President Joe Biden this week weighed in on a public safety controversy occurring in some U.S. cities: Whether police officers and other first responders should be disciplined if they disobey local COVID-19 vaccine mandates.
The issue came up Thursday during a CNN town hall, at which moderator Anderson Cooper noted that a third of first responders in some major cities are refusing to get vaccinated.
“I’m wondering where you stand on that: Should police officers, emergency responders be mandated to get vaccines? And if not, should they stay at home or be let go?” Cooper said.
“Yes, and yes,” Biden replied.
The president went on to say he didn’t support vaccine mandates at first.
“I waited until July to talk about mandating. I tried everything else possible. The mandates are working,” he said.
Chicago is one city where vaccine policy has reached a boiling point with police. A union official has posted a video urging police officers not to cooperate with a rule that city employees enter their vaccine status into a city database, Fox News reported.
“Welcome to day three of The Hunger Games, where we find out who the city is going to offer up as tribute,” Fraternal Order of Police Vice President Michael Mette said in a video posted on his Facebook page.
He referred to the young adult books and movies about a dystopian world in which children and teenagers are selected to fight to the death to entertain wealthy adult audiences. He didn’t say who the “tributes” were.
Police Superintendent David Brown said earlier this week that 21 police department employees were placed on “no-pay status” after refusing to follow the city policy, Fox News reported, and police officials said they needed to counsel hundreds of other officers who haven submitted information.
Anthony Fauci, MD, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has said that he thinks police officers and other public safety officials should get vaccinated against COVID-19 to protect themselves and others.
“Think about the implications of not getting vaccinated when you’re in a position where you have a responsible job, and you want to protect yourself because you’re needed at your job, whether you’re a police officer or a pilot or any other of those kinds of occupations,” he said on Fox News Sunday .
CNN: “Biden says first responders who refuse the Covid-19 vaccine should be forced to stay home or let go.”
Fox News. “Chicago police union boss on vaccine mandate fight: ‘Welcome to day three of ‘The Hunger Games.’ “