Dozens of Disney World employees and supporters, as well as a few more from nearby Disneyland, marched near both resorts on Friday to oppose the company’s COVID-19 vaccination demand.
The Walt Disney Company stated in July that it will require its paid and nonunion hourly employees in the United States to get immunized.
Nick Caturano, a current Disney cast member, coordinated Friday’s march, which began on Apopka Vineland Road near the Disney World entrance. He and the other protesters are opposed to mandates and instead want to choose whether or not to receive the vaccination.
“We understand that COVID-19 is a very real health concern that we all have to take seriously,” Caturano said. “But many cast members have a legitimate basis for refusing vaccination.”
Only three people turned up to a protest outside Disneyland Resort in Anaheim. None of them were part of the Disney cast. One lady was the wife of a Disney cast member who refused to name herself or her husband out of fear of retaliation. Within an hour, there was just one person left.
“I’m not opposed to the vaccine,” said Lori, who did not want to give her last name. “I’m standing up for those who want to be able to choose what’s right for them. We have to respect people in their place. Some are just not ready [to get the shot].”
However, for many employees, the deadline to comply with Disney’s requirements is rapidly approaching. Those who do not wish to receive the vaccination are anxious about what will happen if they do not.
“People feel really strongly against it, but they also love their jobs at Disney and don’t want to lose them,” Caturano said.
Protests against vaccine mandates came as the extremely contagious delta variant sweeps across the country, resulting in an increase in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and, in some cases, death.
According to Johns Hopkins, there have been more than 41.8 million positive coronavirus cases and 670,590 fatalities in the United States since the epidemic began last year. However, with almost 80 million Americans remaining unvaccinated, President Joe Biden has imposed a vaccination requirement or weekly testing for businesses with more than 100 employees, federal workers, federal contractors, and health care professionals.
Disney is one of the dozens of large U.S. corporations that currently require vaccines for their employees, including CVS, Facebook, Google, and Walmart.
Caturano, for one, wants Disney to reconsider the mandate.
“I would love to see a moratorium of 60 days so that we can reevaluate, and we can make an informed decision… rather than a rash, emotional, fear-driven decision, which is what I feel this is,”
Professor Tom Morrow was originally a spacecraft missions director who oversaw spacecraft travels from Earth to the moon, notably with the Moonliner space-ship. In later attractions, Mr. Morrow is the mayor of Tomorrowland and a promoter of the latest technological advancements.
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