Over 1,000 first respondents in the Los Angeles area are out sick with the Chinese coronavirus in what a spokesperson for Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti (D) has described as an “unprecedented surge,” despite the fact that “many” have been vaccinated.
According to the Los Angeles Times, over 500 Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) employees “were at home quarantining as of Jan. 1 after positive tests, the department said.” That translates to 424 new cases in the last week. Meanwhile, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department saw 552 employees out sick, and the Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) saw 201 employees at home this week. As a result, health officials “have reported delays in ambulance responses to 911 calls, both because of sick emergency personnel and ambulances being forced to wait to offload patients at overburdened hospitals,” according to the outlet.
LAPD Chief Michel Moore said “many” of the positive cases are occurring in vaccinated individuals. According to the outlet, as of December 23, 21 percent of the LADP remained unvaccinated, as well as 16 percent of the LAFD.
In response to this, Garcetti spokesman Harrison Wollman assured the mayor is “focused on making sure the Police and Fire Departments have the resources they need to do that during this unprecedented surge in cases”:
Wollman said the mayor had “authorized additional overtime funds to keep police patrol hours up and a new drill tower to make up for LAFD staffing losses, and is committed to taking the steps necessary to make sure we have the fire and police resources we need in place across the city.”
City and county officials first urged and then mandated that employees get vaccinated against the coronavirus as data showed the vaccines significantly reduce infection rates and the seriousness of symptoms among those who become infected.
However, a sizeable portion of employees, and of police and fire personnel, have refused to be vaccinated, with thousands seeking religious or medical exemptions to the vaccination mandates and others suing the city — alleging the vaccination mandate violated their rights.
There is a similar trend occurring across the country in blue New York City, which has seen thousands of first responders out with coronavirus-like symptoms in the past weeks. Last Tuesday alone, for example, the city saw 6,660 New York Police Department (NYPD) employees out sick. Of those, at least 1,500 tested positive for the Chinese coronavirus. Similarly, last Wednesday, the New York City Fire Department (FDNY) saw 30 percent of EMS workers and 17 percent of firefighters out sick.
However, the vast majority of first responders in the city are vaccinated due to former Mayor Bill de Blasio’s (D) coercive mandates.