Similar to the Justice for J6 rally in September, a conservative conference happening this weekend in Utah saw a disappointing turnout. Organizers of a religious, pro-Trump, anti-vaxx conference in Utah headlined by disgraced former Trump advisor Gen. Michael Flynn told local media they hoped to have 10,000 attendees, but on the first day of the event Friday, only “around 1,000” showed up, The Salt Lake Tribune reported.
Although the website for the WeCANact Liberty Conference promised that “thousands of people will attend this large conference,” in reality, chairs in the arena were left mostly empty, according to a photo tweeted by Tribune political correspondent Bryan Schott. Schott estimated between 800-1,000 people showed up to hear a lineup of right-wing ideologues, conspiracy theorists and religious zealots. The event was permeated with Covid misinformation, QAnon references, talk of communism and unfounded allegations of election fraud, Schott reported.
The hall is nearly half full today.
I guesstimate there are maybe 2500 seats available, so it would be fair to say v between 800 and 1000 people in attendance.
— Bryan Schott (@SchottHappens) October 22, 2021
“Masks are the new swastikas,” said right-wing online political commentator Doug Billings.
Another speaker, right-wing podcast host Clay Clark, claimed that the CDC “made the [Covid-19] virus” and promoted hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin as treatments for the virus. The FDA has cautioned against using either drug to treat or prevent the virus.
Flynn, who has pushed the absurd claim that the government is hiding the Covid vaccine in salad dressing, took the stage on Friday night.
Flynn also pushed anti-vaxx rhetoric and encouraged attendees not to let the government vaccinate their children. “My faith and my health. I don’t want the government messing around with those two things, and they are trying. They’re gonna shut our churches down, and they’re gonna tell you you’re gonna get mandated to do this … mandated to do that,” he said before launching into a story claiming that “these son-of-a-guns” are injecting children with the vaccine without informing parents. Presumably, Flynn was talking about the government but he wasn’t specific. The FDA has not yet authorized vaccines for children ages 5-11, although outside advisors to the agency are scheduled to discuss it next week.
“You’ve been warned! Don’t let ’em!” Flynn told the crowd.