An anti-vaxxer came within inches of mowing down health workers with her SUV at a county vaccine site in Tennessee earlier this week, according to local police.
Sheriff’s deputies in Blount County, Tennessee arrested Virginia C. Brown, 36, on Monday morning, after she allegedly drove through a medical tent where county health workers and National Guard personnel were helping administer the Covid vaccine at a local mall, WSMV reports.
"She was driving through to protest the vaccine,” deputy Kevin Snider said in his report of the incident, noting those inside “thought the driver was going to kill them”.
Witnesses reportedly heard her scream “no vaccine” as her Chrysler SUV rammed through the vaccine tent, and officers said she continued to voice anti-vaccine sentiment once they arrested her.
Ms Brown, who could not immediately be reached for comment, is charged with seven counts of felony reckless endangerment.
At least a dozen health workers were inside the tent at the time she drove through.
She is out on $21,000 bond, with a county court hearing set for June.
The incident began when Ms Brown allegedly zoomed through a set of cones guiding drivers up to the vaccine tent, drove through the enclosure itself, then continued to “to drive recklessly through the cone course”, according to police reports.
It’s not the first time Covid sites have been the center of aggressive protests.
In January, roughly 50 people, including anti-vaxxers and right-wing Trump loyalists, protested the vaccine at the entrance to a mass treatment site at Los Angeles’s Dodge Stadium, prompting officials to close the stadium entrance out of caution.
A similar group of protesters assembled at the stadium again in February, though this time they were met with counter-protestors. The Los Angeles Police Department at one point had to intervene and separate the two groups.
Nearly one in five Americans have expressed hesitancy to get the vaccine according to recent surveys, though nearly 60 per cent of adults have gotten the jab at least once in the US.
Tennessee lags behind other states when it comes to its vaccination rates, but opposition to the vaccine has emerged throughout the country, including in ostensibly more liberal states like California.