‘Medical freedom’ protest held outside Spartanburg Regional Medical Center

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SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – A rally against COVID-19 vaccine mandates, that’s what people gathered outside of the Spartanburg Regional Hospital Friday afternoon about, despite no mandate currently being in place.

Chants, honks and signs, all coming from a group of people with shared beliefs. Some of them were healthcare workers like Ashley Bright.

“My body, my choice or is that only circumstantial? Pro-choice,” Ashley Bright said, a Certified Medical Assistant with Spartanburg Regional.

She and her colleague are opposing the idea of a COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

“There is not enough science, data behind it. It was just one of those trials, I think the trial is us,” Certified Medical Assistant, Tesa Pacolli told 7 News.

Same goes for Dr. Robert Jackson. He told us, his concerns go beyond the vaccine and are what he calls, patient/doctor interference.

“There are doctors employed by the hospital that want to prescribe hydroxychloroquine, and ivermectin and other medications for the treatment of COVID-19. The hospital has a protocol that excludes those medications,” said Dr. Robert Jackson with Spartanburg Regional.

Martin Farwell doesn’t work for the healthcare system. But he told us, he doesn’t like the way things are going.

“My father fought in World War II, I served two tours in the United States Marine Corps. I didn’t do that to become compliant to a dictator-type attitude,” said Upstate Resident, Martin Farwell.

The medical staff brandishing signs in their scrubs told us, if a mandate comes down, they plan to quit.

A spokesperson with Spartanburg Regional Healthcare sent us the following statement in response to the protest:

“Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System encourages all eligible residents to get vaccinated against COVID-19. The vaccines are safe and effective at preventing serious illness and hospitalization from the virus.

At this time, Spartanburg Regional has not made taking the COVID-19 vaccine mandatory for providers and associates, but it is strongly encouraged. Spartanburg Regional’s top priority is the safety and wellness of our patients, our associates and our community.

Our clinical team remains focused on providing exceptional patient care, even as COVID-19 cases continue to surge. Spartanburg Regional will comply with any federal regulations requiring COVID-19 vaccination for healthcare workers.”

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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