Arizona Lawmakers Concerned Vaccine ‘Ambassadors’ May Ignore ‘No Trespassing’ Signs

By Allan Stein
Allan Stein
Allan Stein
Allan Stein is an Epoch Times reporter who covers the state of Arizona.
July 16, 2021 Updated: July 16, 2021

Arizona state Senator Kelly Townsend on July 16 repeated an earlier call for “no trespassing” signs to be placed on private property as reports of government vaccine canvassers going door to door in other states begin to surface.

“I also recommend that the home occupant not disclose if they are vaccinated, as we now see that in Illinois they are reporting a person’s status to the health department,” Townsend said in an email to The Epoch Times.

Townsend, a Republican, who recently recommended placing “no trespassing” signs to deter vaccination teams, said Arizonans need to know their legal rights.

“They should tell the ambassador to leave the premises, and if they do not leave, then it is within their right in Arizona to contact their local law enforcement and ask for assistance to remove them. I also recommend they consider pressing charges against the ambassador for ignoring Arizona’s trespass law. Most states have similar laws such as having the statute listed on the sign, so check your statutes for the appropriate requirements for the law to be binding,” Townsend added.

Kelly Townsend
Sen. Kelly Townsend (R-Ariz.) in a photo when we was a House Representative in 2016. (ArizonaSage/Wikimedia commons/CC BY-SA 4.0/

On July 12, the Lake County Health Department Community Health Center in Illinois issued a revised “script” to its “Community Health Ambassadors” on how to interact with the public while going door to door.

“You are not soliciting,” the five-page script (pdf) said. “Because you are not seeking an order for any goods or services, you are not considered a solicitor. Therefore, ‘No Solicitation’ signs do not apply to you while you are performing this activity. Always be respectful of the residents you interact with and if asked to leave, you must do so. ‘No Trespassing’ signs still apply and must be complied with.”

Various media outlets have also reported vaccine ambassadors canvassing communities in North Carolina, California, Colorado, and Oregon.

Townsend said there “might be an argument” that the canvassers are not soliciting.

“In that light, I am recommending that everyone post a ‘No Trespassing’ sign with the appropriate statute (in Arizona it is A.R.S. 13-1502) on their property to ensure that it is clear that vaccine ambassadors are not welcome. For apartment occupants, they can place the sign in their window,” she said.

In a July 8 press briefing, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters that community outreach efforts to encourage vaccination against COVID-19 have been ongoing since April.

She said the vaccine ambassadors are not government agents or employees.

Jen Psaki
White House press secretary Jen Psaki holds a press briefing the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington on July 8, 2021. (Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images)

“These are not members of the government. They are not federal government employees. They are volunteers. They are clergy. They are trusted voices in communities who are playing this role and door knocking,” Psaki said.

“And so, I will say, the thing that is a bit frustrating to us is that when—when people are critical of these tactics, it’s really a disservice to the country and to the doctors, faith leaders, community leaders, and others who are working to get people vaccinated,” she added.

Psaki’s comments stand in contrast to a comment by Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra, who said earlier this month that “it is absolutely the government’s business” to know which Americans have been vaccinated against the CCP (Chinese Community Party) virus that causes illness.

In the meantime, the governors of Missouri and South Carolina have already made it clear that vaccine compliance teams are not welcome in their states.

Missouri Governor Mike Parson, a Republican, on July 7 wrote on Twitter, “I have directed our health department to let the federal government know that sending government employees or agents door-to-door to compel vaccination would NOT be an effective OR a welcome strategy in Missouri!”

South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster, in a July 9 letter to the head of the state’s Board of Health and Environmental Control, asked the board to “promptly issue” instructions “prohibiting the use of the Biden Administration’s” vaccine canvassing tactics.

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster
South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster speaks to a crowd in Columbia, South Carolina, on Nov. 3, 2020. (Sean Rayford/Getty Images)

“A South Carolinian’s decision to get vaccinated is a personal one for them to make and not the government’s,” McMaster said in the letter (pdf). “Enticing, coercing, intimidating, mandating or pressuring anyone to take the vaccine is a bad policy which will deteriorate the public’s trust and confidence in the state’s vaccination efforts.

“The prospect of government vaccination teams showing up unannounced or unrequested at the door of ‘targeted’ homeowners or on their property will further deteriorate the public’s trust and could lead to potentially disastrous public safety consequences.”

Arizona state Rep. Mark Finchem, a Republican, said vaccine canvassers going door to door in Arizona is not a good idea.

“I’m sure they will try. Anyone who answers the door when these people come a-knocking is placing themselves at risk,” Finchem told The Epoch Times. “This is an unprecedented act of intimidation in American history and even more evidence of the tyranny that has become the hallmark of this out-of-control administration.”

Allan Stein
Allan Stein
Allan Stein is an Epoch Times reporter who covers the state of Arizona.