prevent and treat Covid-19 more than the vaccines.
“We all want the same thing, to be happy and healthy. That’s all I am trying to do,” she said.
Another woman stated that she was there in solidarity with human rights. “We aren’t all Q-Anoners,” she said. “I’m not anti-vax for other people. They can do whatever they want. I just don’t want to be forced to get this vaccine, and especially don’t want my children to be forced to get it.”
Not all of those in attendance were parents of students.
Seth Guthrie, known for being an outspoken voice in the community, said that he was there because he wanted to empower people to make their own choices with their bodies.
According to Guthrie, the Covid-19 vaccinations being disseminated have gene-editing software that will be used to harm people, and the drug corporations’ sole goal is to profit off of this. It was unclear what exactly the end goal would be by purposely making the vaccines dangerous, but the sentiment was that Big Pharma could not be trusted.
When asked what the alternative to vaccinating would be in preventing and treating Covid-19, Guthrie also pointed to ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine, as well as stated that the human immune system is capable of combating the virus.
An older gentleman, Paul Stiglich, had recently been fired from his job as a general manager at the June Lake Public Utilities for not complying with an employee vaccine mandate. According to Paul, the fact that people were being offered “drugs and money in exchange for getting the jab” was a “red flag”.
Paul then went on to state more conspiratorial and radical assertions against the intention of the Covid-19 vaccines, which he also described as “gene editing software”. According to Paul, the vaccines are part of a larger United Nations agenda to depopulate the world. He went on to say that soon the ring leaders of the “2020 election fraud”, including Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton, would hang for what they did. He then said that Hillary Clinton financed the Russian collusion.
“It’s all online if you look it up. I suggest that you do,” he said.
The general attitude among those in attendance was that they were not being represented or heard – that the School District was inadequately representing the community by not providing a proper place for them to voice their fears and anxieties towards the mandate.
They were also mistrustful of the intentions of the School District, claiming that the vaccine mandate was a tactic to get more money from the government, referencing a summary of grants given to the District for Covid relief that included millions of dollars.
In addition, they were unhappy with the School Board’s decision to hold virtual meetings during which community conversation is not permitted; rather, public comment can be stated one at a time without rebuttal, and others in attendance have the option of pressing a “thumbs-up” reaction towards messages, but no “thumbs-down”.
They also asserted that the School Board has been slow to answer their emails and calls, if at all.
In a recent School Board meeting, Superintendent Jennifer Wildman acknowledged the need to assure that these people feel heard and know that the School Board is listening; suggestions for doing so included providing faster email times and beginning each Board meeting with an update of the trends of complaints received.
According to Wildman, out of the approximate 65 teachers in the district, more than 90% are vaccinated, with less than 5 who are not fully vaccinated. 75% of the 225 students in the 16+ category were already fully vaccinated before the mandate was even put in place.
According to the CDC, for patients aged 12–18 years, vaccine effectiveness of 2 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine against Covid-19 hospitalization during June–September 2021 was 93%.
According to the CDC Covid Tracker, there have been 819,390 deaths in the U.S. attributed to Covid-19 thus far.