On Monday, a state police union in Massachusetts revealed that multiple dozens of state troopers have resigned from their positions in order to protest the COVID vaccine mandate.
The State Police Association of Massachusetts previously filed a lawsuit in an effort to delay the COVID vaccine mandate, which was issued by Charlie Baker, the Massachusetts Governor. However, a judge rejected the lawsuit.
Michael Cherven, who serves as president of the police association, recently released a statement in response to the judge’s rejection. In his statement, Cherven remarks that state troopers have remained “on the front lines” throughout the pandemic, “protecting citizens of Massachusetts and beyond.”
“Simply put, all we are asking for are the same basic accommodations that countless other departments have provided to their first responders,” Cherven continued, which include treating illnesses related to COVID as if they were “a line of duty injury.”
In addition, Cherven also remarked that he feels disappointed in the recent ruling, though he also added that the law enforcement union respects the decision.
Across the nation, various private companies and state governments are attempting to increase their vaccination rates, particularly as the delta variant of the coronavirus proliferates throughout the nation.
Earlier this month, Joe Biden startled the nation by issuing a COVID vaccine mandate, which requires all companies with more than 100 workers to institute COVID vaccine requirements or face weekly testing. Moreover, Biden signed another order that mandates for all federal contractors and employees to receive the COVID vaccine, without offering any testing alternative.
However, Baker, who is Republican, remarked that offering alternatives to the vaccine, such as testing, would undermine “the primary objective” underlying the mandate.
“I want people who [interface] with public folks who work for the [state] to be comfortable in knowing that those folks are vaccinated,” Baker proclaimed to Boston.com.
“I happen to think it’s important for them to be vaccinated,” Baker continued, namely since they are “face to face with people they don’t know.” Through vaccine mandates, “they can be safe.”
According to the attorney for the police union, roughly 1 in 5 state police have not yet received the COVID vaccine, as reported by Boston CBS.
If employees do not receive the vaccine, or a valid exemption to the vaccine, by the deadline, they may face imminent termination.