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Confrontational Anti-Mask Vlogger is Married to a Surgeon
by Krista Freed
Aptos resident and vlogger Kathryn Saari is an anti-masker and anti-vaxxer who has been harassing workers and posting confrontational videos to social media of her attempts to patronize stores without wearing a mask. Saari refers to the Covid-19 pandemic as a "scamdemic" and a "plandemic," and has made threatening statements targeting specific public officials in Santa Cruz County due to their positions on health and safety guidelines. She describes herself as a "full-time volunteer organizer for a few organizations," which includes volunteering with Children's Health Defense, the anti-vaccination non-profit run by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. notorious for spreading medical misinformation, and an affiliation with the Santa Cruz Voluntaryists, the group that stormed the downtown Santa Cruz Trader Joe's store maskless in February of 2021. Saari credits her husband, orthopedic surgeon Dr. Michael S. Nuzzo, as helping her understand scientific readings related to the pandemic. She stated in a video posted in June of 2021 that neither she or Dr. Nuzzo are vaccinated against Covid-19. Saari has a background in reality television, acting, modeling, and television production.
sm_1-kathryn-saari-kat-rs-mellowkat-santa-cruz-voluntaryists-anti-mask-vaxxer-2.jpg
Photo: Kathryn Saari attempts to speak about the Covid-19 pandemic during a discussion of the CZU Fire at the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors meeting on November 16, 2021. Saari was admonished by the Board's Chair, and then directed by a Sheriff's Deputy to leave the meeting when refusing to wear her mask properly. (more photos below, after article)


Kathryn Saari and Dr. Michael S. Nuzzo relocated from the Fresno area to Aptos in Santa Cruz County in April of 2020. In Fresno, Dr. Nuzzo occupied several prestigious medical positions, serving both as an orthopedic surgeon at Fresno Surgical Hospital and as a faculty member at UCSF Fresno.

"My husband thought the masks would be gone in a month," Saari said in a video posted on July 10, 2021. It was at this point in the pandemic that her husband thought politics must be at play, Saari said. "We're both baffled to think about another year of masking our children," she said in the video.

Saari mentions her husband frequently in her videos and social media posts, however Dr. Nuzzo doesn't appear in any of Saari's videos, nor has he shared his vaccination status or his political views publicly on his professional website or his social media accounts.

Saari, on the other hand, has a flair for theatrics. Her background in reality television includes a show on TLC called Ballroom Bootcamp (2005), and a role in Secrets of Aspen (2009). Saari is also credited for her acting performance in the theatrical motion picture Cougar Hunting (2011), but her role was cut from the film.

Saari posts videos of her confrontations as "Kat RS" and "MellowKat" on video and social media platforms. Her posts are filled with personal rants about Covid-19 conspiracy theories, as well as more general conspiracy theories related to other topics such as vaccines, chemtrails, Bill Gates, microchipping, surveillance, data mining, child abuse, and QAnon.


Harassing Workers

In the videos of her confrontations over wearing a mask inside stores, Saari films the faces of workers and makes efforts to get their names. She threatens to sue the workers for discrimination, and she often incorrectly applies civil codes as part of her threats. As they are being filmed, some of the workers react to and point out how aggressive Saari is behaving. When publishing videos of workers online, she has added the tag "Mask Nazis" to the video posts. Her video channel currently has recordings of her visits to stores located in Aptos and San Jose, but she says she has been filming her shopping trips for a over year and that she has "infinite examples".


New Leaf Market, Aptos

On December 31, 2021, Saari posted a video she recorded of her conflict with a store manager as she was attempting to shop maskless at New Leaf Market in Aptos. In the video, the manager approached her to notify her that she would no longer be allowed to enter the store without a mask. Saari became argumentative and was then asked to leave.

"You have been continually asked to wear a mask in our store," the manager stated. When explaining that they were trying to protect their customers, Saari cut the manager off, raised her voice, and stated: "You're not, stop pretending," and added: "This is a psychological baloney thing".

The New Leaf manager told Saari: "You understand you are spewing more droplets when you are raising your voice like that?"

Saari responded: "This is a psychological tool they have been using for hundreds of years, do you know that?"

The manager responded: "You are a conspiracy theorist and I'm not going to continue talking to you".

Saari then threatened the manager with legal action, stating: "I can hold you personally liable," and: "I can take you to court," and: "I am going to put you on notice right now".

When the manager ended the interaction and went back inside of the store, Saari called him a "fucker" and a "cocksucker" on the video.

Violent and threatening comments were left on the video post by Saari's viewers. One of Saari's viewers wrote: "I wonder what would happen if somebody beat the shit out of [name of store manager] while he was walking out to his car?"

Another viewer wrote: "Wouldn't it be awful if a gang of thugs followed all these store managers and security guards home and broke their legs with baseball bats?"

Saari responded to that violent comment, saying: "I don't know what it's going to take to break the trance. Truly surreal."

On January 14, 2022, Saari posted a video of her most recent maskless shopping trip at the New Leaf Market in Aptos. Before Saari entered the store, she said on the video: "They kicked me out before I went on my trip. I'm going back like nothing ever happened."

In the video, the maskless Saari was able to check out with the items she wanted, but one worker did attempt to reason with her outside of the store without out explicitly telling her to wear a mask.

The worker very gently said to Saari: "Workers are walking off the job because people are coming in without masks".

"I'm just out here because my concern is if enough people leave they are going to have to close the store," the worker said. The worker also told Saari they wanted to let her know how personally devastating it would be to lose their job if the store had to shut down.

Saari responded with a very long conspiratorial rant about masks and the pandemic, and then asked if there was any time that she could shop maskless in the store.

The worker repeated that they just wanted to let Saari know how concerned they were that the store might close if workers kept walking off the job because of maskless shoppers.


Chromatic Coffee, San Jose

On November 30, 2021, Saari posted a video of her attempt to purchase a beverage at Chromatic Coffee in San Jose without wearing a mask. In the video, Saari was refused service and then asked to leave by one of the owners of the business. As the owner was escorting her out, she became agitated and wouldn't leave.

"Your aggression here is way too much for us to handle," the owner told Saari.

Eventually Saari left, but she said she returned right back again with a megaphone. The following text message was added to the end of the video: "When I got to my car, I grabbed my bullhorn and called out their discrimination".

Saari added Chromatic Coffee's address to the video post on her channel, along with the message: "Give 'em the bullhorn, folks". She also added the tag: "Mask Nazis".


Ace Hardware, Aptos

On September 15, 2021, Saari posted a video of her attempt to shop maskless at Ace Hardware in Aptos. When workers in the store told her that she could not shop their without a mask, Saari told them they were discriminating against her.

She told the workers: "I feel like I'm asked for a yellow star every time I shop".

"This is like Nazi Germany, the early days," Sarri told the Ace Hardware workers in the video.

She asked for their names and then said that she was going to file a complaint with the US Department of Justice Civil Rights Division. "This is actually a violation," Saari said.

The store manager offered to shop for her if she would give him a list of items she needed.

Saari refused and stated: "This is segregation".

"At what point are they going to force an experimental vaccine on everyone, you have to draw the line somewhere," Saari stated.

The Ace Hardware worker responded: "I don't know [...] that is not for me [to say]".

"I understand, but you are actually participating," Saari responded.


Cash Drops

Saari has posted two videos of "cash drops," one she performed at Aptos Natural Foods and one at CVS Pharmacy in Aptos.

A cash drop is a technique anti-maskers use to obtain the merchandise they want after being refused service inside of a store for not wearing a mask. When asked to leave the store, the anti-masker takes whatever they were shopping for with them while physically dropping money as a form of forced payment. Because the workers have denied service, a cash drop is generally considered to be a theft.


CVS Pharmacy, Aptos

On September 13, 2021 Saari posted a video recorded at CVS Pharmacy in Aptos of what she said was her first cash drop. In the video, Saari approaches a worker with merchandise to be rung up, and the worker told her she would have to wear a mask. Saari then said she had a note from her doctor that exempted her from wearing a mask, and the worker asked to see it.

Saari became agitated and said to the worker something about the situation being a "mental mindfuck".

Because of the language she used, the worker asked her to leave to store. Saari then took the merchandise she had shopped for and dropped some cash in the checkout area.

Saari added this statement to the video post on her channel: "I filed a complaint against this store's manager for medical discrimination last year with the US Dept of Justice, Civil Rights Division".

In the comments section of the video, Saari wrote: "I came in with a bitterness," and: "For the record, I did not need to say 'mental mind-F**'" .


Aptos Natural Foods, Aptos

On September 14, 2021 Saari posted a video she recorded of her attempt to shop maskless at Aptos Natural Foods. Before she entered the store, Saari said in the video: "I'm going to Aptos Natural Food Market because I hear they have given people trouble when they come in to shop".

In the video, Saari selects several items in the store, but is refused service for not wearing a mask. Saari offered to show the worker her medical mask exemption, and the worker again refused to serve her.

Saari told the worker: " Do you realize you are actually acting like a Nazi?"

Saari then took the grocery items, dropped $20 in cash, and called the worker a "loser" while quickly exiting the store.

The manager laughed, and Saari yelled: "Laugh hard, Nazi".

When she posted the video of her trip to Aptos Natural Foods, Saari wrote that she was "looking to sue".

After being made aware of Saari's video of the incident, the worker took to social media to let people know what a stressful experience it had been dealing with an anti-masker like Saari.

"Had one come in today, harass me, film me and posted it everywhere," the worker wrote.

"I'm just trying to follow guidelines and keep people safe," the worker wrote, adding that Aptos Natural Foods does offer curbside pickup for individuals who do not want to wear a mask in the store.


Trader Joe's, Santa Cruz

In February of 2021, the Santa Cruz Voluntaryists and their leader David Rodriguez recorded themselves storming the Trader Joe's grocery store in downtown Santa Cruz maskless to perform a cash drop as a large group. Shortly afterwards, Saari uploaded copies of the video to social media and her video channels, and added a personal statement.

About the Trader Joe's cash drop, Saari stated:

"We did this "Cash Drop" because customers and employees should draw the line after a year of catering to the whims and restrictions of industry-captured politicians and media."

"The mask is a placeholder for a vaccine passport. Governments love pandemics, because fear makes people give up their data, bodily integrity, and sovereignty under the guise of safety," Saari wrote.


Threatening Comments Directed Towards Public Officials

Saari posted the following threatening statement on social media targeting three county officials on July 21, 2021:

"Dr. Gail Newel, Tony Sloss, and Faris Sabbah are cowards. Fucking cowards and losers and pathetic POS's. And they're done. Get them out. However you wish. Get them out."

Dr. Gail Newel is the Santa Cruz County Health Officer, and Tony Sloss is the Vaccine Liaison Officer for the County. Dr. Faris Sabbah is the Superintendent of Schools for Santa Cruz County.

Dr. Newel has been a frequent target of Saari's. In a video posted by Saari on November 24, 2021 titled "A Message for Dr. Gail Newel: Health Officer Santa Cruz County," Saari speaks directly to Dr. Newel in the video, stating: ""You are a hypocrite and a liar, and you will one day be held accountable, you deserve it".

"You are an abomination to society, and there is a reason people are angry. We see you, Dr. Newel, we see you for who you are," Saari said in the video. "You are also complicit in the injury and death of children who get this vaccine, experimental gene therapy," Saari said.

Later in the video, Saari states that Dr. Newel's decisions during the pandemic affected the scheduling of surgical procedures in the county:

"And you are also complicit in the injury and death that you caused when you overstepped Governor Newsom's own rules and you closed ambulatory surgery centers for certain surgeries. You delayed preventative care for a lot of people. People had to reschedule their appointments outside of this county to get necessary surgeries done. You are complicit in their stress and their injury and their suffering. I want you to know that. How do you sleep at night, Dr. Newel?"

Saari does not reference her husband by name in the video, and It's not clear if Dr. Nuzzo's surgery practice was financially affected by Newel's health orders.

In a video posted on July 16, 2021 titled "Tony Sloss: Aka "Santa Cruz Vaccine Liaison" Is a Coward," Saari recorded herself during a phone call with a county worker concerning the paperwork involved with obtaining a medical mask exemption for her son at school.

Saari told the County worker: "My husband is pissed, and he would be having this conversation but he is in surgery right now."

Saari was attempting to speak to Tony Sloss. As she was being put on hold by the worker, Saari swore multiple times and became agitated in the video.


Protest Organizer


We Shall Overcome

Saari organized a "We Shall Overcome" anti-mask/anti-vaccine rally at the California State Capitol on January 17, 2022. It was video-streamed to the Children's Health Defense website. The video recording device for the stream was operated by anti-vaccination activist Nick Clifford, who is also active with the Santa Cruz Voluntaryists. A large Children's Health Defense banner was placed on the steps of the Capitol building. Several dozen people were in attendance. Saari was also the emcee, which included a small line-up of speakers.

In between introducing the speakers, Saari admitted that she covered all of the financial expenses for the rally herself, including paying for hotel rooms for the speakers, some of whom traveled from out of state.

"I have been paying out of pocket for this event, and I could use some support," Saari told the crowd. "I never had a chance to fundraise for this event."

David Rodriguez was one of the speakers at the rally. Saari introduced Rodriguez to the small group, saying: "David helped me so much, so I wanted to honor him, and say thank you, and give him an opportunity to speak".

Also speaking at the rally were Tara Thornton and Denice Aguilar, the founders of Freedom Angels and Mamalitia (Mom Militia).

Freedom Angels is a far-right anti-vaccination group based in the Central Valley of California. Mamalitia is an all-female, armed militia group with multiple active local chapters in California. Aguilar and Thornton are right-wing extremists: both attended the January 6 insurrection in Washington DC in 2021, and in the Fall of 2020 they worked with the Proud Boys to organize a Stop the Steal rally at the California State Capitol.

"These two women are powerhouses in their own right," Saari said about Thornton and Aguilar as she introduced them to the crowd. "It's important to have them here. They have been ahead of the curve for a long time."

Aguilar promoted Mamalitia during her speech at the We Shall Overcome rally, and Saari later posted a video of that segment of Aguilar's speech on her video channel.

Saari has featured the Freedom Angels multiple times on her video channel, and Aguilar has promoted Saari on her "Informed Mama" social media channel.


Axe the Vax

In November of 2021, Saari promoted the call for a nationwide anti-vaccination protest sponsored by Children's Health Defense and Robert F. Kennedy Jr. It manifested in the Bay Area as the "Axe the Vax" protest held at the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco on November 11, 2021. In videos of the protest at the Golden Gate Bridge, Saari can be seen taking an organizational role with her megaphone in hand, as well as speaking with police alongside Tara Thornton. Denise Aguilar was also at Axe the Vax.

Sponsors of the Axe the Vax protest featured many far-right organizations and individuals, including the Conservative Business Journal, MAGA Institute, Simone Gold & America's Frontline Doctors, and Freedom Angels.


Santa Cruz County Office of Education

In Santa Cruz, Saari took an organizational role when she used her megaphone to lead a large group of maskless individuals into the County Office of Education building during an anti-mask and anti-vaccination protest held on October 21, 2021.

A video of the protest shows masked workers in the building being surrounded by a large group of protesters who were not wearing masks.

During the protest, the Board of Education was meeting virtually, with Superintendent Dr. Faris Sabbah the only participant physically present inside at the time. About the Superintendent, Saari said: "We pulled him out of the building".

When outside, Dr. Sabbah spoke to the crowd while Saari held her megaphone to amplify his voice. Dr. Sabbah wrote about the incident after the fact on social media.

"While the Board meeting was in recess, I listened and spoke to them and clarified that vaccines are not currently mandated," Dr. Sabbah wrote.

Dr. Sabbah also wrote: "The behavior of the individuals who entered COE offices uninvited, disregarded our masking policy, and disrupted the Board of Education and our staff was inappropriate and counterproductive".

As the Superintendent spoke during the protest, a video shows that David Rodriguez of the Santa Cruz Voluntaryists was also carrying a megaphone, and could be seen conferring with Saari.

A video posted to Saari's channel in July of 2021 is dedicated to Rodriguez, and is titled "David Rodriguez, Our Freedom Fighter". Saari has affectionately called him: "A man who inspires me".

Rodriguez has also praised Saari on his social media account, posting a video of an anti-vaccination protest held in Santa Cruz in November of 2021, along with the statement: "Thank you for amazing leadership Children's Health Defense, Kat RS, and Guardians of SC".
§Dr. Michael S. Nuzzo and Kathryn Saari
by Krista Freed
2-kathryn-renee-saari-dr-michael-s-nuzzo-aptos-anti-vax-vaxxer-vaccine-mask-aptos_2.jpg
§Threatening statement targeting public officials
by Krista Freed
3-kat-rs-kathryn-saari-santa-cruz-county-anti-masker-vaxxer-tony-sloss-gail-newel-farris-sabbah-1.jpg
§Targeting Dr. Gail Newel
by Krista Freed
sm_4-kathryn-saari-kat-rs-nick-clifford-anti-vaxxer-masker-gail-newel-santa-cruz-county-health-officer.jpg
"Nicholas J. Sayers" is a pseudonym used by Nick Clifford of the Santa Cruz Voluntaryists.
5-kathryn-saari-kat-rs-mellowkat-david-rodriguez-chidlrens-health-defense-santa-cruz-voluntaryists-anti-mask-vaccine-covid-test-1.jpg
Also pictured: David Rodriguez, leader of the Santa Cruz Voluntaryists, confers with Saari as Dr. Sabbah speaks.
§Video at County Office of Education: "Full Santa Cruz Uprising"
by Krista Freed
sm_6-mellowkat-kathryn-saari-santa-cruz-county-office-of-education-anti-mask-vaccine-mandate-protest-october-2021.jpg
§Statement from Dr. Faris Sabbah
by Krista Freed
sm_7-faris-sabbah-santa-cruz-county-office-of-education-anti-mask-vaccine-covid-test-mandate-protest-1.jpg
§Statement from Saari regarding the Trader Joe's cash drop
by Krista Freed
sm_9-kat-rs-kathryn-saari-santa-cruz-trader-joes-cash-drop-anti-maskers-storm-1.jpg
§Saari's first cash drop: CVS Pharmacy in Aptos
by Krista Freed
sm_11-kat-rs-kathryn-saari-anti-mask-cash-drop-cvs-aptos-1.jpg
§Saari's second cash drop: Aptos Natural Foods
by Krista Freed
sm_10-kat-rs-kathryn-saari-anti-mask-cash-drop-aptos-natural-foods-1.jpg
§New Leaf Aptos video
by Krista Freed
sm_12-new-leaf-market-aptos-anti-mask-mellowkat-kathryn-saari-kicked-out-of-store.jpg
§Violent comment left on Saari's New Leaf Aptos video
by Krista Freed
sm_13-kathryn-saari-mellowkat-bitchute-video-channel-new-leaf-aptos-anti-masker-vaxxer-violent-threat.jpg
§Violent comment left on Saari's New Leaf Aptos video
by Krista Freed
sm_14-kathryn-saari-mellowkat-new-leaf-aptos-violent-threat-worker-anti-mask.jpg
§Chromatic Coffee video
by Krista Freed
sm_15-chromatic-coffee-san-jose-kat-rs-mellowkat-kathryn-saari.jpg
§Children's Health Defense
by Krista Freed
sm_16-kat-rs-kathryn-saari-aptos-santa-cruz-anti-masker-vaccination-vaxxer-childrens-health-defense.jpg
§Saari with her bullhorn at the Axe the Vax protest
by Krista Freed
sm_17-axe-the-vax-san-francisco-golden-gate-bridge-anti-vaccination-mask-protest-kathryn-saari.jpg
§Far-right sponsors of the Axe the Vax protest
by Krista Freed
sm_18-axe-the-vax-mandate-san-francisco-golden-gate-bridge-november-11-2021-kathryn-saari-freedom-angels.jpg
§Video promotion of We Shall Overcome rally
by Krista Freed
sm_19-california-state-capitol-protest-january-17-2021-denise-aguilar-tara-thornton-freedom-angels-mamalitia-kathryn-saari-mellowkat-informed-mama-1.jpg
sm_20-we-shall-overcome-rally-california-state-capitol-childrens-health-defense-kathryn-saari-freedom-angels-mamalitia-tara-thornton-denise-aguilar.jpg
§Video promoting the Freedom Angels
by Krista Freed
sm_21-kathryn-saari-mellowkat-freedom-angels.jpg
Saari created this video presentation based on information taken from the Freedom Angels website.
§Saari posts QAnon video
by Krista Freed
sm_22-kat-rs-kathryn-saari-santa-cruz-aptos-anti-masker-vaxxer-q-qanon-cabal-1.jpg
QAnon video: "Fall of the Cabal"
§QAnon anti-mask video
by Krista Freed
sm_23-mask-cabal-anti-masker-vaxxer-conspiracy.jpg
QAnon video: "Fall of the Cabal"
§Saari's work experience
by Krista Freed
sm_24-kathryn-saari-resume.jpg
Saari's work experience
§Dr. Michael S. Nuzzo
by Krista Freed
sm_25-dr-michael-s-nuzzo-md-aptos-santa-cruz-fresno-orthopedic-surgeon-athletes-sports.jpg
Press release (2019)
§Kathryn Saari
by Krista Freed
sm_26-kathryn-saari-kat-rs-mellowkat-santa-cruz-voluntaryists-anti-mask-vaxxer-3.jpg
Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors, November 16, 2021
Add Your Comments
LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
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TITLE AUTHOR DATE
Location of Dr. Michael S. Nuzzo's practiceKrista FreedMonday Jan 24th, 2022 1:48 PM
Husband ditched her.SheepshankerSunday Jan 23rd, 2022 10:13 PM
She's a sanctimonious hypocritical shrewSorry not SaariSaturday Jan 22nd, 2022 8:30 AM
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