Letters to the Editor: Get vaccinated. That’s all you can say after Kelly Ernby’s death

Signs advertise a vaccination clinic at the Keystone First Wellness Center in Chester, Pa.
(Matt Rourke / Associated Press)

To the editor: I agree with Nicholas Goldberg’s comments that Kelly Ernby’s death from COVID-19 was sad and unnecessary and there is no satisfaction from it. However, “no man is an island,” and being unvaccinated has repercussions to others.

You may infect others and take up needed hospital beds, equipment and personnel. You may persuade others that vaccines are harmful and increase the number of unvaccinated.

Like Goldberg, I’m exhausted by the situation. I mourn Ernby, who fought vaccine rules and was herself not vaccinated, and the more than 830,000 people in this country who have perished from COVID-19. Every death diminishes us all.


Bette Tang, Chatsworth


To the editor: If Ernby was “not anti-vaccine,” but simply against mandatory vaccination, as her Republican Party colleague Ben Chapman was quoted saying, then one wonders why she did not get vaccinated, which would almost certainly have saved her life.

The irrationality of those such as Chapman, who refuse to join the fight against the spread of COVID by becoming vaccinated, is stupefying.

I am among those who would never aim vile remarks at someone as unfortunate as Ernby. Nevertheless, I find it hard to understand Chapman’s refusal to be vaccinated, for his status threatens the health and lives of those around him.

Leslie Harris Soltz, Highland


To the editor: The Times has pretty well covered the death of Ernby, the Orange County deputy district attorney who fought vaccine mandates, by way of two published letters and a telling write-up by Goldberg.


Goldberg didn’t capitalize on Ernby’s anti-vaccine stance, but just highlighted her attitude on the subject with sorrowful comments on her demise. Science has already shown that getting vaccinated against COVID-19 saves lives. As Goldberg put it: “Why do we live in a world where people let their politics make their decisions for them rather than relying on science or data or expertise?”

For the record, however, Ernby was “not anti-vaccine, she was anti-mandatory vaccine,” according to a friend. One of the published letters described this philosophy as: “No one can tell me what to do.”

Based on what has been written and said of Ernby, it appears that she was well-liked, fought for what she believed in and took a stand against what she did not, as evidenced by her not getting vaccinated and paying the ultimate price.

If even one anti-vaxxer changes sides and lives as a result, it could be a redeeming factor in this very sad scenario.

Bill Spitalnick, Newport Beach


To the editor: How sad is it for a bright, young woman to die such an untimely death? With a great record of work as a lawyer, a community volunteer and a rising star in local and state politics, Ernby had so much more in her to give.

Sure, she is absolutely entitled to her opinions and to stand by her rejection of a vaccine mandate. But it’s a different story to not have herself vaccinated.


She owed it to herself, her family, her friends and to those who would have voted for her in a run for office. Why die in the name of freedom and liberty so unnecessarily?

Batia Atzmony, Tarzana