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Protest held over Beshear’s announcement to not lift restrictions until 2.5 million vaccinated

Published: Apr. 14, 2021 at 11:51 AM EDT
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - Wednesday’s rain didn’t keep dozens of protestors from the Capitol.

The people are upset over Governor Beshear’s announcement to not lift COVID-19 restrictions until hundreds of thousands more are vaccinated.

Beshear announced Monday that restrictions will be lifted once a total of 2.5 million are vaccinated. That means about 900,000 more will have to get the shot.

Protest organizers say that is pretty much a vaccine mandate.

There were both young and old at the protest, children and adults, many carrying signs and most are upset over orders to close businesses, restrictions placed on them, or rules to wear masks.

“I am here because of government overreach. From them. He thinks he can give us our freedoms. Our freedoms are inalienable,” Marty Terry said. “He can’t say, you do this, you get your freedoms back. They are our freedoms. He swore an oath to defend the constitution here and in the United States. He is in total violation of it.”

Organizer Andrew Cooperrider owns Brewed, a Lexington coffee house that defied an order last year to close to in-person dining. He also doesn’t agree with many of the other mandates issued within the past year.

He and others say they believe their freedoms have been taken away.

“At that moment it should have been a choice,” Cooperrider said. “As long as hospitals aren’t at a point where they are 100% full and completely overwhelmed, it should have always been a choice.”

“This has gone on long enough,” Terry said. “This is day 394 of 15 days of flattening the curve. It’s enough.”

Cooperrider says to vaccinate 2.5 million people all but a half million adults will have to get the shot and he fears that may not happen for months, if at all.

The governor’s office released this statement about the protests:

To end this pandemic, a majority of Kentuckians and Americans need to receive one of the safe, effective vaccines. Gov. Beshear is encouraging more Kentuckians to get a life-saving vaccine so that we can safely and quickly lift many restrictions and finally defeat COVID, which has already killed more than 6,200 Kentuckians.

Background

Gov. Beshear has taken decisive action to slow the spread of COVID and end this pandemic. While other states are seeing the beginning of another surge, the cases in Kentucky dropped for weeks and have now leveled off, which means fewer Kentuckians will be sick, hospitalized and lost in coming weeks.

Organizers say another protest has been planned at the capitol for 2 o’clock on Sunday afternoon.

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