Drivers with an appointment enter a COVID-19 vaccination center in the parking lot of Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on Saturday. As one of the largest vaccination centers in the country, it was temporarily closed on Saturday afternoon due to protesters and hundreds of motorists stopped in line for hours. Damian Dovarganes / AP Hide caption
Damian Dovarganes / AP
Damian Dovarganes / AP
Nearly 50 hours on Saturday, about 50 anti-vaccination campaigners and right-wing supporters of former President Donald Trump delayed COVID-19 vaccinations as they protested at the entrance to Dodger Stadium, where a mass vaccination campaign was taking place.
The protesters held signs reading “COVID = Fraud”, “Don’t be a laboratory rat” and “Tell Bill Gates to get vaccinated” and prompted the Los Angeles Fire Department to close the stadium entrance as a precaution. People in hundreds of cars waiting in line for hours had to wait even longer.
The site was closed around 2 p.m. on Saturday when several officers from the Los Angeles Police Department arrived at the scene. No arrests were made and the website reopened at 3 p.m. “We will not be deterred or threatened,” said California Governor Gavin Newsom said on twitter.
Everyone who was supposed to get a vaccine was still getting their dose, officials said. The episode, however, underscores the continued distrust of a significant part of the public about vaccines and the unwillingness of some Americans to accept the reality of the coronavirus pandemic that has been killed nearly 440,000 American.
Nearby, protesters held signs like “Take off your mask and smell the cops ***” and “CNN is lying to you.” The man in the cylinder added, “Hydroxychloroquine works!”
It is difficult to deduce from an isolated protest how widespread belief in some of these conspiracy theories is. But after a December NPR / Ipsos Survey, the number can be significant. For example, the poll found that about 40% of the American public believe the coronavirus was made in a laboratory in China, and that 17% of the false QAnon conspiracy theory believe that politics and the media are from “a group of elites who believe Satan worship, be controlled “who run a child sex ring. “(And 37% said they don’t know if that’s true or not.)
Many of the protesters at Dodger Stadium were also far-right supporters of Trump, but they tried to hide that connection. “Please do not wear Trump / MAGA clothing, as we want our statement to resonate with the sheep,” said a protest organizer on social media prior to the event Los Angeles times reported.
We’re at the Dodger Stadium mass vaccination site to get my mother the vaccine. The anti-Vax protesters have approached the entrance to the site. The LAPD has now closed the gate. We’ve been sitting here for about half an hour. Nobody moves. pic.twitter.com/GrJPA5wrqx
– Mikel Jollett (@Mikel_Jollett) January 30, 2021
More than 3.3 million Californians are infected with the coronavirus, and more than 40,000 have died there – including one more 464 on Saturday.
And Los Angeles health officials have warned that variants of the coronavirus are spreading there. The county health department confirmed that it had found a second case of the more contagious variant B.1.1.7, which first appeared in the UK. Other variants “are already spreading in the district,” according to the department said.
Los Angeles County has also recorded four other cases of MIS-C, which stands for “Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children”. This is a complication of COVID-19 that causes serious side effects in young people, including persistent fever and inflamed parts of the body.