A group of disruptive anti-vaccination protesters was successful in their campaign on Wednesday morning to delay the vote on a $27 million contract which would create 13 temporary jobs for people who would be charged with increasing New Hampshire's vaccination rate.

People stood outside of the building where the Executive Council was meeting at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at Saint Anslem College in Manchester. They were holding signs.

A group that was inside had people chanting, "Shut it down!"

When Councilor David Wheeler announced that state employees were in fear of their lives and the meeting was canceled before it even began, one protester yelled, "Mission accomplished!"

One of the people speaking in front of the inside crowd was a Rochester resident.

Kelley Nadeau Potenza spoke to WMUR's Political Director Adam Sexton. She said that the $27 million for "13 new vaccine pushers and the registry" comes with strings attached that will allow the government to exercise more power over people's individual rights.

On her Facebook page, Potenza has a background photo that says, "Kids aren't lab rats - Say no to CV-19 vax." A number of her public posts reflect her opposition to how COVID-19 is being handled in our country.

During his COVID-19 press conference Wednesday afternoon, Gov. Chris Sununu addressed what happened in the morning. 

"We will not allow state employees to be in harm's way just for doing their job," Sununu said.

Sununu said that even though these contracts are federally funded and do have language in them which is being interpreted by protesters as giving up state sovereignty, he has no intentions of giving up New Hampshire's rights.

"These are very important contracts," Sununu said. "Virtually every other state in the nation has voted to accept these funds."

Sununu said even though the actions of the protesters were intolerable, he still wants input from members of the public. He recalled times where people on both sides of the abortion issue sat in the same room as the executive council made their decision on contracts and said the process can be executed in a respectful manner.

"We don't want to cut the public out of the process. We would never do that," Sununu said.

Sununu blamed what happened Wednesday morning on "mob mentality."

Sununu is a supporter of COVID-19 vaccinations and said he wants everyone to get their shot.

Contact Managing News Editor Kimberley Haas at Kimberley.Haas@townsquaremedia.com. 

Read More: A number of drivers honked their horns as they passed by a group of about 15 protesters who stood in front of Wentworth-Douglass Hospital in Dover on Friday afternoon.

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