Newport Beach Bookstore Cancels Book Signing Event After Community Backlash

By Brandon Drey
Brandon Drey
Brandon Drey
Brandon Drey is a California-based reporter for The Epoch Times.
November 1, 2021 Updated: November 2, 2021

Eight days before Dr. James Veltmeyer’s scheduled book signing event Oct. 30 at Lido Village Books in Newport Beach, CA, the store’s owner canceled the event after receiving “a backlash from the community.”

“She wouldn’t explain what this backlash was,” Andrew Russo, a publicist for author Dr. James Veltmeyer, told The Epoch Times.

Dr. Veltmeyer published his first book, “Physician on a Mission: Dr. Veltmeyer’s Rx to Save America,” on April 7, 2021. The book offers a compilation of editorials, Op-eds, and podcasts he produced over the last few years about critical national and international issues like COVID-19, China, abortion, and the economy.

“Whoever was objecting did not approve of the views in the book,” Russo said. “This was an effort to suppress conservative constitutionalist American views.”

He said after three months of exchanging emails and organizing the “Come and Meet the Author” event with Michelle Pierce, owner of Lido Village Books, she canceled the program “out of the blue.”

“Dear Andrew,” he said while reading an email exchange with Peirce. “In the few hours since we have sent out our email campaign, I have received a backlash from the community. I have decided that in a moment of social and political upheaval, the bookstore needs to stay neutral.”

Russo said in a subsequent final email that Pierce wrote, “As a small independent bookstore we have to listen to our community … We all must do what we feel is the best option for ourselves and our business.”

“If you are going to stay neutral,” said Russo, “are you going to remove from your bookshelf any, and all, books that reflect any political point of view?”

Veltmeyer hosts a podcast under the same title as his book. The show is available on Spotify, Apple, Rumble, Vimeo, and his website. The podcast was available on YouTube until it was de-platformed because of some of his positions on COVID-19.

“We’re dealing with a massive suppression of speech,” said Russo. “We’re dealing with a ruling class that decides for itself what can be discussed and what can’t be discussed and sets the parameters for what they believe is acceptable political discourse.”

Veltmeyer is an award-winning, board-certified family medicine physician and the Chief Medical Officer for Serene Behavioral Health, IPA, and Therapeutics Solutions International. His work is published in the Journal of Translational Medicine and the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

In 2018, the California State Senate named Veltmeyer a “California Hero.”

Russo said Veltmeyer will continue publishing editorials, producing his podcast, and working in the medical field. However, it’s unfortunate they are dealing with some “cancel culture” aspect that suppresses the free exchange of ideas and shuts down political discourse and debate.

Lido Village Books was not immediately available for comment.

Brandon Drey
Brandon Drey is a California-based reporter for The Epoch Times.