Thousands of Bikers Arrive in Daytona Beach, Florida in Defiance of COVID Mandates
Tens of thousands of motorcyclists arrived in Daytona, Florida earlier this week, present to celebrate the city’s yearly Bike Week tradition. This year’s Bike Week is the 80th occurrence of the tradition, with some estimates of up to 300,000 attending the event.
The Bike Week event is akin to a street festival, and was welcomed by small businesses in the city as a much-needed tourist attraction after the economic onslaught of the coronavirus recession. The yearly event started as a meeting of rival motorcycle gangs, evolving to a national motorcyclist meetup. The bikers were largely welcomed in the city, with the Chamber of Commerce and city governments displaying materials welcoming them.
“I refuse to mask. Joe Biden ain’t gonna tell me what to do. I have a constitutional right to do whatever the hell I want,” biker John Saxon, who traveled to the Bike Week from Biloxi, Mississippi.
“I don’t believe in all that virus bulls***. I’ve had a friend who’s had it three or four times,” said Saxon. “And if anyone should be worried about the virus, it’s me. I don’t have a spleen.”
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has retired many of his state’s COVID-19 mandates, although President Joe Biden is still demanding that Americans stay home, wear masks, and eschew social gatherings commonly associated with American life. Very few of the bikers present for Bike Week wore masks, in a rejection of a sanitized, “medical” vision of American society.
Bikers skew heavily right-wing, recently becoming a target of politically correct liberals and Democratic government officials for declining to give up their lifestyle at the behest of COVID restriction policies. Some liberals tried to falsely blame bikers for the COVID spread spurred by Black Lives Matter rioters during the summer, pointing to a single motorcycle meetup in Sturgis, South Dakota.