State Watch

Florida sheriff says nine employees have died of COVID-19

The Broward County Sheriff’s Office in Florida has lost nine employees to COVID-19.

At a memorial service, Sheriff Gregory Tony said that more than half of the department’s 5,600 employees had been exposed and more than 30 percent had contracted the virus, The Associated Press reported Wednesday. 

“We didn’t lose one, two, three — we lost nine,” Tony said.

Photos of the victims, whose ages ranged from 39 to 73, were displayed at the service in a church in Sunrise, Fla. 

The sheriff did not mention vaccines at the memorial service but urged the crowd of several hundred people to remain vigilant and remember that the pandemic is not over, the AP added. 

According to an analysis released last month, the coronavirus was responsible for more than 66 percent of all law enforcement deaths in the line of duty this year and last.

While many states have required that public employees, including law enforcement entities, get vaccinated, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) has barred vaccine mandates in the state. 

“Florida will be responding, and I think the rule’s going down, I just don’t think that there’s an adequate basis for it, and I think you’ve even seen people on their side acknowledge that they don’t have firm constitutional footing for this,” DeSantis has said of his commitment to challenge the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate for businesses.

Meanwhile, law enforcement’s objections to vaccine mandates span from coast to coast. In Massachusetts, at least 150 officers have resigned or submitted paperwork intending to resign over vaccine mandates, and Police Officers Guild President Mike Solan has said Seattle’s vaccine mandate for its employees is “unreasonable” and “void of common sense.” 

Tags Coronavirus coronavirus pandemic COVID-19 misinformation COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy in the United States Florida Ron DeSantis Vaccination Vaccine Vaccine hesitancy

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