More than 1,400 Idahoans gathered along a half mile section of Eagle Road in front of St. Luke’s Hospital in Meridian the afternoon of Monday, July 19, protesting mandatory Covid “vaccinations” for employees of Idaho’s three major hospital systems.
Idaho’s three largest healthcare systems, St. Luke’s, St. Alphonsus, and Primary Health, have all stated that every one of their employees must receive a Covid “vaccine” before September 1 of 2021, and any employee not “vaccinated” by that date will be terminated.
Kayla Dunn was among the many attendees who were holding signs to protest the mandate. She told True Idaho News, “I’m here supporting this movement for all the healthcare workers and everyone facing this kind of discrimination. I’m standing in solidarity with them, because this affects everyone – not just healthcare workers. We should all have a choice as to what goes into our bodies. There’s no informed consent, and we should all have a choice.”
A St. Luke’s employee who wished not to be named, said, “I’ve worked for St. Luke’s for more than 15 years. I’m the sole provider for my family. I’ve got five kids. I’m out here because I’m against the mandate. I’m not an anti-vaxxer. I’ve had all the other vaccines that St. Luke’s has recommended, so that’s not the issue.”
The St. Luke’s employee continued, “You can try to say this [vaccine] is not experimental, but the facts are that this has been out for less than a year. There are no longitudinal studies, there’s no data like there are for all the other vaccines. Putting a person in the situation where they have to get the vaccine or their job is extinguished is coercion. And this is experimental by any practical definition. It is unsafe, and I’m here because mandating it is unethical. This is the line in the sand for me.”
Another St. Luke’s employee who also did not want to be named stated she has worked for St. Luke’s for 14 years. When asked why she was at the protest, she said, “Multiple reasons.” She stated that the Covid ‘vaccines’ have not had proper scientific studies, and that employees should have a personal choice. “Nothing should be injected into your body against your will,” she said. “I do not feel comfortable with this being injected into my body, not only because of the lack of research at this point, but also because of how they’re doing the research. This is new mRNA technology, and we’re not sure what it’s going to do to us at a genetic level.”
She also stated that proven alternative treatments to Covid exist, and that fact should preclude any mandatory vaccinations.
Miste Karlfeldt of Health Freedom Idaho was among those attending the protest. In an interview at the event, Karlfeldt told True Idaho News, “This is a huge protest. Whether they are healthcare workers or patients – and everybody will be a patient at some point – this affects all of us. If [the hospitals] will not respect bodily autonomy for healthcare workers, I can bet you they will not respect bodily autonomy for patients, so this affects all of us. People from all walks of life, from all types of employment, whether they are patients, or parents with kids in school, or whether they work for Simplot, or whether they are health care workers, they are here today helping to hold the line for all of us. We realize that our front-line workers are actually on the front line of defending bodily autonomy, and we are all here to support them today.”
Protestor Nelissa Carleton is concerned about the ripple effects of companies being able to mandate the Covid “vaccines.” She told True Idaho News, “If an employer is going to look at your health record and note that you have diabetes or high blood pressure, what’s to stop them from saying, ‘You need to be on specific medications for you to be employed. We can’t have you using natural remedies or alternative therapies. You have to go the pharmaceutical route if you’re going to be employed here. It’s going to be a condition of your employment.’”
Carleton continued, saying, “The way this is going, employers will be able to look at everything in your health record and mandate that you take a pharmaceutical treatment for it. They don’t have to stop at Covid vaccines. If this holds up, they will be able to mandate whatever treatments they want. I used to work as a nurse. Just because a treatment works for one person doesn’t means it’s going to work for another. People need to have options.”
Numerous head counts showed that more than 1,400 were in attendance, with people lined up along Eagle road from the Eagle Road exit off Interstate 84 all the way to Franklin Road, a half-mile north of the freeway exit.
The Director of Patient Services for St. Luke’s, Drew Taylor, and Abbey Abbondancolo, Security Director, were among a dozen St. Luke’s employees observing the protestors from the parking lot of St. Luke’s. Both declined to be interviewed for this story.
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