Vaccine mandates ‘imminent threat to public safety:’ Is LA Sheriff right?


Fact Box

  • Sheriff Alex Villanueva is the 33rd Sheriff of Los Angeles, elected in 2018.
  • On September 9, 2021, President Biden announced a federally-imposed vaccine mandate for over 80 million private sector and federal American workers. 
  • On November 2, 2021, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department released Sheriff Villanueva’s press conference to address “the imminent threat to public safety if terminations occur in the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department due to vaccine mandates.” 
  • The conference expanded on his October 28 statement which stated the “vaccination mandate is causing a mass exodus within the Department,” resulting in increased homicide rates, slow response times, diminished solve rates for cases, declining arrests, and closed patrol stations as officers are “forced into a decision which should be a personal choice.” 
  • LA going beyond federal mandates: Starting Monday, November 8, 2021, in “one of the nation’s strictest vaccine mandates,” Los Angeles will require COVID vaccination proof or negative tests for people to access restaurants, gyms, movie theaters, malls, salons, and more.
  • A September 2021 Gallup Poll reported that 60% of respondents (94% Democrat and 19% Republican) favored vaccine mandated-requirements for federal workers, and 58% of respondents (93% Democrat and 17% Republican) for businesses with 100 or more workers.

Curtice (Yes)

Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva logically concluded that the vaccine mandates are a threat to public safety. Unvaccinated police, firefighters, healthcare professionals, and even sanitation workers in cities and counties across the country are leaving their jobs, being suspended, or being fired. As the Sheriff detailed, these firing creates understaffed and over-worked law enforcement and emergency personnel in municipalities countrywide and will inevitably reduce public safety.

Police departments that are unable to respond to reported crimes, fire departments that cannot respond to fires, emergency medical units that cannot respond to accidents or injuries, and when garbage collectors do not regularly retrieve the trash eviscerates public confidence and trust in government and its institutions. It's a domino effect.

Given the limited effectiveness of vaccines, those fully vaccinated can still get and transmit COVID-19. Regardless of whether or not the vaccines mitigate the severe risks of the disease, it is tyrannical for the government to impose medical decisions on free individuals. Further, such mandates make no accommodation for natural immunity for those who have already had and recovered from COVID. Several studies show that natural immunity is at least as effective as immunity from currently available vaccines, if not more.

This isn't about science. This is a crisis of the government's own making. It is a power grab by federal, state, and local authorities to impose their will over people who have made their own health decisions. As the levels of public safety decline in cities and counties around the country, Americans need not look at those who left or lost their jobs as a result of vaccine mandates. Rather, the focus—and blame—must rest exclusively with those who instituted such mandates, knowing that they risked putting public safety in jeopardy.  

Jimmy (No)

LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva believes mandating vaccines for public workers will lead to a worker shortage—causing a threat to public safety. According to Villanueva, only 51.7% of the LASD is inoculated. The Sheriff blames the low number on 'not having faith in the vaccine or the political ideology behind the vaccine.' The misinformation surrounding the vaccines is staggering, but a wealth of data suggests those vaccinated spread COVID-19 at a significantly lower rate. The coronavirus has killed approximately 750,000 Americans, and with the number of infections on the rise, the virus remains the most imminent threat to public safety.

The Law Enforcement Code of Ethics states, 'As a law enforcement officer, my fundamental duty is to serve the community; to safeguard lives.' This code is fundamentally in line with the effects of the vaccine. Infectious disease physician Dr. Aaron Richterman says vaccines 'Prevent transmission of the virus [...] by preventing infection altogether [...][and] by reducing the amount of infectious virus should somebody get sick.' With the unvaccinated more likely to contract and spread Covid-19, the public's safety is at risk in their presence. Therefore, as defined by their Code of Ethics, it is unethical for a deputy to remain unvaccinated.

Villanueva's latest claims are political theatre, much like his refusal to enforce lockdowns and mask mandates. Coupled with his questionable behavior in the latest LA County Sheriff's election, Villanueva consistently eschews LASD's ethical standards. Deputies swear to protect citizens. That protection should extend to the deadliest virus of our time. If not, then it is the LASD that is an imminent threat.

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