Ammon Bundy Joins Utah Anti-Mask Battle As Southern Utah Mayors Endorse Masks
OREM, Utah – A crowd gathered Wednesday at Orem’s City Center Park to rally against COVID-19 mask mandates and hear from a man who made a name standing against the federal government on land issues in Nevada and Oregon.
Ammon Bundy — who led an armed occupation of an Oregon wildlife refuge in 2016 and also was once charged in connection with a 2014 standoff over grazing cattle outside of Mesquite, Nevada — boiled down mask mandates to an issue of whose right it is to rule.
“The only way to make sure this question is answered correctly is by each person rejecting any mandate of any person or a group of people that only individuals have a right to make,” Bundy said. “It is not about a mask. It is not about a virus. It’s about whose right it is to rule.”
Bundy, who had charges dismissed in the 2014 case and was acquitted of charges related to the 2016 occupation, drew a parallel between current mandates and forced sterilizations in Nazi Germany beginning in the 1930s.
His remarks came on the same day that 10 mayors and two Washington County commission members in Southern Utah signed a proclamation endorsing and encouraging face coverings in indoor public spaces and outdoors when social distancing isn’t possible.
“This is something we could all agree on,” said St. George Mayor Jon Pike. “Not all the mayors signed this, but most of them did.”
Pike said compliance had been better since several major retailers and grocery store chains began requiring masks.
He said he believed a mandate might have the opposite effect in his area.
“I’m not sure in some cases if that would not backfire,” Pike said.
Pike urged people to continue to take the pandemic very seriously.
“We still have room to improve and that’s why I think it’s important to keep the message out there,” Pie said.
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