Vaccine mandate protesters rally in support of In-N-Out

CONTRA COSTA COUNTY, Calif. (KGO/CNN) – Multiple In-N-Out Burger spots in California were served up fines and one was even shut down for health order violations. Now, people are rallying in support. ABC 7’s J.R. Stone talked to protesters and a physician.

Protesters rallied outside the In-N-Out Burger in San Ramon, one of three Contra Costa County locations that have been fined for allowing indoor dining but not checking for proof of vaccination.

Around a dozen In-N-Out Burger supporters showed up there Wednesday evening speaking in favor of the chain that has previously said, “They are not the vaccination police.”

Spencer Von Gohn, In-N-Out Burger supporter, said, “These mandates, this pandemic, and this vaccine, it’s just become a giant excuse for the government to control more people’s lives, encroach on more people’s liberties.”

Ashleigh Elizabeth Maple is 13 years old. She said, “I have all my vaccines leading up to this but if I’m not okay with putting this in my body that should not be something that’s forced upon me.”

But doctors we talked with say that COVID is still here and mandating restaurants to check for proof of vaccination does make for a safer indoor environment.

Dr. Peter Chin-Hong with UCSF said, “We do know from studies that it’s 20 times more risky to acquire COVID or transmit COVID indoors compared to outdoors. We also know that eating, in particular, is a good way to acquire COVID.”

Governor Gavin Newsom even addressed the issue but is not taking a side. He said, “I encourage everybody to take seriously local health orders and I encourage everybody to support businesses that support this state. I appreciate that they’re a headquartered, California-based company.”

Tuesday, the Pleasant Hill In-N-Out Burger was closed for multiple complaints of not checking for proof of vaccination. It has since reopened, but indoor dining there and in San Ramon remains closed.

In-N-Out Burger hasn’t commented on the rallies.

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