Police Face Vaccine Mandates as 207 Die from COVID-19 This Year
At least 207 law enforcement officers died in the line of duty as a result of COVID-19, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page. Officers around the nation now face COVID-vaccination mandates.
The Officer Down Memorial Page (ODMP) reports that at least 207 law enforcement officers died in the line of duty during the first nine months of the year from exposure to the coronavirus. The number could be much higher as federal law enforcement officials, including U.S. Customs and Border Protection, do not release COVID-19 deaths for privacy reasons.
The 207 COVID-related deaths this year is nearly double all other causes of line-of-duty casualties this year. So far, 44 died from hostile gunfire. The next largest category is officers who died in crashes and from heart attacks (14 each).
In all of 2020, 245 officers died from the COVID-19 illness. These deaths also exceeded all other causes of line-of-duty deaths for law enforcement officers, the ODMP reports.
“They’re going to get infected, because they have more contact with people than most,” Vincent Racaniello, a professor of microbiology and immunology at Columbia University told the Washington Post. “It doesn’t work any other way.”
When the COVID-19 vaccinations first became available, the national Fraternal Order of Police pushed for law enforcement officers to have “expedited access,” the article continues.
“We worked very hard, along with others, to ensure that police officers had early availability on a premise that they’d all want it,” James Pasco, FOP executive director explained. It appears large numbers of officers did not get the shots and remain unvaccinated.
Now, with federal mandates, along with some parallel state and local ones, law enforcement unions, officers, and firefighters are filing lawsuits to protect the jobs of those still without the jabs.
The president of the National Border Patrol Council local union for the Del Rio Sector, Jon Anfinsen, told Breitbart Texas last week, “The National Border Patrol Council is absolutely opposed to the vaccine mandate, and our search for a legal path continues.”
The Border Patrol union’s statement following leaked directives from the Office of Personnel Management detailing the steps under which a federal employee can be terminated for failure to obtain the required vaccinations.
FOP President Pasco expressed surprise at the lack of interest in the vaccine by law enforcement officers. He told the Washington Post, “Police officers are no different than other people in their community. The country has not embraced vaccines to the degree that most people anticipated.”
While he supports officers becoming vaccinated, he said, “whether or not to accept the vaccine is a personal decision” for his members.
Sandra C. Quinn, a professor at the University of Maryland’s School of Public Health, justified the mandates.
“I’m going to use a term the Pentagon would use: it’s a matter of force readiness,” she said. “Will they have a healthy workforce that’s vital for protecting public safety and well-being?”
The Post reported that the number of vaccinated and unvaccinated law enforcement officers is not known. Disclosures between departments vary.
“Even without mandates, experts said, first responders have an obligation to get vaccinated to protect the public,” the Post concluded.
Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior news contributor for the Breitbart Texas-Border team. He is an original member of the Breitbart Texas team. Price is a regular panelist on Fox 26 Houston’s Sunday-morning talk show, What’s Your Point? Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX, Parler @BobPrice, and Facebook. Originally published on Breitbart Texas.