On January 23, opponents of vaccine mandates are expected to gather on the National Mall as part of the “Defeat the Mandates: An American Homecoming” rally. The thought of a big group of anti-vaxxers coming to our city for a potential superspreader event would be a downer any time. But it’s a particular bummer now that DC’s Omicron surge is finally in decline. Here’s where the rally is taking place, and what else to expect this weekend.
When and where is it?
The group has planned a march from the Washington Monument to the Lincoln Memorial. Attendees are expected to gather at the Washington Monument around 10:30 AM. The march towards the Lincoln Memorial will start at 11:30 AM.
Once at the Lincoln Memorial, musical performances and a series of speakers are expected to take the stage at 12:30 PM with the event wrapping up at 2 PM.
Who will speak at the rally?
According to the event’s website, speakers for the event include doctors, athletes, and anti-vaccine activists, such as Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Robert Malone, and Paul Marik.
How many people are expected to attend?
There is no confirmed number of attendees, but “Trevor FG”, the event’s spokesperson, told Washingtonian last week the event had more than 36,000 signups. The group submitted a permit to the National Park Service for 20,000 attendees.
Will any streets be closed?
MPD has yet to issue any road closures for Sunday’s event.
Where else in the area will the rally attendees be gathering?
According to the event website, organizers reserved blocks of hotel rooms for attendees in Arlington, where there is no vaccine mandate. The site does not specify which hotels, but says the blocks of rooms are now sold out.