Freedom Rally draws attention in Chillicothe
Nearly five dozen people gathered along U.S. Highway 65 across from Chillicothe Municipal Utilities office last week for a Freedom Rally, which drew the attention of passing motorists, many honked or waved at the crowd who had gathered with flags and signs. The event was organized by Livingston County Health Freedom also called We the People of Livingston County, was formed according to member Reid Stephens, "because many of the participants had expressed growing concerns about the loss of personal health freedoms they had experienced over the last 18 months. The loss of health freedoms has escalated quickly, culminating in vaccine mandates sweeping the nation. These mandates are now impacting a growing number of people in Livingston County."
Guests speakers at the rally included Dowell Kincaid, Nathan Rorebeck, Sonja Dailey, Steffi Harvey and Dr. Heather Gessling. They spoke about freedoms, mandates, vaccines and about the loss and importance of freedoms.
Members specifically called out St. Luke's Hiopistal System for the mandate that all employees get vaccinated by Oct. 30. Following the rally several in attendance at the rally went to the Chillicothe City Council meeting and spoke to the council, where they were told the city owns the building Hedrick operates out of, but that the city has no control over operations at Hedrick.
According to a statement from Hedrick Medical Center "employees, licensed independent medical staff members, allied health professionals, contracted personnel, student affiliates, and volunteers" have until Oct. 30 to be vaccinated or have an "Employees did have the opportunity to request a medical or religious exemption. These requests will be individually reviewed on a case-by-case basis by either Saint Luke’s clinicians or Saint Luke’s Spiritual Wellness chaplains. Any employee granted an exemption will be required to undergo weekly COVID-19 testing and monitoring," a statement from Hedrick Medical Center stated.
Stephens said members of the groups have been attending various local governmental meetings and plan to continue to do so.
"One of the main goals of We the People of Livingston County, MO is to better educate ourselves about the rights and obligations of citizens in society. The civil exchange of ideas and information is critical to our constitutional republic," he said. "Our purpose in attending these meetings is to better understand how our local governmental entities operate. In doing so, we hope to partner with these entities to build a better and stronger community."