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Health, Science & Environment

Protesters Target State Epidemiologist Angela Dunn’s Home — Allege She’s Not Listening To Utahns

Roughly a dozen people wait on a sidewalk, clustered into small groups.
David Fuchs
/
KUER
The protestors declined to disclose their names or the name of their group to KUER on Thursday morning, saying their message was solely for the doctor.

Roughly a dozen people, toting American flags and maskless faces, gathered on the sidewalk across the street from the home of state epidemiologist Dr. Angela Dunn on Thursday morning.

The group said they were there to communicate with the doctor but declined to share their message with the media. Their protest comes in the midst of the deadliest days Utah has seen since the onset of the pandemic, with 10 people dying of the virus on both Wednesday and Thursday.

Though the gathering was silent, its presence still frustrated other residents of the Salt Lake City neighborhood, including Marc Cronan, who passed by the event while walking his dog.

“How about sending her some support? Think about the pressure she’s under,” Cronan said to the group. “You guys have no right to be here. You have a right to protest. You don’t have a right to be in front of her house doing it.”

Dr. Dunn later addressed the gathering at the state’s weekly COVID-19 press briefing.

It’s scary and wrong that somebody would feel comfortable sharing my personal information. It’s taken a really big toll on my family and myself,” Dunn said, referring to individuals who circulated her home address online in advance of the protest. “I think it’s really unfortunate that we live in a state where people feel that it is ok to harass civil servants.”

Gov. Gary Herbert said at the press conference that protesting at Dunn’s home was a waste of time, before later weighing in on Twitter.

Herbert called the gathering disgraceful and said it’s completely out of bounds to protest outside of a state employee’s house. He also said organizers should cancel all other planned events.

The group behind the protest later emailed KUER from an encrypted account on Thursday afternoon, attaching a copy of a letter they said they hand-delivered to Dunn’s home earlier in the day.

In it, the letter’s authors, who declined to identify themselves beyond “members of the public,” alleged Dunn had not responded to their repeated inquiries and had overlooked the impact of the state’s COVID-19 restrictions on individuals.

The authors also called on Dunn to release statistics pertaining to the virus and hospital capacity.

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