Friday Dec 02, 2022

‘They ambushed me’: California medical official says she was stalked by COVID misinformation group – San Francisco Chronicle


The president of California’s medical board said she was “followed and confronted” by members of a group under investigation by a U.S. House of Representatives panel for promoting fake information about COVID-19 treatments, saying they flew a drone over her family’s Walnut Creek home and “ambushed” her outside her office.

Kristina Lawson, chief executive of law firm Hanson Bridgett who has served on the state medical board since 2015, described the ordeal on Twitter, saying it started when strangers parked outside her home Monday morning and ended in a parking garage for her office “when 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.”

She said they identified themselves as members of America’s Frontline Doctors, an organization that claims on its website to be “protecting physician independence from government overreach.” The name was emblazoned on their jackets and a microphone.

The organization came under investigation by federal lawmakers in October for offering online prescriptions for unproven drugs to treat COVID-19, including malaraia drug hydroxychloroquine and horse dewormer ivermectin. In a letter to the group’s founder Dr. Simone Gold, Rep. James E. Clyburn, Chairman of the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, said he was concerned the group is “endangering American lives and harming our efforts to stop the spread of the virus.”

Lawson said she contacted law enforcement. Police told her those who had followed her said they “just wanted to interview me.” Lawson said in her tweets that they hadn’t requested an interview through the medical board or her employer.

“Instead, they ambushed me in a dark parking garage when they suspected I would be alone. The private investigator traveling with them told law enforcement they are producing a video about me that will include footage of my house and neighborhood, and, of course, me.”

Walnut Creek police didn’t respond to a request for information about the incident.

Lawson declined an interview but provided information through a corporate public affairs spokesman.

Lawson said the incident began Monday morning when people parked a rented SUV near the end of her driveway and “flew a drone over my house.”

“They watched my daughter drive herself to school and watched me walk out of my house, get in my car, and take my two kids to school,” she wrote.

Lawson said they then followed her to work “and parked the SUV head-to-head with my car in the parking garage that is attached to my office building.”

Lawson said she would not be deterred from her work and criticized efforts to spread misinformation about the coronavirus.

“COVID-19 has killed almost 800,000 Americans, and we must remain vigilant against new variants and against those that peddle fake, dangerous misinformation,” she said.

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