Some District residents say they’re uncomfortable with D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser’s executive order mandating that patrons of certain establishments must have a vaccination card for entry or not be served.
“I don’t support government mandates and especially in the areas of health,” said Aristotle Theresa, an attorney who lives in Ward 8. Theresa attended the “Defeat the Mandates” rally that took place on the National Mall on Jan. 23.
Theresa said political progressives in their quest to eliminate the coronavirus pandemic have gone too far with the mandates.
As of Jan. 15, anyone in the District who wants to go to a restaurant, bar, nightclub, brewery or fast-food establishment that offers seating must have proof that they have had at least one shot of a coronavirus vaccine.
Known as a vaccine mandate, businesses can be penalized by the District government for not following the order. Additionally, District government employees, especially those in the public health, public safety and mayoral agency sectors, have been required to be immunized.
Lila Anderson, a resident of Southwest Florida, learned of the mayor’s order due to traveling to the District for the rally.
“Last night, I went to get something to eat at a restaurant with a friend here in the city,” she said. “When we approached the employee posted at the front for seating asked me for proof of vaccination. I told her I had none and she said we would have to leave. We turned around and walked out of the restaurant. I really couldn’t believe it.”
Anderson said anyone who wants to get vaccinated should have the right to do so but governments do not have the right to force people to do so.
“People are the better judges of what should go into their bodies,” Anderson said. “They know what they have to do to be healthy. They should answer to God for what they do, not the government.”
District resident Shaka Sankofa, also opposed to the vaccine, takes a tougher line.
“My brother passed away taking the vaccine,” Sankofa said. “After his death, I conducted deeper research into the vaccine. I found there are questionable chemicals in the vaccine. I have also found vaccinated people tend to spread the so-called virus.”
Sankofa has become affiliated with an organization, Brothers of the DMV, which advocates natural remedies to fight the coronavirus. In literature he distributes publicly, it says Vitamin C and D, as well as zinc, remain better suited to fight symptoms of the coronavirus than the vaccine. When asked about the numerous public health experts and physicians who attest to the potency of the coronavirus vaccine, he expressed exasperation.
“They’re being paid to say what they say,” Sankofa said. “They are the puppets of the hierarchy that is pushing people to get vaccinated.”
Brandon Smith, a resident of Northern Virginia who routinely frequents the District, believes people should get vaccinated but remains opposed to mandates.
“I don’t support the mandate that is here in the city,” he said. “The government shouldn’t tell me what I should or should not do. I think what the government should do is put principles in place that make sense to the majority of the people.”
Chanelle Mattocks, a District mother with 10 children, has received publicity in the past for her advocacy against lead poisoning in the city’s public housing facilities. She said people should stand up against any type of vaccine mandate imposed by the District government.
“You don’t need proof of vaccination to go to the grocery store so I cook for my children,” she said. “We don’t eat out.”
When asked about her children’s schools, she notes most of her children attend charter institutions that tend to be more flexible regarding anti-coronavirus practices. Mattocks said one of her children, an 11th grader who attends a D.C. public school, has had no problems.
“None of my children are vaccinated,” she said. “I know my rights and I am not afraid to assert my rights and the rights of my children.”