Actor Christopher Meloni, who recently returned to his most well-known role as Detective Elliott Stabler in the show Law and Order: Organized Crime, called out former Silver Spoons actor Ricky Schroder after Schroder recorded a video in which he railed against COVID-19 vaccines while attending a “Freedom Convoy” protest in Washington, D.C.
In the video posted to social media, Schroder panned the viewfinder of his phone to show he was on the National Mall, between the U.S. Capitol and Washington Monument, and waiting for the protest to begin. He claimed that he is against COVID-19 vaccines and vaccine mandates because they violate principles about bodily autonomy.
You can watch Schroder's video below.
Schroder likened vaccines to an "experiment" despite the overwhelming evidence that vaccines are safe and work to both lower the likelihood of contracting COVID-19 and reduce the severity of infections:
“Our bodies are our own; we own this. We get to decide what goes in and what goes out. Understood?”
"It's our bodies. Free the military from this experiment, too. God bless [the] United States of America."
The video went viral, catching the attention of Meloni, who asked if Schroder's views on bodily autonomy extend to abortion, which conservatives have for decades suggested should not be included in conversations about the self-determination of human beings over their own bodies.
Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, reproductive health advocates have expressed concerns about the anti-vaccine movement, which has openly co-opted the feminist slogan “my body, my choice” from reproductive rights and bodily autonomy movements.
In 1905, the Supreme Court, in Jacobson v. Massachusetts, upheld the authority of states to enforce compulsory vaccination laws, saying that individual liberty is not absolute.
The goal to get as many Americans inoculated as possible in an effort to reach herd immunity is complicated by free-riders who are relying on others to get vaccinated, undermining the collective good and adversely impacting immunocompromised individuals who are unable to get the vaccine for legitimate health reasons.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has also long debunked claims natural immunity is more beneficial than the vaccine.
In fact, a study published in August 2021 showed "unvaccinated individuals are more than twice as likely to be reinfected with COVID-19 than those who were fully vaccinated after initially contracting the virus."
It also pointed out COVID-19 vaccines "offer better protection than natural immunity alone and that vaccines, even after prior infection, help prevent reinfections," stressing the importance of getting the vaccine as the best line of defense against COVID-19.
Many have praised Meloni for speaking out and offered further criticism of Schroder.
In his video, Schroder, a staunch conservative, expressed support for the trucker convoy that has blocked the Washington, D.C., beltway to protest COVID-19 vaccine mandates and restrictions.
The D.C. protest was inspired by Canada's "Freedom Convoy," a protest led by Canadian truckers who've pushed back against COVID-19 vaccine mandates.
The convoy, comprised of a minority of the country's truckers who've retaliated after the United States and Canada agreed to COVID-19 vaccine requirements for truckers to re-enter the country by land, for weeks garnered headlines amid concerns that organizers and groups have been involved with white nationalist contingents, QAnon, and other far-right groups.
Last month, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau evoked the country's Emergencies Act for the first time since its passing in 1988, kicking off a large-scale operation that ultimately cleared the majority of protesters and dismantled much of the movement.
Schroder has long alined himself with far-right causes. In November 2020, he received heavy criticism for contributing hundreds of thousands of dollars towards the $2 million bail fund for Kyle Rittenhouse, who would later be acquitted of all charges in the killing of two men and injuring of one other during the Kenosha unrest.