Coronavirus Politics

The front lawn of the Capitol building in Frankfort served as the backdrop for the “Worldwide Freedom Rally” on Saturday, where attendees railed against the unlikely possibility of mandated vaccines and the governor’s COVID-19 response.

The rally was held by America’s Frontline Doctors, a right-wing medical professionals organization. According to the organization, today’s rally was supposed to take place at several state capitols across the nation.  

The event’s speakers addressed critical race theory, concerns about communism in the U.S. and the Kentucky government’s response to COVID-19. 

There was general fear about government-sponsored vaccine mandates, particularly requiring a COVID-19 vaccine for students attending public school, despite there being no discussion about that currently.

Many took issue with Gov. Andy Beshear’s use of emergency power during the pandemic, a battle he has already been fighting with the legislature.

“I’m fed up with what the governor has done here. He’s basically made decisions that are executive orders that are causing issues across the board,”  said Michael Garrison, who attended the event. 

He feels as though Beshear has gone forward with his executive orders without worrying about other officials’ thoughts, or their effect on Kentuckians. 

“He’s just making executive orders that are affecting everybody’s lives,” said Garrison.

He echoed much of what the rally’s speakers had to say about Beshear’s mandates: that the government has been too involved in the personal lives of citizens since the pandemic started. 

Diane Beers of Nicholasville attended the event with goals of seeing that change.

“I’m hoping to hear something that’s gonna change the minds of the people that have the power to change minds. I am totally fed-up with our politicians, our leaders,” said Beers.

Even when branching out from topics away from COVID-19, the discussion did not stray far from fears about government control. Beshear has already rolled back many of the mandates and regulations he put in place using emergency powers, including the mask mandate and capacity limits on businesses.

Breya Jones is the Breaking News Reporter for WFPL.
Ryland Barton is the Capitol bureau chief for Kentucky Public Radio.