Demonstrations against California’s latest package of measures to curb the spread of COVID have been led by the Freedom Angels Foundation, which claims to defend the Constitution while the virus continues to kill hundreds of people each week across the state.
During a rally organized by the Freedom Angels Foundation in front of the Santa Clara County Office building, several dozen people gathered with posters that said “Stop stealing our civil liberties” and “End the lockdown immediately.
One protestor told CBS 5: “I won’t even get the vaccine, you can put a bullet in my head before I do.
The Los Angeles-based Freedom Angels Foundation is a religious, conservative group that describes itself as a collection of “patriotic mothers. In the biography on their website it says: “Our arms never tire, they carry the core values of the family, they carry the generations of voices that cry out when people, nations and beliefs are oppressed”.
The group participated in a major rally against the house arrest of California Governor Gavin Newsom in May, when more than 2,000 protesters gathered in Sacramento to demand the lifting of the blockade.
The Freedom Angels Foundation made travel arrangements to bring the Southern California protesters to the Capitol, with a statement read on the group’s website: “The State of California is tyrannically destroying the California economy, livelihoods and constitutional rights of the HEALTHY-FREE Californians.
Washington Newsday contacted the Freedom Angel Foundation to comment on the recent rally.
Earlier this week, California introduced strict new rules in an effort to combat the outbreak. Los Angeles County urged its 10 million residents to stay at home “as much as possible” and banned gatherings with people outside their homes for public or private events, except for religious services and protests.
In Santa Clara County – where protesters gathered on Thursday – people arriving from more than 150 miles away were quarantined, while high school, college and professional sports were also banned.
San Francisco has ordered most indoor activities to close at noon on Sunday. Residents are also subject to a curfew starting Monday night.
The number of new COVID cases reported in the United States exceeded 200,000 for the first time on Friday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
By Wednesday, the virus had killed 19,437 people in California, with a total of 1,264,539 cases in the state. Nearly 9,000 patients were hospitalized with the disease in the state, and more than 2,000 were in intensive care.
A survey conducted last month by the Pew Research Center found that 60 percent of Americans would definitely or probably receive a COVID vaccine, compared to 51 percent in September.
However, 39 percent said they would definitely or probably not receive a vaccine, although about half of this group – 18 percent – said they could opt for a vaccination when more information became available.
About one in five (21 percent) said that they did not want to be vaccinated and were “fairly certain” that they would not change their mind.
The November 18-29 survey of 12,648 adult Americans also found that black Americans are less likely to be vaccinated than other racial and ethnic groups: 42 percent would do so, compared with 63 percent of Hispanic respondents and 61 percent of white adults. Asian Americans were even more likely to say that they would definitely or probably be vaccinated (83 percent).
The chart below, provided by Statista, illustrates how COVID-19 disproportionately affects older people.