Members of New York's finest are pushing back against Covid-19 vaccine mandates to the point of civil disobedience.
On Wednesday, the head of the New York City firefighters union said that he told unvaccinated members to report for duty regardless of an order from Mayor Bill de Blasio threatening to place them on unpaid leave if they refuse to take the jab, according to Reuters.
"I have told my members that if they choose to remain unvaccinated, they must still report for duty," said Andrew Ansbro, president of the Uniformed Firefighters Association. "If they are told they cannot work, it will be the department and city of New York that sends them home. And it will be the department and the city of New York that has failed to protect the citizens of New York," he added.
🇺🇸 President van de Uniformed Firefighters Association in New York, Andrew Ansbro :”Putting people out of work for making a personal health choice is something that we can never accept.” pic.twitter.com/87gQ7FdTcz— Kees71 (@Kees71234) October 26, 2021
According to Ansbro, firefighters who have put their lives on the line during the pandemic feel "insulted" by de Blasio's order, and New Yorkers will be the ones to suffer if the mayor carries out his threat.
"Fires are going to burn longer. Heart attack victims are going to be laying on the floor longer," Ansbro told Fox News Radio.
"People in stuck elevators are going to be stuck there for hours if not days." (h/t Summit News)
Ansbro also predicted that 30 to 40% of firehouses in NYC will be closed down if the mandate remains, as up to 45% of the workforce remains unvaccinated.
"On Friday, when they’re tallying the numbers of who complied and who didn’t, they’re going to be faced with a stark reality that they’re going to have to close firehouses down," he said, adding "The mayor is going to be faced with either sending us home or sticking to his guns,” Ansbro continued, adding “And his guns are going to get New York City residents killed."
NYPD loses bid to halt mandate
Meanwhile, a Staten Island Judge denied the Police Benevolent Association's bid to temporarily halt the implementation of the city's vaccine mandate set to take effect Nov. 1, according to CBS News.
The largest police union in the city had argued that de Blasio's policy does not make clear their policy on potential exceptions, including for medical or religious reasons, and does not allow unvaccinated cops enough time to apply for said potential exemptions - which were required to be submitted just one week after the mandate was announced.
"Today's ruling sets the city up for a real crisis. The haphazard rollout of this mandate has created chaos in the NYPD," said PBA President Patrick J. Lynch in a statement. "City Hall has given no reason that a vaccine mandate with a weekly testing option is no longer enough to protect police officers and the public, especially while the number of COVID-19 cases continues to fall."
The union plans to appeal, calling the mandate "arbitrary and capricious" in court documents.
The policy requires police officers, firefighters and other municipal workers get at least their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by Friday or be placed on unpaid leave. Correctional officers on — a New York City prison that has been grappling with staffing shortages and unsafe conditions — will be subject to the mandate on December 1.
The NYPD's vaccination rate has lagged behind the rest of the city — as of Tuesday, the NYPD's vaccination rate is 73%, compared with the 78.2% of adults who have been vaccinated in New York City. The PBA, which represents over 24,000 current NYPD officers, contends that getting the vaccine is a personal medical decision.
The NYPD has about 36,000 officers and about 19,000 civilian staff employees. -CBS News
We noticed nobody's leading with the natural immunity argument, considering that thousands of NYPD officers have recovered from Covid-19.