Former Vice President Mike Pence was in California on Thursday and he made sure to stop at a local In-N-Out Burger for lunch following the company’s bold public stance against heavy-handed coronavirus mandates from the government this week.
Pence tweeted photos from his visit to the burger joint with the caption “In California and had to stop at In-N-Out Burger!” complete with an American flag emoji.
The photos show Pence ordering his lunch inside the restaurant, standing outside with his order of a burger, fries and a drink, and one standing with a group of young adults.
The former VP’s visit came shortly after a San Francisco In-N-Out was temporarily closed because employees of the chain refused to check customers’ vaccination status– an issue that has sparked debates over constitutionality and medical privacy across the country.
In California and had to stop at In-N-Out Burger! 🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/3UdzaOcWMV
— Mike Pence (@Mike_Pence) October 21, 2021
“We refuse to become the vaccination police for any government. We fiercely disagree with any government dictate that forces a private company to discriminate against customers who choose to patronize their business. This is a clear government overreach,” In-N-Out Chief Legal & Business Officer Arnie Wensinger told Newsweek.
“[The company believes it is] unreasonable, invasive, and unsafe to force our restaurant Associates to segregate Customers into those who may be served and those who may not, whether based on the documentation they carry, or any other reason,” Wesinger said, defending the chain’s decision.
In-N-Out received an outpouring of support for their decision on social media.
“Yay, In-N-Out! Thank you for having principles and refusing to do the state’s dirty work. If you live near an In-N-Out, please pay them a visit! (Also, the burgers are delicious lol),” one user wrote.
“This is the American response. The only one. #DoNotComply,” Republican representative from Texas, Chip Roy added.
In-N-Out is owned by Lynsi Snyder, known to be a devout Christian who includes Bible verses at the bottom of soda and milkshake cups.
The San Francisco Department of Health told Fox News that the restaurant chain’s Fisherman’s Wharf location was issued a notice of closure for “noncompliance with the Safer Return Together Health Order” after multiple warnings.
“Vaccines remain our best tool to fight this disease and come out of the pandemic. Vaccination is particularly important in a public indoor setting where groups of people are gathering and removing their masks, factors that make it easier for the virus to spread. That is why San Francisco requires proof of vaccination for indoor dining,” the department stated.
Other cities across the country including New York, are pushing similar policies that require proof of vaccination for patrons to dine indoors.
The pushback, however, also extends to cities across the nation. In New York City, the Independent Restaurant Owners Association Rescue (IROAR) filed a lawsuit against Mayor Bill de Blasio claiming that the mandate is “arbitrary, irrational, unscientific and unlawful” and would “severely impact” businesses.
And they’re not wrong.
A survey from the Golden Gate Restaurant Association in San Francisco found that 60 percent of restaurants in the city experienced a drop in business since the vaccine mandate was implemented, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
Pence’s support for the restaurant’s commitment to its customers’ freedom of choice regarding the vaccine comes at a critical moment. As prices around the country continue to rise and the labor shortage worsens, the restaurant industry remains one of the hardest hit.
If more businesses and restaurants followed In-N-Out’s lead and rejected government overreach, perhaps the American economy could escape the death grip of Democrats’ authoritarian chokehold.
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