Nevada County residents vent about COVID

People speak out during the public comment period of Tuesday’s Nevada County Board of Supervisors meeting. A large group wants supervisors to attend meetings in person as opposed to video conference call.
Photo: Elias Funez

Public comment about COVID-19 again raised its head at the Nevada County Board of Supervisors.

For weeks a group of people has spoken to supervisors about the virus, the vaccine and its supposed effects.

Reinette Senum, former Nevada City Council member and mayor, claimed that an unprecedented number of nurses, doctors, flight attendants and pilots are walking off their jobs because they do not want to take the vaccine.

“They don’t want a biological experiment injected into their bodies, especially in children, and these inoculations have nothing to do with health,” Senum said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have called the COVID-19 vaccines safe and effective, noting that millions of people in the country have received them.

Senum also claimed a number of health professionals, including some in the county, are receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars for their institutions for COVID-19. She also alleged there is evidence a number of people receiving the vaccine are falling ill with heart inflammation, blood clots, high blood pressure, staff and blood infections.

The CDC has stated that normal side effects include tiredness and headaches, and typically dissipate in a few days.

Senum said there are alternatives to vaccines, including hydroxychloroquine, zinc, Vitamin A, Vitamin C and vitamin D, which boost the immune system.

“I’d love to get Dr. (Scott) Kellermann to come to talk to us,” Dr. Patrick Wagner said of the county’s public health officer. “It’s about informed consent. When you go to a doctor they want to heal. They want to settle the problem down by being empathetic, and compassionate, so you don’t have to be afraid.”

Other public comment speakers express their discontent with mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations during a prior Nevada County Board of Supervisors meeting.
Photo: Elias Funez

Wagner also questioned the rational for giving injections, claiming it’s dangerous to get an injection as the public does not know enough about the drugs in the vaccines. He added that the public does not know about natural immunity.

“Natural immunity is an alternative to the therapy suggested here,” he said. “We need a deep discussion and we need Dr. Kellermann here to have his viewpoint. Not having informed consent is a huge problem. Why don’t you guys come back and talk it over?”


Gage McKinney of Grass Valley noted that recently at Board of Supervisors meetings there has been an outpouring of grievance and mistrust, as well as unfounded charges and verbal attacks at members of the board.

“Residents support you as you lead us through the current pandemic,” McKinney said of the supervisors. “More recent evidence of support is in the vaccination rate. More than two-thirds of county residents are vaccinated. If vaccinations were votes, then two-thirds’ majority would be a landslide victory.”

Barbara Larsen has been an elder advocate for 40 years. She said when people experience health care crisis, they inevitably place their trust and care in the hands of of health care professionals. Larsen urged residents to follow the California mandates and support county health care professionals.

Scot Rhoade recently returned to California after living several years in Orlando, Florida, and now resides at a new senior apartment complex in Penn Valley. He said he supports mask mandates and vaccinations.

“I’m appalled by (Florida) Gov. Ron DeSantis prohibiting mask mandates by school boards,” he said. “DeSantis said anybody who goes against his will, he would withhold their paycheck. How can you not pay anybody? It’s ripe for litigation. I support vaccinations for a multitude of disease: Zika, West Nile malaria or yellow fever. I support the (World Health Organization).”

Members of the crowd applaud public speakers during Tuesday’s Nevada County Board of Supervisors meeting. The group generally stands for no masks and no vaccinations.
Photo: Elias Funez

William Roller is a staff writer with The Union, a sister publication with the Sierra Sun. He can be reached at

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