Letters to the Editor: Put COVID deniers and mask refusers at the back of the vaccine line

A UCLA ER doctor gets the COVID-19 vaccine.
UCLA emergency room physician Medell Briggs-Malonson, right, closes her eyes as she gets an injection of the COVID-19 vaccine in Westwood on Dec. 16.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: The recommended phased approach to COVID-19 vaccine prioritization is important and fair, but in my opinion it is missing one element. What I believe should be added is whether a person has followed the safety guidelines to limit spread of the virus.

These individuals should be vaccinated before those who refused to wear masks, who never made an effort at social distancing, who attended large gatherings or parties, who dined indoors at restaurants that refused to adhere to restrictions, who traveled for a family gathering when the recommendation was to stay home, and who spread false information about these safety protocols.

These people helped spread this disease and cause unnecessary deaths. They should be in line behind people who adhered to the guidelines.


Victor Paglia, Newport Beach


To the editor: I’ve written to The Times before to criticize columnist Jonah Goldberg, but it’s time I acknowledge his role in getting the truth out over these last four years. In his most recent column decrying vaccine nationalism, he said what needed to be said.

It’s important to point out the worldwide effort that got us here. Goldberg notes the ethnicities of the major contributors and demonstrates even in America there are people of many backgrounds involved in this research.

But he never mentioned Moncef Slaoui, the scientific head of the Trump administration’s effort to quickly develop and deploy COVID-19 vaccines. He is a Moroccan-born, Belgian American researcher. Why was he missing from Goldberg’s column?

So while Vice President Mike Pence credited the “public-private partnership” forged by President Trump, we should acknowledge the worldwide effort that went into creating these vaccines.

John Harduvel, Huntington Beach



To the editor: Goldberg neglected to discuss one aspect of nationalism for which we in the U.S. can take credit in rolling out a coronavirus vaccine.

Led by a president who mocked preventive measures, rates of infection in our country proceeded at “warp speed.” The vaccine trials were able to be completed so quickly because the spread of infection was unimpeded.

Jacquelyn Flaskerud, La Jolla


To the editor: At this time, I am reminded of a statement by Winston Churchill when World War II was beginning to finally take a turn in the Allies’ favor. With cautious optimism he said: “Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”

History repeats itself.

Beth Cowden, Rancho Palos Verdes