The largest police union in New York alerted its members on Wednesday that it plans to sue NYC if it requires law enforcement take the COVID-19 vaccine.
“If the City attempts to impose a vaccine mandate on PBA members, we will take legal action to defend our members’ right to make such personal medical decisions,” Police Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch wrote in an email, according to the New York Post.
“As of this writing, the City has not indicated whether it will attempt to impose vaccine mandates on other city workers, including police officers,” Lynch added.
The message is the first from the PBA regarding vaccine mandates since January when NYPD officers became one of the first groups eligible for the vaccine.
Despite cops’ early access to the jab, just 47 percent of NYPD cops have been immunized, the Post reported. On Tuesday, Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said he was behind mandating the vaccine “100 percent” but left the decision up to city and state lawmakers.
Last year, the union opposed a vaccine mandate and Shea said at the time that the vaccine would not be made mandatory. Sixty NYPD employees have died after contracting coronavirus so far, including three last week.
New York City recently unveiled the “Key to NYC Pass” program, which requires individuals to show proof of vaccination in order to take part in indoor activities like dining, working out in a gym and attending live performances.
This week, President Joe Biden and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin announced the U.S. Food and Drug Agency (FDA) approved Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines would be mandated for all military personnel “immediately,” according to an official memo first revealed Wednesday.
“I have determined that mandatory vaccination against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is necessary to protect the Force and defend the American people,” a Pentagon memo said. “I therefore direct the Secretaries of the Military Departments to immediately begin full vaccination of all members of the Armed Forces under DoD authority on active duty or in the Ready Reserve, including the National Guard, who are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19.”
The mandate affects the U.S. military’s 1.3 million service members. National Guard members would not be affected by the mandate unless activated by federal orders. Civilian contractors working for the Department of Defense are affected by mask and vaccine mandates for federal employees – the latter of which was implemented by Biden late last month.