Cops, Who Famously Didn't Like Wearing Masks, Don't Want to Get Vaccinated Either

Illustration for article titled Cops, Who Famously Didn't Like Wearing Masks, Don't Want to Get Vaccinated Either
Photo: Dia Dipasupil (Getty Images)

Police officers are getting vaccinated at lower rates than the general population, despite being one of the first groups to be eligible for the vaccine.

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Citing data from law enforcement agencies in major cities, the Washington Post reports that vaccine hesitancy appears to be a common theme, and in some cases union leaders and other officials are loath to do anything about it.

“I hate to sound like I don’t care, but I really don’t,” Vince Champion, the Southeast regional director of the International Brotherhood Of Police Officers, a police union, told the Post. “It’s a personal decision. We fight [the virus] every day. We’re out among every disease in the world.”

In roughly half of the departments contacted by the paper—more than 40—department leadership was not even keeping track of whether officers had been vaccinated. Those that did shared data revealing concerning disparities: Just 28 percent of employees working for the Columbus Division of Police said they’d received at least one shot of the covid vaccine, according to the Post, as compared to 50 percent of the eligible population. (55 percent, as of this writing.)

Police departments and individual officers seemed to take a similar attitude toward the idea of wearing masks while on the job: Departments across the country lacked consistent rules about masks, and officers were often spotted without them (sometimes by Bella Hadid), even as they were empowered to fine civilians for not wearing their own.

Far from “fighting the virus every day,” as Champion told the Post, police officers have put more people in danger of contracting the virus by refusing to abide by public health guidances, particularly since police come into such close (undue) contact with people every day—which of course is in itself a danger, whether there’s a pandemic or not. Really, it’s the whole problem.

Night blogger at Jezebel with writing at The Baffler, The Nation, The New Republic, Vice, and more.

DISCUSSION

reader7890
Reader7890

Why don’t we take all the people who don’t want to be vaccinated just because they don’t want to be (waivers for people allergic to an ingredient, people with advanced mast cell disease, or others who for whatever reason really truly can not be vaccinated; the ones for whom herd immunity is especially important), and find them a secluded area of the country in which they can all live and have the “flu” or “bad cold” or “imaginary disease” they believe covid to be. Any time they want to be vaccinated they can come join the rest of us. Give them Montana and Idaho and Wyoming, maybe (sorry, current vaccinated residents, though if you’re vaccinated you are probably okay if you want to stay). I’m tired of having to put up with people who are so selective in what they believe that they still believe Tangerine Voldemort when he said covid wasn’t a problem, but they don’t believe him when he said that it was a novel illness no one had immunity to that he was trying to downplay in order to be reelected.

There was an article in the Washington Post this morning in which some woman said that since he hadn’t been wrong yet she was going to still believe him. There are no words.

All of the police who are unvaccinated can go live there too; that’s part of the plan. As it descends into anarchy, they’re going to need folks with some kind of idea of what law and order means.  If they’re lucky they’ll put the good ones in charge; if not, they’ll get anarchy.