Policemen, Firefighters, and the Vaccine: Are Fighters Reconsidered?

I hate how the word “optics” has become so overused, as in, “Oh, that makes optics really bad.” But that won’t stop me from using it here today.

For all the LA cops and firefighters who have been screaming about the COVID-19 vaccination mandate, arguing that they don’t want or need acupuncture, this week Corona virus outbreak in the workplace It makes really bad optics.

Since the pandemic began, according to Los Angeles County data excavated by my colleague Kevin Rector, the Los Angeles Police Department has had 37 outbreaks involving 1,061 cases, and the Los Angeles Fire Department has had 75 outbreaks and 553 cases. In other words, the places that are most resistant are the COVID-19 hotspots.

Can freedom fighters break out of their trenches, connect the dots and reverse the path?

I wouldn’t bet on it. Logic, science, and consideration for others were not important before, and I don’t expect any transformations.

A frustrated and vaccinated firefighter told me the resistance was “still hanging” on the “Firefighters for Freedom” issue. He said that the resistance fighters are not open to opposing opinions.

Not even when the consequences are shameful.

Rector reports that LAPD and LAFD cases account for more than half of the 2,500 coronavirus cases in Los Angeles County public safety agencies. The county fire department had 44 outbreaks and 211 cases, and the county police department had 18 outbreaks and 334 cases.

Meanwhile, other public safety agencies in California and beyond had an outbreak of their own.

The San Diego Union-Tribune reported that in Questionnaire From the city police officers Assn. 90% said they opposed the mandate, 65% would consider quitting if forced to vaccinate, and 45% would prefer dismissal over vaccinating.

You know what I think?

When you work for the taxpayer as a first responder, personal freedom trumps public duty. The mission is to serve and protect, not serve and injure. And we may never know how many people in the general public and families of police and firefighters have been injured or died because public safety officers refused to vaccinate them.

Science is not on their side and neither are the statistics. Hospitals aren’t filled with people with harmful side effects from a vaccine. They are full of people who refuse to take it. And now we have NBA stars, among others, who believe they are scholars. (Stop them, I say, without pay, and use their salaries to fund the Vaccine Education Fund that puts the facts and puts the distortions on the platform.)

And by the way, for cops, firefighters, and others who don’t believe in American medical experts, why do they race to the nearest hospital when they’re seriously ill?

“COVID is the No. 1 killer of [law enforcement officers] In 2020 and 2021″ Officer Down Memorial Page. “Getting vaccinated is just as important as wearing a jacket and seat belt.”

It makes perfect sense. But the freedom fighters keep on bullshit. In an appeal for donations to a legal fund of LACountyFree.com – Firefighters for FreedomOpponents argue that there is “the right to choose what goes into your body, and the right to exercise informed consent with respect to experimental drugs such as the Covid vaccines.”

They are no longer experimental drugs. Tested and Proven. They save lives.

This same website argues that “this is not a vaccine versus a non-vaccine issue….This is a human rights issue.”

exactly. It is about the human rights of those who can easily be protected by those who have sworn an oath to serve those in danger, in crisis, and in need.

It is about the human rights of those who can safely return to school and work, and who can move on with their lives instead of threatening disease and death to all because of those who are so deluded that they cannot distinguish courage from cowardice.

“We are not afraid of stalking or wrestling with a conditional third attacker,” a frustrated local law enforcement officer told me, “but half of my administration are afraid of a completely safe and effective scientific miracle.”

The same officer said that “nearly everyone in my department refuses to wear masks indoors” and “supervisors will do nothing to enforce the mandate because they do not agree to it.”

As a condition of employment, Los Angeles police officers must be vaccinated against measles, tetanus, hepatitis B, diphtheria, rubella, and other diseases. Do they really trust all those vaccines and not the COVID vaccine, or are they just making a political statement?

If so, it wouldn’t be good.

Reader Alicia said in an email: “Last Thursday, my 101-year-old mother’s living facility called me to report that she was short of breath and her oxygen was down to 88%. Should they call paramedics?”

Alicia didn’t have to think long.

“I said no right away! They weren’t vaccinated. We’re going to take her… for urgent care… ourselves,” Alicia said. “I feel like the public now needs to put up a sign on the front door if we call 911 saying only vaccinated people are allowed.” inside this house.”

If you get to this point, it says something not just about the resistance, but about the lack of reliable leadership in public safety agencies and the failure of government officials to bring the ranks in the middle of a national health emergency.

Like I said in my last column On the matter, Los Angeles city officials say they are in talks to determine the consequences for those who swear to protect the public, but instead put themselves, their colleagues, their families and the public at greater risk.

One of the firefighters I contacted said about it: “My view is that the city pays me. They make the rules and it is my personal choice if I want to follow the rules.”

For those who quit, he said, or were expelled: “Good luck.”

steve.lopez@latimes.com

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