Opinion: Arrest or ignore them: What readers say about the Dodger Stadium anti-vaxxers

A protest organized by Shop Mask Free Los Angeles disrupted vaccination at Dodger Stadium on Jan. 30.
(Los Angeles Times)

Anti-vaccine activists have never been very popular among our readers, but their stunt at Dodger Stadium recently — which interrupted the vaccination of mostly elderly Angelenos and healthcare workers against a disease that has been killing them in great numbers — prompted our letter writers to plumb new depths of opprobrium.

Common among these letters was the observation that police didn’t treat this organized disruption of medical care with the same dispatch as protests that did not pose a threat to public health. Lately, the letters have focused on the agitators themselves, with some writers posing one of the more frequently asked questions of the Donald Trump era: Why give these publicity seekers the attention they crave?

Don’t feed the ‘fringe,’ suggests Terry Shenkman of Culver City:


Members of the the anti-vaccine faction who not only recently disrupted shots at Dodger Stadium but also plan more such actions strike me as pathetic souls who want their 15 minutes of fame. The media should not indulge them.

Folks have a right to peaceful protest, but when it interferes with vaccination, they should be arrested — and that should be the story.

I would rather the space in newsprint that this fringe has occupied be devoted to stories of those who have lost their lives to COVID-19, the effects on their families or the heroes on the front lines. The looney theories of the fringe element need to be ignored unless the stories involve their unlawful conduct and how it is addressed.

I suspect if these activists do not get media coverage, they will cease to operate.

Cathy Gregory of Lompoc directs her ire at one of the anti-vaxxers quoted by The Times:

No one is forcing Jason Lefkowitz to take a COVID-19 vaccine; he can catch the virus if he wants. But the people in line for the vaccine decided differently for themselves.

If Lefkowitz doesn’t want federal stimulus funds coming to him, as he says, I suggest sending an equivalent amount of money to food banks, which are being hammered right now. That way, everyone is helped.


Long Beach resident Marcia Goodman questions police priorities:

A group of Covidiots delayed the vaccinations being given at Dodger Stadium, intimidating people and interfering with their entry, and the police did not arrest any of them.

Meanwhile, a couple of nitwits briefly altered an iconic hillside sign to read “Hollyboob” and were promptly arrested.

It’s so reassuring to know that we have our priorities in order.

Susanna Louie of Torrance addresses the agitators directly:

Please have the decency and humanity for your fellow citizens to respect their rights to have a safe and healthy life if they choose, just like they respect your right to accept the consequences of not taking the vaccine or wearing a mask.

The guidelines for slowing the spread of this virus are a matter of health, not freedom. Let’s be decent human beings and act rationally and respectfully.