SWAMP WATCHRep. Jared Huffman (D-CA) saw his neat and orderly fully-masked and socially-distanced live town hall abruptly disrupted on June 8 by a swell of protesters angered over his push for mandatory vaccines. Full video of the town hall can be seen here:
The video begins around the 11:00 mark, showing dutiful and obedient citizens donning masks and sitting in chairs that have been properly socially-distanced.
At around the 16:30 mark, Huffman discovers his event is being stormed.
At the 24:12 mark, the congressman addresses the issue brought up by the protesters.
“We’ll get it out of the way,” Huffman stated. “And I hope we can move on to talk about some other stuff, because I don’t want only certain kind of behavior rewarded in this conversation.
“There is not a vaccine passport requirement for this town hall. No, we started out with a requirement of proof of vaccination. We then backed off of that and went to an honor system.”
Huffman then defended his belief in mandatory vaccination.
“We have a difference of opinion about vaccination policy. I hear you. You’ve got all of these signs talking about freedom to choose and segregation... apartheid, I see apartheid. And, you’ve asked me to speak to this. So I’m gonna do it, I’m gonna speak to it very candidly. You’re not gonna like my answer.
“But we’ve heard you, and now I hope you’ll hear me. And this is the way it goes in democracy. We try to have a civil conversation and move on.
Huffman expounded on how he sees a democracy working:
“So my view is that in the middle of a deadly pandemic that has taken over about 600,000 lives that it is not unreasonable to ask people before they gather into crowds to have a vaccination or to go to school or to go to a workplace.
“Now, you can call that vaccine apartheid, you can extrapolate and liken it to like a civil rights violation. Let me tell you why I personally find that preposterous.
“The voter ID requirement that we fought against as an impediment to voting.... voting rights are in the Constitution. OK? The right to crowd yourself into public places like this is not in the Constitution. No, it’s not. No. Because, guess what. We have always had capacity rules for gatherings. We've always had common sense limits on gatherings. And I’m sorry that some of it rubs you the wrong way. But it is not a civil right. It is not apartheid. It is not the Holocaust or any other kind of ridiculous hyperbole that you want to attach to it.”
A sitting U.S. congressman was telling his constituents that he believed they must be forced to undergo an experimental vaccine if they want to keep their job or gather together to express their freedom to assembly.
But for Huffman, it was those protesting his calls for mandatory vaccines that were the true enemies of freedom.
He later threw out the specter of “insurrection” against the mandatory vaccine protesters, saying, “the violent vitriol that animates a lot of this that led up to Jan. 6 is still with us, you sort of feel shades of it here with us today.”
Huffman took those comments even further after the meeting.
“Tonight an angry COVID-denying mob tried to turn my town hall meeting into a MAGA circus,” Huffman wrote on his personal Facebook page. “Outside of the January 6th insurrection, this might be the ugliest, most disgraceful spectacle I've ever seen."