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Christopher Rake: UCLA anti-vax doctor escorted from work for refusing Covid vaccine

Dr Christopher Rake was removed from his workplace after he refused to take the Covid-19 vaccine despite it being a statewide and employer mandate
UCLA anesthesiologist Dr Chris Rake, a Covid-19 vaccine mandate opponent, was escorted out of the UCLA medical plaza (Twitter/@sambraslow)
UCLA anesthesiologist Dr Chris Rake, a Covid-19 vaccine mandate opponent, was escorted out of the UCLA medical plaza (Twitter/@sambraslow)

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA: A video of an anesthesiologist at UCLA Health in California has gone viral online as it showed him being escorted from work for his anti-vaccine stand. Dr Christopher Rake was removed from his workplace on Monday, October 4, after he refused to take the Covid-19 vaccine despite it being a statewide and employer mandate.

In the clip, Rake can be seen recording himself as another man takes him out of the UCLA Medical Plaza in Westwood. The video shared on the social media platform by The Beverly Hills Courier staff writer Samuel Braslow shows the doctor saying, “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. But what they don’t realize is that I’m willing to go lose everything — job, paycheck, freedom, even my life for this cause.” At the end of the video, Rake also added: “Be well. United we stand, divided we fall.” Rake's reaction is not something new as in the past few months we have reported how medical practitioners have also shunned the Covid-19 vaccine. Nurse Shanda Parish said she wouldn't take the jab even after her parents died of the dreaded virus. In another instance, nurse Jennifer Sartin quit work because of the high number of people who were unvaccinated and contributed to the cases in the ICU.


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A number of hospitals come under UCLA Health that requires its staff working in-person to be vaccinated against the deadly virus or get an exemption while complying with University of California policy and a state public health mandate issued in August. A spokesperson for UCLA said, “Those out of compliance are subject to progressive discipline, including restricting access to work sites and being placed on leave.”

Though Rake was escorted from the UCLA facility, his profile is still active on the health system’s website. However, it's not the first time he has gone viral. In August, he was even seen at an anti-vaccination rally in Santa Monica. A video of that was shared on Twitter by Andrew Kimmel, Sr Producer @ABCSharkTank, and the caption read: “Dr. Christopher Rake, an anesthesiologist from UCLA medical center, tells the crowd, ‘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.’”


In response to that video, UCLA later replied, “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’s anti-vaccine stand has angered several UCLA faculty and staff. Dr Anna Yap, an emergency medicine resident physician at UCLA, told the Daily Bruin, the university’s student newspaper: “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 Nina Shapiro, a professor of head and neck surgery at UCLA’s School of Medicine, added: “We as a health care community … were some of the earliest in the country to have access to [the vaccine]. 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.”

Meanwhile, Rake’s recent video that has been viewed more than 400k times has also attracted a lot of criticism from people online. “What psychological problem do people have that they are willing to die over a vaccination?  Millions of people have gotten it and not all of us have died.  So this is more about ego and ‘don't tell me what to do’ than a medical reason. I don't get someone saying that,” a user noted. Another one tweeted, “Unfortunately there are a few physicians that have gone down the rabbit hole. Disinformation platforms are cancerous. Glad he’s no longer in a position to infect patients when they are in their most vulnerable state.” “Your choice not to get vaccinated but don’t harass those who wants to be vaccinated! BTW, Regeneron monoclonal therapy is not FDA approved, still an experimental drug taken out of the remnants of fetal cells/tissues. That’s more dangerous, we don’t know what those tissues have!” the third user added.