Thousands of state employees and health care workers in California are planning to avoid Gov. Gavin Newsom’s new coronavirus vaccine mandates, either by seeking exemptions, or resisting the new policy altogether in a show of defiance.
The Los Angeles Times reported Monday that roughly 25% of the LAPD workforce plans to avoid the vaccine mandate:
More than 2,600 LAPD employees have indicated that they plan to pursue religious exemptions, while more than 350 plan to seek medical ones, according to a source in city government who was not authorized to share the preliminary data.
Under the ordinance, city employees must be fully vaccinated by Oct. 5 unless they are granted a religious or medical exemption. Employees who receive exemptions will be subject to regular testing for the coronavirus, according to the ordinance.
City officials pushed back a deadline last week for employees to seek an exemption to the vaccination requirement, instead giving workers until the end of Monday to indicate that they plan to pursue an exemption. As of early evening on Monday, nearly 3,000 of 12,311 LAPD employees had done so, and the number could grow before a midnight cutoff. Preliminary figures were not available for other city departments.
Moreover, as Breitbart News has reported, several Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) officers filed a lawsuit Saturday against the mandates, noting that in addition to religious and medical exemptions, there were officers who already had the virus and had developed natural immunity, and others who simply saw the mandates as an invasion of their rights.
A group called Firefighters for Freedom is also resisting the vaccine mandates within the Los Angeles Fire Department.
The San Diego Union-Tribune reported that “thousands” of health care workers in the county are seeking exemptions. And the Press-Enterprise noted that the Riverside County sheriff is defying the vaccine mandate by refusing to require that all employees of the county’s jail system receive the vaccination.
Newsom is up for recall Tuesday, and has campaigned on his vaccine mandates in a bid to rally liberal Democrats around the state, who favor mandatory vaccination more than others.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.