A columnist for the Los Angeles Times became the subject of ire after penning an op-ed claiming that “mocking anti-vaxxers’ deaths is ghoulish, yes — but necessary.”
The writer, Michael Hiltzik, a Pulitzer-Prize winner, encouraged readers to mock unvaccinated people who die from covid to ensure “that the lessons of these teachable moments are heard.”
“On the one hand, a hallmark of civilized thought is the sense that every life is precious,” Hiltzik 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.”
"It may be not a little ghoulish to celebrate or exult in the deaths of vaccine opponents. And it may be proper to express sympathy and solicitude to those they leave behind." "But mockery is not necessarily the wrong reaction to those who publicly mocked anti-COVID measures and encouraged others to follow suit, before they perished of the disease the dangers of which they belittled."
The column concludes: “There may be no other way to make sure that the lessons of these teachable moments are heard.”
Hiltzik’s piece was quickly met with scathing criticism, with some calling it “disgusting.”
“This is disgraceful, disgusting, and evil,” former Rep. Justin Amash (LP-MI) tweeted.
Even vocal supporters of the covid vaccination took issue with Hiltzik’s writing.
“I want people to get vaccinated but will never accept that those who fail to do so deserve a death sentence,” Breaking Points host Krystal Ball tweeted.