“This Is Not a Serious Issue”: The “Freedom” Foundation’s COVID-19 Denial

In the spring of 2020, as Washington State leaders mounted an aggressive fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, one billionaire-funded far-right group chose to minimize the dangers of the virus while exploiting the unfolding crisis. 

The so-called “Freedom” Foundation and their staff claimed COVID-19 “is not a serious issue” and that wearing masks to reduce the spread was “junk science.” They directly attacked public health leaders and their safety guidance. They even tried to raise money by denying mass death. 

A year and a half later, as the death toll in America approached 700,000, the “Freedom” Foundation continued to put the safety of workers and families at risk. One of their leaders went on a crusade to disrupt the vaccination process, getting caught on camera giving a speech in front of a swastika – a clear sign of the extremism in the group’s message.

The rest of us know how real and how devastating COVID-19 has been. We’ve been working together to protect our families and our co-workers, to put an end to this awful pandemic. While we’ve all been employing care and common sense, the so-called “Freedom” Foundation has been trying to sow hate and division. It’s never been more clear – they could care less about working families in Washington and Oregon. They just do the bidding of their regressive, out-of-state billionaire donors. Shameful.