The Los Angeles County Sheriff says he won’t enforce the city’s strict COVID-19 vaccine mandate because he can’t afford to fire anyone.
Sheriff Alex Villanueva says his department is already “bare” amid staff shortages, adding he doesn’t want to do more.
“I’m not forcing anyone,” Sheriff Villanueva said in a Facebook Live.
“The issue has become so politicized, there are whole groups of employees who are ready to be fired and fired for getting vaccinated.
“I don’t want to be in a position to lose 5 or 10 percent of my workforce overnight on a vaccine mandate.”
In August the county passed an order requiring all county employees to be fully vaccinated by October 1, and employees of the City of Los Angeles to be vaccinated by October 19.
City records in September showed that about 11 percent of its 57,4000 employees, including 3,000 of the LAPD, planned to take religious or medical exemptions.
The sheriff, who was elected in 2018 but has become increasingly unpopular with liberals who helped remove him from a position for the first time in 100 years, blamed his force’s lack of staffing on local officials.
“When the decision must be made between responding to a violent felony or serving as a ‘Vaccine Mandate Police,’ the choice is simple,” he tweeted.
“The department will continue to require all of our employees to register with the Fulgant system, but will only demand voluntary compliance and testing without vaccination.”
Earlier this week, the Los Angeles City Council approved the requirement for proof of vaccination to enter restaurants, bars, gyms, nail salons and other businesses.
The mandate takes effect in early November.
Credit: www.independent.co.uk /