New Orleanians who fled their homes ahead of Hurricane Ida’s terrifying wrath and later tried to return to salvage keepsakes and mementoes met unwelcome visitors along the treacherous stretch of road, highway 610, just south of Lake Pontchartrain.
At an intersection due east of Metairie, sat four amphibious vehicles with FEMA logos stenciled on either side of the carriage. Beside the vehicles, armed FEMA agents peered through binoculars, watching for persons braving the deluge. Next to them, two CDC personnel handled a cooler brimming with Covid-19 vaccinations.
Dennis Farrell, a New Orleans native, and his son Chris had been traversing the perilous stretch of road when he spotted the curious roadblock ahead of his GMC Yukon. He knew that Louisiana’s Governor, John Bell Edwards, had ordered evacuees to avoid the city at all costs, citing flooding, downed power lines, scorching heat, lack of potable water, and potential death as his gravest concerns.
But at the hotel where Mr. Farrell had been staying, he had heard other Ida refugees discussing ignoring the governor’s mandate because roving bands of looters reportedly had been pillaging the city and plundering washed-out homes and businesses.
Mr. Farrell was concerned because he had left behind a locked gun cabinet and his wife’s jewelry box, and he sought to recover those items before they fell into criminal hands. So early Tuesday morning he and his son took to the road in hopes of recovering the valuables—until FEMA stopped them in their tracks.
FEMA, Mr. Farrell told Real Raw News, intercepted his Yukon and demanded he and his son exit the vehicle.
“They weren’t concerned for our safety or anything. Those guys had their hands on their rifles while the CDC folks hung behind them. First thing they asked me was if me and Chris had gotten the Covid-19 shot, and if so, to show them our vaccination cards,” Mr. Farrell said.
When Mr. Farrell admitted neither he nor his son had gotten a vaccination, the FEMA agents became combative and belligerent, and admonished them for “putting their friends and family at risk by not taking the shot like patriotic Americans do.” Mr. Farrell told FEMA he didn’t trust the vaccine, citing rushed development and safety an efficacy concerns, and that his family was in excellent health, with no comorbidities, and at little risk of dying from a virus with a 99.6% survival rate.
“They told me my stupidity was a comorbidity,” Mr. Farrell said.
The agents, Mr. Farrell added, had “great” news for him; fortunately, they had a cooler full of Covid-19 vaccinations, and CDC medical technicians on hand to administer those vaccinations.
“They told me there was a massive Delta outbreak going around New Orleans and they weren’t letting people back without proof of the shot or getting the shot right then and there. When I told them I didn’t want my property looted, they told me if my valuables got stolen, it’d be a small price to pay compared to the damage I might cause by spreading Covid around the community. They said if I wanted to pass, I had to take their shot. If I didn’t, I’d have to turn around,” Mr. Farrell said.
Mr. Farrell refused the vaccination and told FEMA that mandatory vaccinations violated his God-given and Constitutional rights. Rather than push the issue, and risk an engagement with maniacal, armed federal officials, he swung his in the opposite direction and headed back to the hotel.
“We’d rather loose our stuff to looters than be slaves to the government,” he told RRN.
In closing, Mr. Farrell said he had spoken via phone to neighbors who had similar encounters with FEMA.