Letters to the Editor: A letter sided with anti-vaccine firefighters and cops. Readers aren't having it

·3 min read
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 14, 2021 - - Los Angeles police officers go to separate advocates against vaccine mandates and pro-vaccine advocates in front of the L.A.P.D. Headquarters in downtown Los Angeles on August 14, 2021. A man was stabbed during the melee and taken by paramedics to a nearby hospital. No arrests were made in the confrontation. (Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)
LAPD officers separate the opposing sides in a protest over vaccine mandates in downtown Los Angeles on Aug. 14. (Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: A letter writer deems it "disgusting" that people are being forced out of their jobs due to their "personal medical choices" to not vaccinate and "run the attendant risks."

I deem it disgusting that a huge number of misinformed people — who most likely had a course of vaccines as children — have been convinced that the choice to vaccinate is a personal one.

Guess what, it isn't.

Whatever your reason for refusing to vaccinate, you are putting everyone around you at risk. Virtually everyone. Take one for the team. Please.

Bethia Sheean-Wallace, Fullerton

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To the editor: As I was reading the Sept. 22 newspaper, I thought, "I wish The Times would publish something from the anti-vaxxer side."

I had this thought not because I am in agreement with the anti-vaxxers, but because I would like to hear a cogent argument from their side.

Lo and behold, the final letter in response to an article on police officers and firefighters refusing the vaccine was from just such an individual.

I support civil disobedience when an individual must stay true to her beliefs. Anti-vaxxers, however, are not practicing civil disobedience, as they are forcing all of us to suffer the consequences of their personal decisions.

Jill Gluck, West Hollywood

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To the editor: In 1981, President Ronald Reagan warned striking air traffic controllers that they would be fired if they did not return to work, then followed through on his threat. No planes crashed. It got people's attention.

Firing vaccine-refusing police officers and firefighters would send a similar message. And let's face it, there are many applicants for each position that opens, so it's not like it would be terribly difficult to find replacements.

I suggest the pink slips start at the top rather than the bottom. Managers are always the easiest employees to replace, and it appears that some of them don't even live in California. The rank and file will get the message.

We need police officers and firefighters, but we need to stop coddling them.

Chris Rae, Ventura

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To the editor: These present-day spreaders of communicable disease have forgotten that their forebears of the 1980s would not touch a gay man or an AIDS patient without masks, gloves and gowns, even when there was no bleeding.

Now, many are refusing to do their civic duty and their duty as paramedics, firefighters and law enforcement officers.

I was a registered nurse working with AIDS patients daily and never was in danger. Now these cowards claim a right to endanger the community they are paid to serve. Shame on them.

Catherine Wright, Los Angeles

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To the editor: We all know that there are people who have valid medical reasons for not being vaccinated. Should they not be protected by other means, such as by others being vaccinated, wearing masks and social distancing?

The government is not the only entity imposing mandates. Businesses that want a safe environment for their workers and customers, and educational institutions that care about the health of their students and staff, are also imposing mandates.

Mandates are necessary because common sense has not entirely prevailed. Concern for public health and the public good trumps personal liberty, especially when it is claimed by people who heedlessly forfeit their freedom to the pandemic.

Beryl Palmer, Redondo Beach

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To the editor: I was startled and disappointed to see a letter claiming that people have a right to refuse COVID-19 vaccines, without an accompanying comment from The Times that refusal to get the shot means that the person in question may well infect others, thereby contributing to the tragic spike in deaths.

Thomas P. Bernstein, Irvine

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To the editor: To the letter writer, as they say in the South, "Bless your heart." (Google it.)

Deborah Martin, Manhattan Beach

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.

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