White House defends vaccine mandates for police and military as deadlines loom

White House defends vaccine mandates for police and military as deadlines loom
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White House press secretary Jen Psaki said concerns about police and military members dying of COVID-19 supersede worries about mass resignations amid vaccine mandate deadlines in some cities.

"What was the No. 1 cause of death among police officers last year?" Psaki said during Tuesday's White House press briefing. "Do you know? COVID-19. So, that's something that we're working to address, and police departments are working to address."

Psaki was pressed on the issue by Fox News correspondent Peter Doocy, who posited that mandates might endanger public safety if military and law enforcement officers are pushed out of their jobs due to the mandates.

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"If the whole point of a vaccine mandate is to make people safer, but a vaccine mandate also means tons of police and military may walk off the job, then at the end of the day, does a vaccine mandate make people safer?" he asked from the front row of the assembled media.

Police unions have fought the mandates, with Chicago's union chief telling members to ignore the deadline. The city's deadline was Friday, and any officers who resign could risk their retirement benefits.

While hundreds of thousands of U.S. military members and police officers have yet to receive the shot, Psaki raised doubts that mandates will lead to mass firings or resignations.

The White House press secretary pointed to Seattle's police department, saying 92% of officers and 93% of firefighters have been vaccinated.

According to the Officer Down Memorial Page, the coronavirus was listed as the top killer of police officers in both 2020 and 2021, with 245 succumbing to the disease last year.

"But there are other problems in the world," Doocy continued. "International terror, gang violence, murder, arson, drug dealing. Is there any concern?"

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Psaki responded by repeating the pandemic's 700,000-plus death toll in the United States.

"It's something that we should take seriously," she said. "Departments are trying to save people in their departments, people who work for them. We support that effort, and there has been success across the country in that regard."

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Tags: News, Coronavirus, Vaccination, Mandate, Jen Psaki

Original Author: Haisten Willis

Original Location: White House defends vaccine mandates for police and military as deadlines loom

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