vic Mellor has founded a family practice in Florida, which he advertises with a special promise: all the doctors who work here have been fired elsewhere. Guaranteed! Mellor actually has nothing to do with medicine. He was a Marine, later worked in construction, and eventually made millions in the concrete business. He admires Donald Trump and years ago started building a “Park for Patriots” in Florida where preschool children can learn to shoot. Then came Corona.

Andrew Ross

Editor responsible for news and politics online.

Mask opponents and vaccination refusers met in Mellors Park between the water slide, shooting range and petting zoo. Among them are two recent arrivals: General a. D. Michael Flynn, Trump's first national security adviser, became Mellor's political mentor. Tanya Parus, project developer and mother of three little boys, became his direct line to angry parents. They made plans together. Project one: a new chain of health centers for people who sense an “establishment” behind every doctor. Project two: the infiltration of the local clinic, the renowned Sarasota Memorial Hospital. Both are making progress.

The first We the People Health and Wellness Center in southern Sarasota County opened a few months ago. Vic Mellor paid three million dollars for the new building with columns and arched windows. Inside there is a bright waiting area with a water dispenser, and at reception there is a doctor's assistant with a stethoscope over her coat. Behind her is a glowing lettering: “We the People,” the first three words of the Constitution in the original handwriting, next to a curved heart.

Free choice for free patients: Mellor (right) in the newly opened “We the People Health & Wellness Center”


Free choice for free patients: Mellor (right) in the newly opened “We the People Health & Wellness Center”
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Image: Andreas Ross

The WiFi password is “MedicalFreedom4U!”. Leaflets advertise a lecture in a church about “the Covid-19 vaccination and its disastrous side effects”, others promote red light therapies. Two books on the shelf: “The War Against Ivermectin” about the deworming drug that comes from veterinary medicine and has been promoted on the internet as a miracle cure for Covid-19, and “Evolution Disproved” by internist Michelle Scott about the creation of the earth. She is on duty in the practice today and is currently treating a woman who complains of an earache.

“It was clear to me that next they would take our weapons away.”

The practice is run by co-owner Tanya Parus, a sporty woman in her mid-forties with glasses and shoulder-length blonde hair. “We offer everything that every pediatrician or general practitioner does,” she says – except vaccinations. “But you have to become a member.” The health insurance companies are one of the biggest problems with their requirements and you will never cooperate with them. 500 patients have already enrolled. A family of four starts at $250 a month. Parus is already planning additional branches.

When the pandemic hit, she and her family had just moved here from Georgia. “We thought the schools here were so good.” They were apolitical. But what her eldest experienced in elementary school upset her. “Masks for small children? As a mother, I know what boys are like. They throw the face mask on the floor, put it back on, touch it everywhere. So they are exposed to a lot more germs.” Parus deregistered her son and taught him at home. Sometimes the family visited “The Hollow.” That's what Mellor named his park, after the hollow concrete pieces that made him rich.

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