LA Times columnist says publicly mocking deaths of anti-vaxxers’ is ‘necessary’ to create ‘teachable moments’

A Los Angeles Times columnist on Monday encouraged readers to publicly mock the deaths of anti-vaxxers, calling attacks of this nature a “necessary” evil to tamper vaccine skepticism.

In a column titled, “Mocking anti-vaxxers’ deaths is ghoulish, yes — but necessary,” Pultizer-Prize winner Michael Hiltzik addressed the death of Kelly Ernby, a deputy district attorney in Orange County, California, who reportedly died of complications from the coronavirus last week after opposing vaccine mandates.

Ernby’s death was immediately mocked by vaccine supporters on social media, who gleefully pointed out her opposition to vaccine mandates. Ernby herself was unvaccinated.

While Ernby’s friends and family condemned the attacks on the late 46-year-old, Hiltzik said there is a greater “moral dilemma” to consider.

“On the one hand, a hallmark of civilized thought is the sense that every life is precious,” he writes. “On the other, those who have deliberately flouted sober medical advice by refusing a vaccine known to reduce the risk of serious disease from the virus, including the risk to others, and end up in the hospital or the grave can be viewed as receiving their just deserts.” – READ MORE