Friday Jun 02, 2023

Head of California medical board says anti-vaccine activists showed up at her home, followed to her office | TheHill – The Hill


The president of the Medical Board of California was stalked and harassed by a group affiliated with America’s Frontline Doctors, a right-wing organization that promotes unapproved medications for COVID-19 and opposes vaccines.

Kristina Lawson, the president of the board which licenses and oversees physicians in the state, tweeted on Wednesday about the group’s efforts to harass her.

Lawson said the right-wing, anti-vax group parked near her home in Walnut Creek with a black SUV. They flew a drone over her house before following her to work.

“At least one of the members of the group had flown across the country to stake me out,” she wrote. “That evening, when I left the office building and entered the parking garage, four men jumped out of the SUV with cameras and recording equipment and confronted me as I tried to get into my car to drive home.”

Lawson contacted the Walnut Creek Police Department, which is investigating the incident. Members of the group told officers they were seeking to interview her, but Lawson — who said the group “ambushed” her — said that no one affiliated with America’s Frontline Doctors ever contacted her or her press office.

The Hill has reached out to the Walnut Creek Police Department for comment and verification.

America’s Frontline Doctors, an organization founded last year with close ties to the conservative Tea Party Patriots, has promoted controversial medication for COVID-19, including ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine, both of which are not approved by the FDA.

The Federation of State Medical Boards issued a recommendation this summer that asked states not to license doctors or medical physicians who promote false COVID-19 medications.

Contra Costa County Supervisor John Gioia told NBC Bay Area that incidents of harassment surrounding COVID-19 misinformation are happening more often.

“Unfortunately, we’re seeing in this country this increased polarization where people now are attacking others personally, bullying others,” he said. “And we’re seeing that as part of information about COVID, unfortunately.”

Lawson, however, said she was not deterred by the group’s efforts.

“I will continue to do this work even when it is hard, and notwithstanding that there is an organized effort to scare me away from it,” Lawson wrote. “That means protecting Californians from bad doctors, and ensuring disinformation and misinformation do not detract from our work to protect patients and consumers.”


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