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Ron DeSantis wants to pay unvaccinated Chicago police to go and work in Florida

In Chicago, 21 officers have been placed on “no-pay status” for refusing to say whether they have received a Covid vaccine

Andrew Feinberg
Tuesday 26 October 2021 00:17 BST
Florida Governor offers $5000 incentive for out-of-state police

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis wants his state to become a destination for police officers who are fired for not obeying orders to be vaccinated against Covid-19.

Despite the novel coronavirus becoming the leading cause of death for police officers — killing 716 since March 2020, according to Fraternal Order of Police data — some have chosen to decline the Covid-19 vaccines which have now been administered to roughly 75 percent of American adults. And officers in some cities have chosen to remain unvaccinated in the face of orders to comply with vaccine requirements as a condition of continued employment.

In Chicago, 21 officers have been placed on “no-pay status” for refusing to say whether they have received a Covid vaccine, according to CPD Superintendent David Brown, who told reporters last week that more than 67 percent of officers have complied with Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s directive to all city employees, which requires them to report their vaccination status.

Speaking on Fox News’ Sunday Morning Futures programme, Mr DeSantis said Florida would welcome police officers who lose their jobs for failure to comply with vaccine mandates. He added that the state would be offering a $5,000 bonus to any police officer who moves to Florida.

“In Florida, not only are we going to want to protect the 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,” he said.

Mr DeSantis also claimed without evidence that “most of those first responders” have already recovered from the virus. Many right-wing and anti-vaccine media and political figures have claimed that the immunity developed after recovering from Covid is stronger than that which is developed from a vaccine, but Centers for Disease Control data shows that a vaccine provides the strongest possible protection against the virus.

He called on police officers from across the country to leave their jobs and relocate to Florida if they are not permitted to remain unvaccinated against orders.

“If you’re not being treated well, we’ll treat you better here, you can fill important needs for us, and we’ll compensate you as a result,” he said.

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