The Lincoln Memorial drew a crowd stretching all the way to the reflecting pool on the National Mall to protest the Biden Administration’s embattled COVID-19 vaccine mandates. “Freedoms and mandates don't really go hand in hand. We’ve all seen the pandemic, we can all make the decision that’s safe enough for us,” declared Stephanie, 36, from Crownsville, Maryland. [tweet_embed] January 24, 2022[/tweet_embed] The crowd was rife with “Don’t tread on me” flags and creative posters decrying vaccine passports, mask mandates, and mandatory COVID-19 vaccines for school-age children. Hatred for Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government’s top infectious disease expert and adviser on the pandemic to President Biden, was on full display. Nick, 35, from West Virginia, held up a sign demanding, “Fire Fauci.” “I'm not against vaccines. I'm just against mandating them. We have freedom of choice here in this country, or at least we should, at least that's what we believe, and I really think that should be upheld,” said Nick, who said he has been vaccinated. [tweet_embed] January 24, 2022[/tweet_embed] Stephanie and her husband, Jason, 38, drove to the rally Sunday morning with three of their five grade-school-aged children in tow. In the early stage of the pandemic, their children went to school virtually. As she noticed her children were not learning at the speed they normally did when school was in person, Stephanie thought, “I'm pretty sure I could do a better job,” and began to homeschool her children. “I won’t send my kids to school masked,” she recalled. Jason works for the city government, which requires employees to be vaccinated or submit to regular COVID-19 testing, an alternative that healthcare providers at government-funded health centers are not offered. “The rules are set, and the way that things are is making it easier for people to get vaccinated, but people that don’t agree with it, they’re making a lot of things very difficult, and that just don’t make sense here in America,” Jason lamented. Dr. Peter McCullough, a cardiologist who railed against medical censorship on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast last month, took the stage in front of the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. [tweet_embed] January 24, 2022[/tweet_embed] “Not once did we hear an endorsement for our best and compassionate care to each and every American,” McCullough told the crowd. “In fact, we heard the opposite through a series of statements, a series of actions that was effectively a chill on early treatment.” Biden's vaccine mandates have hit legal hurdle after legal hurdle since he announced them last fall. The mandates for private companies with 100 or more employees, as well as federal workers, have been blocked by the courts. The sole mandate that remains in place applies to healthcare workers whose employers receive funding from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.