An organization called the New Mexico Freedoms Alliance pledged Friday to help Los Alamos National Laboratory workers protest mandatory coronavirus vaccinations.

The protest has been scheduled for 11 a.m. Tuesday at Los Alamos’ Ashley Pond.

The protesters will include “a group from the Los Alamos National Laboratory with support from the New Mexico Freedoms Alliance,” said Melanie Rubin, who is on the executive committee of the freedom organization.

Rubin said she expected “hundreds” of the laboratory’s employees to participate, although the effort to organize them had just started.

A Los Alamos National Laboratory spokeswoman said the mandate came from Triad National Security, the company that manages and operates the national lab. It applies, she said, to Los Alamos National Laboratory employees and on-site contractors and subcontractors. It also covers new hires and teleworkers.

Triad announced the mandate Aug. 23, and it will fully take effect in mid-October. More than 85 percent of the employees were vaccinated in late August, “and that number continues to grow,” the spokeswoman said in an email Friday.

A news release sent Friday by the freedom group said, among other things: “Every New Mexican deserves the right to choose what happens to their own body. The people who want to get vaccinated should do so. Those who don’t want to do so should have the right to say NO!” The news release called the protest a “Freedom Assembly” and encouraged protest participants to take vacation time for the event.

The item also mentioned constitutional rights, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and codes of medical ethics in “the Nuremberg Code and the Declaration of Helsinki.” Sarah Smith of Las Cruces, also an executive committee member of the New Mexico Freedoms Alliance, was named at the top of the news release.

“We’ve been working with people from LANL,” Smith said in an interview. Smith and Rubin, of the Albuquerque area, said the impetus for their organization stemmed from various coronavirus-related requirements that have affected employees, children, businesses, schools, prisons and other people and places. Both also mentioned the importance of people having control over decisions affecting their bodies, but neither said their organization had discussed or taken a position on abortion.

Rubin said her interest was in “all issues of bodily sovereignty. And also civil liberties, human rights, constitutional rights.” Rubin said she has been placed on leave as an instructional systems designer who produces training programs at Presbyterian Healthcare Services because she hasn’t been vaccinated. She said she contracted the coronavirus and was effectively treated with homeopathic therapies.

The coronavirus vaccines haven’t gone through extensive clinical trials, Rubin added.

Los Alamos National Laboratory Director Thom Mason said in the Aug. 23 news release that the mandate was needed to “meet our Laboratory’s critical mission requirements amid rising COVID-19 case rates in northern New Mexico and beyond.”

Dr. Jagdish Khubchandani, a vaccine advocate and public health doctor at New Mexico State University, wrote Friday in an email that efforts must be made to reduce complacency, increase confidence in the vaccines, promote collective responsibility and communicate clearly about the vaccines. “Such efforts take time and strategic action,” he wrote.

(54) comments

Khal Spencer

According to the Los Alamos Reporter, "...many in attendance were not Lab employees. "

JC Speed

All you saying demeaning things about unvaccinated people obviously didn't read the rules when signing up on this site to make comments.

I doesn't matter to me if you're vaccinated or not. You're choice, still a free country for now. But if we let it be mandatory then what's next? That's what I care about. Our freedoms keep being taken away. Yes LANL can make it mandatory. Don't work there if it's your stance to not take vaccine. I don't work there, so.... I never said if I was vaccinated or not. I do support the right to make it your choice.

Robert Fields

It’s not demeaning to say that unvaccinated people spread the virus far more than vaccinated.

It’s not demeaning to point out that unvaccinated get sick and die far more frequently than vaccinated.

It’s not demeaning to say that our hospitals are full or filling almost exclusively by unvaccinated and that is delaying or denying care to others.

Those are all facts. Easily checked and verified facts.

A free country does not mean you have a right to infect others with a potentially deadly virus. Among known virus infections among unvaccinated now, about one in 60 will die - that’s if they can get care which unvaccinated by their numbers are now causing to be delayed or denied. Your freedoms end when you start infringing my rights and vice versa.

Get your shots. Wear your mask.

JC Speed

Some people on this comment line are calling people stupid. I'd say that's demeaning

Robert Fields

Well, I hate to say it but Forrest Gump had a saying appropriate to that…

JC Speed

Robert, it won't let me reply to your forest Gump comment so I'm putting it here, and I'm done.

This is an example of why there is a separation of Americans, you won't even consider my view or opinion. You're right, and you'll always be right in your mind.

Jim Klukkert

For all of us who might have to go on the Internet to understand Robt. Fields' Gumpian reference: “Stupid is as stupid does.”

Khal Spencer

Looking at the hospitalization numbers, it certainly seems foolhardy to insist on the "freedom" to not get vaccinated. That said, this discussion was supposed to be about LANL. If some chose to avoid the shots, I wish they would also avoid the ICUs when the inevitable happens. There are enough people there already. Maybe the vet practices should be open 24/7 to hand out ivermectin to the holdouts.

Many diseases that used to ravage the population have been eliminated with vaccination, such as smallpox and polio. Some diseases are making a recurrence due to the anti-vaxx movement. But vaccination ain't anything new nor is it rocket science. What is new is the pervasive influence of lies and deception on the Internet, and the ability of politicians to harness the snake oil of the Internet lies and other snake oil sources to make political issues out of public health ones.

Well, those who want to avoid the shots can play the odds. But choices have consequences. As Kurt Vonnegut would say as another ventilator gets turned off, "so it goes".

JC Speed

Vaccinated people spread the virus too. They just have less symptoms and don't even know they are spreading it. That seems dangerous.

Robert Fields

It only seems dangerous if you don’t understand how vaccines work. Unvaccinated are far more contagious than vaccinated. The vaccine can’t prevent all infections - those are the breakthrough cases. How likely you are to get covid yourself has a large dependence on how much covid you are exposed to. Unvaccinated people with covid are heavy with covid. Vaccinated with covid have much lower amounts of the virus to spread.

Vaccinated are much less likely to get sick and die than unvaccinated. Vaccinated also are less contagious than unvaccinated. Those are facts.

And yes, it is dangerous when anyone spreads covid. That’s why the mask requirements are back - it greatly reduces the amount of virus being spread by infected persons.

Vaccinated people are also more likely to mask than unvaccinated. It’s not vaccinated pushing “muh raghts” as a reason to not mask up. The vaccinated are doing what they can to be safe and protect others. Its the unvaccinated who turn into massive covid factories and are much more likely to be out and about, maskless and spreading covid.

That’s what seems dangerous to me. Get your shot.

Luanne Moyer

If you read the article it's NOT the employees of LANL who are organizing this protest. It is an outside group. What is their intent? Not to protect the employees, of which 85% are already vaccinated. LANL is also making accommodations for those who cannot get the vaccine for medical reasons. Yes, everyone has a choice. If your choice is to not get the vaccine, then suffer the consequences.

Angel Ortiz

It's really simple. Don't get the vaccine . Resign from LANL and stay home.

Mike Johnson

They should be fired if not vaccinated. But resignation is fine too.

Robert Fields

Mike, in looking through your posting history here, you are absolutely anti-mask and largely ambivalent to condescending on the vaccines at least in regards to MLG.

When did you start supporting vaccines and what caused that switch? Did you get and survive covid? Have you also changed your anti-mask stance?

I know you use covid as a proxy to attack MLG. Why are you now appearing to even endorse vaccines? How about masks?

If you now believe in vaccinations, and if you now support masking, why not clearly state it?

Jim Klukkert

From Vanity Fair: Conservative radio hosts all across America are losing their lives for the cause. By Caleb Ecarma 3 September, 2021

In the past month alone, five talk radio personalities who were vocal COVID-19-deniers, anti-vaxxers, or anti-

maskers have all died after contracting the virus.

Read more at:

Khal Spencer

I guess there is something to be said for dying for a cause you believe in. But I prefer Patton's philosophy: " “No dumb b*st*rd ever won a war by going out and dying for his country. He won it by making some other dumb b*st*rd die for his country.”

Mike Johnson


Comment deleted.
John Cook

All of what you have said in this post is wrong. A vanishingly small percentage of vaccinated people die of breakthrough infections. The vaccine has been given to more than 162 million Americans. To deny its proven effectiveness is a mindless political agenda; not a reliance on facts.

Comment deleted.
Jim Klukkert

Sorry Red Eagle, but it is impossible for me to "include that in the reference to the radio host story" as I did not write the story. Sort of a space/time continuum issue that precludes me from traveling back to before the story was written to make changes in the story.

You can of course pull together from your own sources other narratives. Perhaps Dr. Fauci is secretly suffering a Covid infection. That would be ironic! Or perhaps you have proof that the CDC is suppressing reports of massive detrimental effects of the vaccine, other than the acknowledged medically rare detrimental effects being reported.

Tom Hyland might be able to help you out with that, though his credibility has waned on these pages.

Good luck Red Eagle, we will wait. So far though, nothing you are throwing is sticking to any walls here.

Comment deleted.
Laura Stokes

We didn't see those statistics from you either. Please provide the references and statistical information to which you refer.

Comment deleted.
Robert Fields

Red Eagle, I don’t know if it is intentional on your part or just ignorance, but the CDC’s data is all posted and available - good and bad.

Here is the covid weekly tracker:

Here is the covid data tracker:

Here is the VAERS adverse reaction reporter:

Vaccine deaths:,COVID%2D19%20vaccine.

“During this time, VAERS received 7,218 reports of death (0.0020%) among people who received a COVID-19 vaccine. FDA requires healthcare providers to report any death after COVID-19 vaccination to VAERS, even if it’s unclear whether the vaccine was the cause. Reports of adverse events to VAERS following vaccination, including deaths, do not necessarily mean that a vaccine caused a health problem.”

It’s all available - way more than most know what to do with. The CDC is not hiding this so might want to stop trying to claim they are.

Using numbers at the pages above you can calculate deaths per known infected - 0.7%. (153,246 cases, 1047 deaths) Florida is hiding their deaths by delayed reporting. It’s visible by inspection (and also officially stated) in the impossible dropoff in the death curve for Florida at the worldometer website. Anyone who understands these kinds of data behaviors can spot the abnormal dropoff in reported Florida deaths that screams data manipulation. Florida’s actual death rate is running at 335 deaths/day as of last week which if added in changes that 0.7% death rate approximately into the more commonly cited 1.7% covid death rate among known covid cases. Meanwhile, the 0.0020% death rate from getting the vaccine is likely significantly higher than actual since the vaccine death rate includes all deaths that could possibly linked to the vaccine and includes deaths that would have happened anyway, vaccine or no. (See above quote) So that number is biased high.

If you compare the more likely 1.7% covid death rate and a more likely 0.0010% vaccine death rate, you’re 1700 times more likely to die from covid than the vaccine. When looking at death, I’ll take a 0.0020% rate over 1.7% any day.

It’s a bad choice to have to make but it’s the situation. The first thing you need to do is understand that in spite of vaccine risks, getting the vaccine is way, way better than getting covid unvaccinated - and if you are unvaccinated, you are going to get covid, possibly multiple times. With the vaccine, people still can get delta, but over 90% of covid hospitalizations and deaths are unvaccinated.

So wise up. Read the CDC data you insinuate is being hidden from you (it isn’t - you just aren’t looking). And make a better decision about the vaccine - for you and your community. As hospitals overtop, nobody can get proper medical care. We found out this weekend that a relative had to wait a full day to get treated for an acute condition because the hospital (eastern NM) was full. She waited from early morning until late at night thanks to the covid unvaccinated who occupied all the beds.

That’s the reality of your anti-vax fear mongering, blaming others for your own lack of initiative looking up data. It’s on their website. The CDC publishes this information every day, good or bad. All you need to do is stop denying they are making it available and read it.

Comment deleted.
Richard Irell

The patterns I see are ones of selfishness and.or stupidity among the unvaccinated.

Stefanie Beninato

Every New Mexican deserves the right to choose what happens to their own body. The people who want to get vaccinated should do so. Those who don’t want to do so should have the right to say NO!” As said by others, these protestors have a right to decide what to put into their bodies, and their employer has a right to decide not to hire/employ them without a vaccination. I wonder how many of the members of this alliance are pro women's choice--probably not many...just saying....

Khal Spencer

" I wonder how many of the members of this alliance are pro women's choice"

Was wondering the same thing.

Sky Kaly

The virus does not care about the people who protest , it does not care how old you are or where you are from. Please wear a mask.

Khal Spencer

I don't speak for Stefanie, but suspect she is getting at the hypocrisy that these various "freedom" movements exhibit. One can make a principled argument for or against abortion or abortion aat various stages, but that's not likely to be seen on these pages. For an example of what I am getting at, check out Peter Singer's book "Practical Ethics" in which he devotes a chapter to the abortion discussion from a philosopher's perspective.

Sky Kaly

The virus is mutating. The virus does not care who you are or where you are or if you protest. The virus just wants one thing. An opportunity to say Hi, I am here to get you it is your turn. Wear a mask, wash your hands and do not stand too close together.

Robert Fields


Barry Rabkin

The concept of ‘My Body, My Choice’ is fine for any disease or condition that impacts only the person who has it. The concept has absolutely no place and makes no sense when every person can expose other people to infection, hospitalization, intubation, and death. It is why courts, including the US Supreme Court, rules in favor of the State or businesses mandating vaccines for global pandemics. I am 100% for companies, including hospitals, that refuse to hire or continue to employ people who won’t get vaccinated. Don’t want to be vaccinated? Not a problem. Don’t expect to be or remain employed. (I’m in violent agreement with you.)

Red Eagle

Just to be clear, my body my choice in relation to abortion affects at least 3 lives, mother, unborn child, and father, so your point doesn’t hold any water on that issue either.

Spencer Ralston

Seriously? Your argument ignores the fact that the unvaccinated can infect hundreds of people - some of whom may also be unvaccinated and die.

Richard Vinet

Abortion is a private matter. Infecting others with a killer virus is not.

Tamara Lichtenstein

[thumbup] What Barry said, thanks!

Richard Vinet


Khal Spencer

As the article said, more than 85% of my colleagues have gotten the shots. That's a pretty big sample set as far as seeing whether the shots are safe.

As far as these protestors gathering at Ashley? Well, its certainly their First Amendment right to do so, but all they will get out of me is a big Bronx Cheer. And as others said, no one has a "right" to work at LANL and for a long time I was subject to annual 'shrink evaluations and trips to the Golden Retriever. With a national security position come responsibilities.

Speaking for myself, not for the company.

rodney carswell

good points

Khal Spencer

Oh, and the mandate was not issued until the Food and Drug Administration gave full approval to the Pfizer shots.

Mike Johnson

[thumbup] A key point Khal, and all the more tragic it took so long to do that and make this legally viable to fire people for not being vaxxed.

Craig Meyer

Why do you say it took so long, there, Dr. Mike. Pfizer filed their application for approval on May 7th. Attached to it was 360,000 pages of safety data. FDA approved it on August 23rd. Three and a half months to review all that doesn't seem excessive.

John Cook

According to the NYT article once linked by Dr. Johnson, this final approval of the Pfizer vaccine took 20% of the time normally required. He knows this. Because I told him. And yet, here he says it again.

Mike Johnson

Mr. Meyer says: "Three and a half months to review...". Yes, and according to the CDC during that time an average of 450 people died PER DAY. So how many of these could have been saved if the incompetent government bureaucrats had taken 1 month, or 2, or 3, and businesses would have legally forced vaccination due to this approval??? Thousands could have been saved, the blood is on the government bureaucrats hands. Mr. Cook fails to say that "Operation Warp Speed" developed and approved a vaccine in less than a year, whereas the fastest before that was 4 years. He ignores it because he hates Trump and will not allow him any credit for the fast development and approval, and remember Kamala who said in Sept. 2020: "Asked by CNN's Dana Bash in a clip released Saturday whether she would get a vaccine that was approved and distributed during Trump's presidency, Harris replied, "Well, I think that's going to be an issue for all of us."

"I will say that I would not trust Donald Trump and it would have to be a credible source of information that talks about the efficacy and the reliability of whatever he's talking about," she continued in the clip from an exclusive interview airing Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union" at 9 a.m. ET. "I will not take his word for it.""

Mike Johnson

"Dr. Jagdish Khubchandani, a vaccine advocate and public health doctor at New Mexico State University, wrote Friday in an email that efforts must be made to reduce complacency, increase confidence in the vaccines, promote collective responsibility and communicate clearly about the vaccines." Absolutely! And what is MLG, Scrase, etc. doing? Nada. They have limited respect and credibility, they are all just political operatives, only their politically aligned minions listen to them, that is the problem.

Robert Fields

Do you twist everything into an attack on MLG? You were against vaccines in many other posts but now are for them as you criticize MLG for not pushing them harder?

I think the real thing you are against is MLG and maybe everything else is just a way to attack her? What’s going on, Mike? MLG derangement syndrome in full display?

Khubchandani is right, though. The anti-vax and anti-mask crowd somehow needs to be convinced they are risking their lives, livelihood, and communities. No idea what it takes to reach you guys, though, except your own ambulance rides to full hospitals. That does seem to finally do it for you guys in many cases. Emphasis on the finally.

Godfrey Enjady

Totally agree with your post. 👍🏼

Godfrey Enjady

Well said Mr. Robert Fields.

Lupe Molina

Fire them. They get paid too much for wasteful work anyway.

Dan Lewis

No vax, no job. LANL can use the money to hire people with intelligence.

Robert Fields

Agree 100%. Those who refuse to vaccinate (without a legitimate medical reason) are taking an IQ and risk judgement test and failing. They are showing that they are unable to realistically evaluate hazards or make good decisions about their own lives and protecting others.

It’s not true for all positions but most up there better be proficient at evaluating risks. It’s part of doing the job there. You always evaluate risks and mitigate them before doing work.

If these people can’t do that, they should not work there. Not being able to evaluate risk is how you put too many plutonium slugs in a glove box to take a picture and risk injury and death for everyone nearby. It’s how drums blow up. It’s how accidents happen. It’s how LANL occasionally makes the news.

These people are advertising that they can’t evaluate risk or help mitigate risk. I’m really not joking. This is not a joking matter. They should not work there.

Robert Fields

I hope the larger, more reasonable worker population shuns the anti-science crowd in their midst. As Devin Bent said, there is no right to work there. Those who can’t get vaccinated for legitimate reasons need to be protected and moved to positions where they are isolated, but all who just refuse to get it because “muh raghts” and microchips should just be let go. Maybe UT is hiring…

Khal Spencer

I suspect the only argument that could be used about a vaccination requirement, and that by a unionized work force, would be that it is an additional condition of employment and should be bargained or approved by the rank and file or at least a union BoD. That said, most of the work force, IIRC, is not unionized, so that's not an option.

Shots seem reasonable to me based on my past work. I was the senior scientist in an analytical chemistry lab for a long time. Routinely worked in close quarters with a lot of other lab rats, sometimes in jobs that took two or more people working next to each other to get the job done. This is reasonable.

Its not like Triad is asking us to wear bunny suits to work or salute the Director's commode in the morning. Fer the love of Oppenheimer, what is the big issue here?

Robert Fields

The thoughts about union work requirements are interesting. I’d not considered that and I tend to agree. I think there is also something to be said about protecting the lab as a whole as a national resource.

The big issue is misinformation. We see it here from the usual suspects but there’s Fox and others also pushing the anti-vax line which gives it legitimacy in many people’s minds. Even a (cough) ex-president has claimed covid was a hoax.

There’s also a competency issue. Any technical people in that group should be embarrassed. Just simple inspection of infection and death rates between vaccinated and unvaccinated ought to make things obvious. But they also don’t seem to understand swamping hospitals, filling morgues, buying refrigerated trailers to hold the dead, putting others at risk, etc. It leads to questioning their judgement and if they even should be working there.

I think those with legitimate health reasons should be protected and reassigned if necessary, but these others who are willing to put themselves and others at risk should be dismissed.

Khal Spencer


Devin Bent

The vaccines have undergone extensive clinical trials. The Pfizer vaccine has received full approval. In addition, we have data for the hundreds of millions of people who have been vaccinated in multiple countries.

Beyond, there is simply no l right to a job at LANL. There is no right to infect others.

Khal Spencer


Welcome to the discussion.

Thank you for joining the conversation on Please familiarize yourself with the community guidelines. Avoid personal attacks: Lively, vigorous conversation is welcomed and encouraged, insults, name-calling and other personal attacks are not. No commercial peddling: Promotions of commercial goods and services are inappropriate to the purposes of this forum and can be removed. Respect copyrights: Post citations to sources appropriate to support your arguments, but refrain from posting entire copyrighted pieces. Be yourself: Accounts suspected of using fake identities can be removed from the forum.