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Group protests Kentucky's COVID-19 orders in Frankfort

Posted at 6:44 PM, Apr 14, 2021

FRANKFORT, Ky. (LEX 18) — A group of roughly 200 people targeted their anger towards Gov. Andy Beshear at a rainy protest outside of the Governor's Mansion on Wednesday.

They called Beshear a "tyrant" because of his COVID-19 orders and recent vaccination challenge.

"He can't keep pulling executive orders out of his butt expecting us to comply," said Marty Terry, who wore the Gadsden flag, which depicts a timber rattlesnake coiled above the phrase "Don't Tread on Me."

"He needs to open up the state," said Genevieve Culbertson, who held a poster that said, "end mandates now."

"Follow what Texas is doing and allow us to make our own decisions about our health and what we want to do with our bodies and families," Culbertson added.

Gov. Beshear has repeatedly said the decisions he and health officials have made throughout the pandemic are meant to save lives.

"We have always made sure that protecting one another was at the forefront of our decisions about what we do," said Beshear on Monday while visiting a vaccination clinic.

During that Monday visit, Gov. Beshear also announced the Team Kentucky Vaccination Challenge.

"When we have vaccinated 2.5 million Kentuckians, we will remove capacity restrictions for nearly all venues, events, and businesses that cater to 1,000 or fewer patrons," said Beshear.

Curfew and distancing restrictions will also be lifted when Kentucky hits the 2.5 million vaccine milestone.

Many took that announcement as a positive step towards a post-COVID-19 world. However, the protesters at Wednesday's rally took it differently.

"That's not a goal. That is a condition of our release," said Andrew Cooperrider, who led the rally. "A goal would be a positivity rate, maybe a daily death total rate, a case count - that would be a properly set medical goal. This is instead a condition of behavior, not a medical goal."

Beshear defended the vaccination challenge in a tweet on Wednesday where he said it "is basic math."

"More vaccinations equal a safer return to restaurants, pools, bars, wedding and music venues and more. Science and math aren’t political. They are science and math," the tweet read.

Cooperrider is no stranger to conflict with the governor. He is the owner of Brewed, a Lexington coffee shop that made headlines after it didn't comply with Kentucky's COVID restrictions at the end of 2020.

Cooperrider also was involved in one of the petitions seeking to impeach Beshear in 2021.

Cooperrider insists he will keep fighting Beshear.

"[The governor] was taking away my business already," said Cooperrider. "So, everything from here on out is us literally stopping him from bullying other Kentuckians because we're in a position to be able to do that."