First responders in Los Angeles, California headed to LAPD Headquarters Wednesday September 8th, to protest the existing and oncoming vaccine and vaccine passport mandates.
On August 5th, Director and California State Public Health Officer, Tomas J. Aragon, MD, sent out a new state order to healthcare workers – get vaccinated by September 30th, or face possible termination. The state order does state exemptions must be provided prior to deadline for two reasons: worker is declining vaccination based on Religious Beliefs, or the worker is excused from receiving any Covid-19 vaccine due to Qualifying Medical reasons.
Similar orders to get vaccinated has also been issued to state workers and city employees in multiple cities across California, to include LAPD and LAFD, and this has prompted a response from worker unions, and employees across the state.
Fast forward to thousands of Californians now facing possible termination, or unpaid leave, and the protest in front of LAPD Headquarters in Downtown Los Angeles. We spoke with Katie, one of the protestors, who is an LAPD spouse and a full-time nurse. She told El American she was there to protest the mandates as a healthcare worker, who worked long hours, and frontline to the pandemic, and is now facing termination for not complying with state mandates. She stated that there were plenty of nurses refusing vaccine mandates, and that the hospital was “secluding” or isolating the nurses in different floors, to make them feel alone or shunned, for failing to comply.
While at the protest, we also interviewed a married law enforcement couple, who were also against state mandates. “We’re being basically intimidated, that if you don’t take the vaccination, that our jobs are going to be on the line.” The couple had signs that read “Fuera! (Out!) Recall Newsom” and another one that read “Don’t fire frontline heroes #stopthemandate” .
They went on to say “we are not against the vaccine, we just want the option.” This was in line with all the protestors we interviewed at the rally, expressing that they are not ant-vaccines, they are anti-mandates, and believe it is Government overreach when the state demands they get vaccinated, or else.
However, it seems these frontline workers are not alone in their frustration. We talked to Michael McMahon, an active-duty LAPD officer who says he – along with other first responders have created a ‘coalition’ of “like-minded individuals”. He also reiterated, the coalitions stance is not anti-vaccine, they are anti Government mandates.
“Rollcall4freedom is a growing group of like-minded first responders, who are standing up to the forced mandates imposed on us by the city of Los Angeles. We are not anti-vaccine, what we are is pro-freedom of choice.” The coalition, which was recently launched on social media, and now a website, has gathered almost 3,000 supporters on their Instagram page alone, and have even launched a fundraising link to help their cause.
McMahon has also promised anonymity to anyone who chooses to join. “Should you choose to join our cause, your anonymity is the most important thing for us. I do know that a lot of police officers and fire fighters have fear of repercussion of coming forward, and speaking for yourselves.”
“I took an oath to protect you (Los Angelinos), and I am doing that in by speaking out. As a father, and in a personal note, I couldn’t sit any longer with the thought of 10-15 years down the road, and have my children look at me and say, ‘what were you doing at the time that they tried to take away our freedom of choice?’ I wouldn’t be able to live with myself, if I didn’t stand up and speak on their behalf. And so, this is why I’m here.”
According to the latest data, 67.8% of eligible Californians are fully vaccinated, with another 10% partially vaccinated, at the time of this report. (Share Chart Information Pic – attached) These mandates could affect tens of thousands of workers across California, and the deadlines are soon approaching. And now, with President Biden promising vaccine mandates in working with the Department of Labor, millions of unvaccinated Americans now face looming termination, or penalties for failing to comply.
Only time will tell if the federal, state and local mandates will work in getting more Americans vaccinated, or if President Biden just declared ‘war’ on nearly 100 million unvaccinated Americans, who don’t take kindly to the message “get vaccinated, or else.”