Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Column: Los Angeles Opponents of Vaccination May Leave Soon

The day of reckoning is almost here. Come on Wednesday, the COVID-19 vaccination deadline, and we’ll find out what the penalty will be for Los Angeles city workers who refuse to comply.

Those who resist may number in the thousands. We just don’t know until we know.

But here’s a warning for taxpayers about blood pressure:

At least 871 members of the Los Angeles Fire Department are named in the Notice of Intent to Sue the City for Mandate, and each of them is asking $ 2.5 million for what they believe is a violation of their rights.

Remember when Captain Christian Granucci – one of more than 100 Los Angeles firefighters living outside of California – said in the video that he was so angry at the order that his “head could go flying”?

This is how I felt when I read about the $ 2.5 million threat of damages from the members of the firefighters union. In total, this will amount to $ 2 billion. So let’s say my head exploded, but I was still alive. Will I be able to call 911 if it means that a crew of unvaccinated firefighters might pass through my door?

Firefighters attorney Kevin McBride claims in a recently filed “Notice of Claim and Intent to File a Claim for Monetary Damage” vaccination. to pay. If they do not reconsider their decision within the next five days, they will be terminated.

LAFD chief Ralph Terrazas said he did not report these conditions to firefighters, but believes something like this is on a list of potential consequences being considered by the city. I also saw one proposal that notifies unvaccinated employees on Wednesday, letting them meet requirements or facing unidentified consequences by December 18, and requiring them to take a coronavirus test twice a week in between, in their free time and for your account. …

But why extend the period by two months? For employees who do not comply with the rules for the environment, the five-day deal seems fair enough to me. Go home and think about it, and if you’re a firefighter, think of over $ 100,000 in income each year with overtime and a subsidy that covers all or most of your premiums, and don’t forget the generous pensions that can work when you reach 50 or so.

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And if you’re still thinking about it in 10 days, goodbye.

You may recall that just a couple of weeks ago, county officials reported that both LAFD and LAPD – hotbeds of vaccine resistance – were hotbeds of COVID outbreaks.

As I said then, the optics on it are really bad. In the public mind, firefighters are loved and often viewed as heroes who perform both difficult and dangerous jobs. We are all reminded of this during the bushfire season.

But these rebels, posing as freedom fighters, provide insight into the darker side, and they squander trust by abandoning a safe and simple procedure that will protect themselves and the public they have vowed to defend.

And what drives them most crazy about their disobedience?

As a condition of work in the City of Los Angeles, sworn firefighters must be equipped with the following vaccines:

Meningitis, measles, mumps, rubella, chickenpox, whooping cough, diphtheria, tetanus, and hepatitis B.

So why is the COVID vaccine against?

There is no medical excuse, so this means that freedom fighters are either misinformed about science, make political statements, or think the $ 2.5 million jackpot is a reward for sticking their heads in the sand.

Terrazas told me that two weeks ago he was at a union meeting attended by 300 firefighters, and the vast majority of vaccine opponents are in the room.

“There were about 300 firefighters there, and I would say over 95% were in favor of the choice.” This is the term they use. They don’t say “against vaccines,” Terrazas said, adding that at last count, 27.3% of his firefighters had not received a single vaccination. (By comparison, 97% of United Los Angeles teachers and administrators were vaccinated as of Friday, the county’s vaccination deadline.)

The chief told me that he was trying to train his troops by inviting Dr. Stephen Sankoh, his medical director and professor at the School of Medicine. Keck.

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“Doctor. Sankoh shared his medical opinion with them, and I knew immediately that the public was not receptive, ”Terrazas said.

This is because they are being fed a mass of misinformation. The notice of intent to file a claim contained the following requirement:

“The COVID vaccines imposed on Applicants by the LAFD and Executives are clearly experimental medicine, not proven or approved by any reputable agency.”

Oh really?

One firefighter I spoke with insisted that vaccines “do not prevent infection or transmission of disease” and are nothing more than “experimental treatments.”

“That’s not true,” said Dr. Robert Kim-Farley, an epidemiologist at the Fielding School of Public Health at the University of California, Los Angeles. He added that “the side effects are very low and comparable to other vaccines.” Millions have been vaccinated, he said, reducing “unnecessary suffering, disability and death.” And “the risks of getting COVID are much, much higher than any risk of side effects from COVID vaccines.”

Kim-Farley also said the following:

“In the case of respected community members such as firefighters, they need to be aware that others are looking at them with respect, and therefore they need to be even more models of civic responsibility by exemplifying good behavior such as vaccinations to protect the community as well as themselves. myself “.

Terrazas said it was “the most divisive problem I have seen in my career,” with wards divided and vaccinated members worried about asymptomatic breakthrough infection from unvaccinated colleagues and then passing it on to a loved one at home.

So what happens if, say, 300 firefighters continue to violate orders and get fired?

Terrazas said that until they are replaced by new hires, he will consider moving staff from office work and special parts to branches, moving from a three-platoon system to a two-plant system, and relying on regional departments to help with the cleanup. fires.

However, the next call remains with the anti-tax companies. They may only have a few days until the last race, and they will have no one to blame but themselves.

steve.lopez@latimes.com

Nation World News Desk
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