Source:  Jonathan Davis

An anesthesiologist at UCLA Health hospital system in Los Angeles who is not vaccinated for COVID-19 and has no plans to get one was escorted off the property in recent days, but he says he’s not finished fighting for “freedom.”

“This is what happens when you stand up for freedom and when you show up to work, willing to work, despite being unvaccinated, and this is the price you have to pay sometimes,” Rake is heard saying in a video posted Tuesday by The Beverly Hills Courier staff writer Samuel Braslow. “But what they don’t realize is that I’m willing to go lose everything — job, paycheck, freedom, even my life for this cause.”

He concluded: “Be well. United we stand, divided we fall.”

The Sacramento Bee noted further:

UCLA Health, which includes several hospitals in the Los Angeles region, requires all active employees working in-person to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or receive an exemption in accordance with University of California policy and a state public health order issued on Aug. 5.

The order states all health care workers in California are required to have received their second shot of the two-dose Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine, by Sept. 30.

“Those out of compliance are subject to progressive discipline, including restricting access to work sites and being placed on leave,” said a UCLA spokesperson said in a statement to McClatchy News, the parent company of the SacBee.

As of this writing, Rake’s profile remains active on UCLA Health’s website.

As reported by the Los Angeles Times, Rake went to an anti-vaccine rally on Aug. 29, telling a raucous crowd that “they want to force a vaccination or medication or treatment into my body that I don’t want. So they’re telling me, ‘Take the jab or we take your job.’ And I’m here to say ‘no. That’s not OK.’”

He then took note of people who have gotten the COVID vaccine to join the cause “because they deserve medical freedom” as well.

“Many of them are going to wake up when the government says, ‘hey, by the way, you need a third booster shot,’” Rake said. “And you know, they say, ‘I felt pretty bad after that second one, can I just pass?’ No. You are now out of alignment with what the government wants and cannot go to your child’s baseball game, you can’t go to the movie theater, you can’t go to the grocery store. They’re going to take everything away.”

The hospital system responded that the anesthesiologist was voicing his opinion, not that of the facility.

“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,” the hospital said in a statement to the SacBee.

Other physicians within the system have lashed out at Rake as well.

“I think it’s mind-boggling that a physician at a world-class institution would go to such a rally and use their name as a physician to directly contradict public health,” Dr. Anna Yap, an emergency medicine resident physician at UCLA, in comments to the Daily Bruin, the university’s student newspaper.

“We as a health care community … were some of the earliest in the country to have access to [the vaccine],” Dr. Nina Shapiro, a professor of head and neck surgery at UCLA’s School of Medicine, told the school paper.

“To twist that into a negative – especially when you know one of the main reasons why we are in this disastrous delta [variant-driven surge] is due to slow vaccine acceptance in the community – and spewing this misinformation is frankly deadly.”