Lakers' Dwight Howard Says He Doesn't Believe in Vaccines Amid COVID-19

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistJuly 19, 2020

Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard gestures during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Philadelphia 76ers Tuesday, March 3, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

If and when a vaccine is fully developed and tested to help combat the COVID-19 pandemic, don't expect Dwight Howard to line up to receive one.

As Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today reported, Howard appeared on Instagram Live on Sunday and responded to a question from a fan by saying, "Do I believe in vaccinations? No, I don't. That's my personal opinion, but no, I don't."

It's not the first time the Los Angeles Lakers big man has made ill-informed comments or unwise decisions when it comes to public health and safety.

On Wednesday, Howard said he was reported for not wearing a mask amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The NBA notably set up an anonymous hotline that is intended to be used to report players who are not following protocol, such as wearing a mask in indoor public spaces and practicing social distancing, that is in place to increase the chances of finishing the season during a pandemic.

Zillgitt noted Howard, who said, "I personally don't see a risk of us getting it during the time period we are here," was not wearing a mask inside or outside during the Instagram Live session on Sunday, either.

While Howard may not be worried about the coronavirus within the confines of the league's campus environment at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida, because players and staff are tested regularly and restricted to certain areas, Ryan Young of Yahoo Sports pointed out Disney World employees who are working inside the "bubble" can come and go.

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That means players, coaches and staff members could still be exposed to the virus inside the campus, making it all the more important to wear a mask in indoor public places.

On the court, Howard and the Lakers are scheduled to play their first of eight seeding games July 30 against the L.A. Clippers.