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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
News >  Health

John Stockton to appear at COVID mandate event in Wenatchee

Jan. 25, 2023 Updated Thu., Jan. 26, 2023 at 9:49 p.m.

Gonzaga guard Laura Stockton’s father, John, listens as she publicly thanks him during a game on March 2, 2019, at McCarthey Athletic Center.  (Tyler Tjomsland/THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW)
Gonzaga guard Laura Stockton’s father, John, listens as she publicly thanks him during a game on March 2, 2019, at McCarthey Athletic Center. (Tyler Tjomsland/THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW) Buy this photo
By Mitchell Roland Wenatchee World

WENATCHEE – Former NBA player John Stockton will serve as the keynote speaker for a Saturday event billed as an opportunity to discuss harm caused by COVID-19 restrictions.

The event will also include a recently selected Chelan-Douglas Health District board member, though his appearance is in a private capacity.

“The failed public health response to the COVID pandemic ruined lives and changed our country forever, while doing nothing to stop the spread of the disease. Educated skeptics were censored by media; medical professionals were silenced into submission and many were fired; elected officials seemed asleep at the switch; and the public has been shamefully ignored at every turn,” Bill Sullivan said in part in a news release announcing the event. “But now the dam is breaking. Truth always finds a way. Join the movement. Share your story and learn from others to bring healing and hope to this community.”

In the release, Sullivan is attributed as a member of the board. In an email Wednesday afternoon, he said he also helped organize the event.

”Many people in our community having legitimate concerns about their health, the COVID shots, their children, or loss of their freedoms feel marginalized by the loud voices in media, government, and big medicine that have dominated the narrative for three years,” Sullivan wrote. “This event provides a forum for people to listen and learn from others, to tell their own story if they choose, and to hopefully walk away with a better sense of community and inspiration.”

Sponsored by Informed Choice Washington, a registration page for the says the “pandemic response harms listening session” is an opportunity to “learn valuable information and share.”

According to the Informed Choice Washington website, the group “provides resources and advocacy for medical freedom, informed consent, scientific integrity in public health policy, and the elimination of vaccine mandates in Washington State. Our main focus is immunity to communicable infections.”

During event registration, attendees can select whether they wish to speak about “harm categories” including vaccine injuries, vaccine mandates, hospital protocols, lockdowns or forced masking.

In an email, Sullivan confirmed his planned attendance.

”I will be attending in my private capacity, outside my role as a member of the CDHD BOH,” Sullivan wrote Tuesday. “The BOH has not endorsed and is not involved in this event.”

Marc Straub, chair of the CDHD board, in an email Wednesday said as a citizen Sullivan is free to express his viewpoints and opinions and that his participation “is not as a spokesperson for the District, nor as a voice of the CDHD Board of Health. No one member of the Board–including me–speaks for the District or the collective Board.”

He added, “I will note that the CDHD staff and Board of Directors–including Mr. Sullivan–is working diligently to not only address COVID-19, but the myriad of other challenges that impact foundational public health and the safety of our citizens throughout both Chelan and Douglas Counties.”

Sullivan is the owner of a Wenatchee-based water and environmental firm and a licensed hydrogeologist.

During his time on the health board, Sullivan has been a frequent vaccine critic.

At Sullivan’s first meeting in June, he questioned the COVID-19 vaccines for infants. In August, the board rejected a Sullivan-proposed motion to prohibit the health district from administering and promoting COVID vaccines. The vote failed 9-1.

In October, the board banned impromptu discussions on vaccines following a Sullivan-led discussion on whether consent forms adequately detailed the benefits and risks of COVID-19 vaccines.

Before serving on the board, Sullivan provided a public comment that falsely said thousands of deaths had been attributed to COVID-19 vaccines and that PCR COVID-19 tests were inaccurate.

Likewise, Stockton has also been outspoken about his skepticism of vaccines.

Before a 19-year professional career, the point guard starred at Gonzaga University . In recent years, Stockton has criticized the university’s pandemic response.

Gonzaga suspended Stockton’s season tickets after he failed to comply with a school mask mandate, The Spokesman-Review reported. Stockton told The S-R last week that he would not return to games in the foreseeable future due to an objection to the school’s vaccine requirement for students.

Stockton has appeared in an anti-vaccine documentary and questioned the vaccine’s effectiveness on multiple podcasts.

The free event is scheduled for this Saturday from 2 to 5 p.m. at the Wenatchee Convention Center. Doors open at 1 p.m.

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