Montgomery County’s public safety employees doubled down on their opposition to a COVID vaccine mandate on Thursday, insisting that they’re willing to face down violent criminals with guns or quell a potential prison riot, but getting an FDA-approved shot that millions of 12-year-olds have already taken is simply too risky.
“Every day that we strap on our guns, tasers and bulletproof vests to patrol the mean streets of Bethesda, we are putting our lives on the line,” said Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) spokesperson Josh Adams. “We’re warriors. But I don’t like needles, and I heard the vaccine might make my tummy hurt for a day or two. You can’t expect us to accept that.”
More than 20% of police employees, 34% of corrections officers and 36% of fire and rescue service employees have not yet reported themselves as vaccinated, but the unions representing those departments are satisfied with their progress to date. “We’ve done about as well as anyone can do,” said correctional officer Patrick Danson. When it was pointed out that the library department is almost 94% vaccinated, Danson snorted and coughed the word “nerds” into his hand. He then used that same unwashed hand to search an inmate waiting for access to the infirmary.
County political leaders who haven’t completely lost their damn minds are still committed to an employee vaccine mandate, but the public safety unions say they will fight any requirement to the end. “This is about my body and my freedoms, not anyone else’s,” said EMT Brian Sydney as he breathed all over a cancer patient being transported between hospitals in his 80 square foot ambulance. “If people don’t like my choices, then they can just not call 911 during my shifts.”
Adams, the FOP spokesperson, has refused to comment on whether the union plans to sue Montgomery County (again) over the mandate. He did, however, confirm a plan to sharply increase the number of FOP telemarketing calls to county residents at dinner time asking for donations to develop a new vaccine-proof vest for all officers too selfish to just do the right thing.