The Idaho public health meeting ended abruptly on Tuesday night after protesters gathered around the city’s health department building and in front of several health officials ’homes.
The central district health meeting in Boise, Idaho, where members are expected to discuss the Covid-19 health routine, ended barely 15 minutes on the agenda due to protest safety concerns, various city officials said. NBC News’s subsidiary, KTVB, estimated that a photographer outside the health department had hundreds of protesters present, most of whom were not wearing masks.
Idaho is one of many states where the government’s efforts to introduce epidemic mitigation measures have been protested, but it is not clear how widespread these sentiments are. According to an August survey by the Pew Research Center, 69 percent of Americans believed governments were resolving the outbreak too quickly.
But polls also found a deep divide among Republicans and Democrats in the government epidemic response. Nearly 64 percent of Idaho voted for President Donald Trump in the Nov. 3 election, making it one of the country’s reddest states.
Tuesday’s protests were organized in part by the People’s Rights, set up by Ammon Bundy, an anti-government activist, and an open opponent of mask mandates during the Covid-19 pandemic, the Associated Press writes. Members of the Idaho Health Freedom vaccination group are also said to have participated in the demonstration.
Idaho has reported more than 113,000 cases and more than 1,000 deaths from Covid-19.
Health board members listened to a presentation by Dr. David Peterman, CEO of the Idaho Hospital Company, Primary Health Medical Group, when he was interrupted by a board member and said KTVB said there were protesters outside his home.
“My 12-year-old son is currently at home and protesters are banging in front of the door,” said Diana Lachionado, a member of the Central District Board of Health, according to KTVB. “I’m going home and making sure it’s okay.”
A few minutes later, Central District Health Director Russell Duke said he had called Boise Mayor Lauren McLean to end the meeting because of the intensity of the protests because of the intensity of the protests.
“Earlier today, in consultation with Chief of Police Boise and Lee, we asked Central District Health to postpone their meeting for public safety. The temperature rose to a point that was not safe, ”wrote McLean a statement posted on Twitter.
The Boise Police Department said in a statement it also asked for the meeting to be postponed “for public safety” after protesters were forced into the public health department building. A person, Yvonne St. Cyr of Boise (53), was arrested for violating charges after refusing to leave the health department building, police said.
Police are also pursuing arrest warrants for suspected violations of the peace after responding to protests outside the homes of at least three members of the corps, the statement continued.
“We appreciate the public’s interest and investment in this process, but the safety of CDH staff, our board members and our law enforcement partners is extremely important,” Duke said in a statement issued by the agency. “This virus is severely affecting our community, and our team members and board are working tirelessly to protect the health of our community.”
The meeting has not yet been rescheduled, the agency added.
“The actions of the protesters in the private homes of public officials are to be condemned. It is nothing more than an abusive tactic aimed at silence. Our right to free speech must not be used to intimidate and intimidate others. ”Wrote Governor Brad Little Idaho statement posted to your Twitter account. “There is no place for this behavior in Idaho. I ask for momentum among the Idahoans so that together, we can survive the epidemic more strongly. “