US Truck Convoy Departs on Cross-Country Trek to Washington to Protest COVID-19 Mandates

By Enrico Trigoso
Enrico Trigoso
Enrico Trigoso
Reporter
Enrico Trigoso is an Epoch Times reporter focusing on the NYC area.
and Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Reporter
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. and world news. He is based in Maryland.
February 23, 2022 Updated: February 24, 2022

ADELANTO, California—Hundreds of truckers and supporters departed a southern California site on Feb. 23 for a trip planned to culminate in the Washington area.

The group, dubbed the People’s Convoy and inspired by Canadian truckers who drew international attention, hopes to convince authorities to ease or withdraw COVID-19 vaccine mandates and other restrictions imposed during the pandemic.

The convoy has specific demands, including urging President Joe Biden to rescind his declaration of a national emergency over COVID-19. Biden, a Democrat, on Feb. 20 said the emergency will be extended beyond March 1 because of a “risk to the public health and safety.”

Other goals include “letting our government know that you work for us,” Brian Brase, one of the convoy organizers, told a rally that preceded the departure, drawing cheers. “People can paint this any way they want, they’re going say this as a far-right or far-left or this is a partisan issue. But it’s not; it’s an American issue. It’s a world issue. To the truck drivers around the world. Now is your time to stand up. Now is your time to usher in a renaissance time of freedom.”

Leigh Dundas, another organizer, told The Epoch Times that the turnout “really shows that America is ready to end the state of emergency and the mandates that sprung from those states of emergency.

“It’s been two years and in the truckers’ opinion, it’s time to reopen the darned economy right now,” she added.

The convoy’s planned route would take drivers through approximately 11 states, with stops in Arizona, Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Indiana, Ohio, and Maryland.

The group is working with local, state, and national law enforcement for all the stops on their planned journey.

The convoy plans to arrive in the Washington area on the evening of March 5.

Epoch Times Photo
Ralliers cheer the convoy departing from Adelanto, Calif., on Feb. 23, 2022. (Enrico Trigoso/The Epoch Times)
Epoch Times Photo
In this screenshot from video, trucks depart from Adelanto, Calif., on Feb. 23, 2022. (Enrico Trigoso/The Epoch Times)

Federal authorities are monitoring the convoy and others like it, White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters in Washington. Maryland and Virginia state police are in touch with the District of Columbia and U.S. law enforcement agencies, including the U.S. Capitol Police. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has approved the deployment of hundreds of National Guard members to help respond to the convoys.

Another convoy left Pennsylvania on Wednesday, led by tow truck company owner Bob Bolus. Bolus told The Epoch Times that the convoy planned to shut down traffic on the Capital Beltway which encircles Washington. Bolus said the convoy does not have a set timeline and wants to meet with Congress. “We want our voices heard,” he said.

Bolus said people with his convoy had spoken with those leading The People’s Convoy, but Dundas said that The People’s Convoy is “absolutely not connected” with them.

Adelanto is about 80 miles outside of Los Angeles. The trip to Washington is about 2,600 miles.

After several people delivered speeches, truckers departed with horns blaring as people waved American flags and waved. Truckers were joined by people driving a range of other vehicles, including SUVs and cars.

Dr. Pierre Kory, who has focused on early COVID-19 treatment, told the crowd that mandates and other government policies have lacked a scientific basis and failed to protect people.

“The viruses have infected our bodies and taken some of our lives, but the policies have ruined our society. Our society is so sick right now. And you’re all here, trying to get us back on the right track. So thank you for showing up,” Kory said.

Jack Phillips contributed to this report.

Enrico Trigoso
Enrico Trigoso is an Epoch Times reporter focusing on the NYC area.
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. and world news. He is based in Maryland.