Ron DeSantis Wants to Give Unvaccinated Cops a Bonus to Come to Florida

“NYPD, Minneapolis, Seattle, if you’re not being treated well, we will treat you better here.”

Oct 25 2021, 1:14pm

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If you’re a cop who just lost your job because you refused to get vaccinated, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis thinks you’re a perfect fit for his state’s police departments. 

DeSantis said during a Sunday interview with Fox News that he wants the Florida Legislature to pass a bill to give unvaccinated cops a $5,000 bonus to come to the Sunshine State and work there instead. 

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“In Florida, not only are we going to want to protect law enforcement and all the jobs, we’re actually actively working to recruit out-of-state law enforcement, because we do have needs in our police and our sheriff's departments,” DeSantis told Fox News. “So, in the next legislative session, I'm going to hopefully sign legislation that gives a $5,000 bonus to any out-of-state law enforcement that relocates in Florida.”

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“NYPD, Minneapolis, Seattle, if you're not being treated well, we will treat you better here,” he added, referencing some police departments in jurisdictions with vaccine mandates. “You can fill important needs for us and we will compensate you as a result.”

Vaccine mandates have been overwhelmingly effective at persuading public employees to get vaccinated, but police officers have generally been some of the least compliant, even in the face of losing their jobs. In Chicago, more than a third of the city’s police force, some 4,500 cops, had not disclosed their vaccination status by the October 15 deadline imposed by Mayor Lori Lightfoot. More than 120 employees of the Washington State police quit as a result of a vaccine mandate there

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And many more could be coming soon. Last week, New York City announced that all city workers will have to get vaccinated by October 29 or be placed on unpaid leave, with New York Mayor Bill de Blasio offering a $500 bonus to workers who get vaccinated

Out of more than 370 cops who’ve died on the job this year, nearly two-thirds have died as a result of COVID-19, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page, which tracks police officer deaths. Almost five times as many cops have died from COVID-19 this year as have died a result of gunfire. 

Despite that, unvaccinated cops have recently become a cause celebre on the right. Last week, Indiana Sen. Mike Braun, a Republican, said his office would help connect Chicago police officers who leave because of the mandate to Indiana police departments that would hire them. 

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For DeSantis, the threat to bring even more unvaccinated cops to Florida continues a pattern of flirtation with the antivax crowd. Last week, while standing next to DeSantis at an event in Clearwater, Florida surgeon general Dr. Joseph Ladapo—who previously described support for vaccines as “almost like a religion”—openly questioned the safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines, which have been overwhelmingly proven to be both safe and effective. 

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In response, DeSantis spokesperson Christina Pushaw told the Washington Post last week that Ladapo’s comments were “a statement of fact, not an opinion about whether or not the vaccines are safe.” 

“The data we have available at this time shows the vaccines are safe and effective for most people,” Pushaw told the Post. “But it would be irresponsible to assert that any pharmaceutical product is safe and effective for everyone.”

And last week, Ladapo and two aides refused to put on masks in order to meet with Democratic state Sen. Tina Polsky, who told Ladapo she had a serious medical condition, the website Florida Politics reported. Polsky was diagnosed with breast cancer in August, and in addition to being higher risk, testing positive could delay her radiation treatment, which will start soon, according to Florida Politics.

“I really wanted to interview him. I had a lot of good questions,” Polsky told Florida Politics. “But I felt really uncomfortable.”

Tagged:

police, Florida, Anti-Vaxxers, COVID-19, vaccine mandates

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