UCLA anesthesiologist escorted from work for being unvaccinated

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www.medpagetoday.com/special-reports/exclusives/94922

Anesthesiologist Christopher Rake, MD, was escorted out of a University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) Health medical plaza on Monday after attempting to go to work without being vaccinated against COVID-19.

video of the incident, recorded by Rake himself, shows him confronting the individuals leading him out of the building.

“This is what happens when you stand up for freedom,” the anesthesiologist says into the camera. “What they don’t realize is that I’m willing to go lose everything — job, paycheck, freedom, even my life for this cause.”

Rake has been openly opposed to the UC system’s vaccine mandate, which requires all students, faculty, and staff to complete their vaccination series at least 2 weeks before returning to any on-campus facilities. At an anti-vaccination rally on August 29, Rake was filmed delivering a speech lamenting the system-wide and state-wide stipulations and promoting a donation-based campaign he founded called Citizens United for Freedom.

“Last year I put my life on the line … I dealt with COVID patients,” he said to the crowd. “Now this year, I’m a zero … They’re telling me, ‘You take the jab or we take your job.’ And I’m here to say no, that’s not okay.”

UCLA Health responded to the video on their Twitter account, writing that “these comments do not represent the views of UCLA Health. Unvaccinated people are more likely to contract COVID-19 & we encourage employees to be vaccinated. We adhere to the state public health order requiring health care workers to be vaccinated or undergo regular testing.”

Rake, who has not yet responded to request for comment, has reportedly been placed on unpaid administrative leave for his refusal to get the vaccine or a vaccine exemption.

The news of Rake’s removal from the medical plaza came just a day before Oakland-based healthcare provider Kaiser Permanente announced their suspension of 2,200 unvaccinated employees, who were also placed on unpaid administrative leave. On the other side of the country, Northwell Health, the largest healthcare provider in New York State, made its own announcement: 1,400 of its employees were fired for not getting vaccinated before the stated deadline.

Whether further disciplinary actions will be taken against Rake is still unknown.…

 

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