Politics

LA County Sheriff Won’t Enforce Vaccine Mandate

[Facebook Screenshot Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department]

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Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva announced Thursday he would not enforce the county’s vaccine mandate for county employees.

“The issue has become so politicized, there are entire groups of employees that are willing to be fired and laid off rather than get vaccinated so I don’t want to be in a position to lose 5, 10% of my workforce overnight on a vaccine mandate,” Villanueva said during a Facebook Live event Thursday.

Villanueva said the vaccine mandate coupled with the ‘defund the police’ push is “the worst of two worlds.” (RELATED: Los Angeles Sheriff Won’t Enforce County’s Order To Shut Down Beaches)

The county announced in August it would mandate all county employees must be fully vaccinated by Oct. 1, but carved out allowances for religious and medical exemptions.

County data shows at least 70% of residents are fully vaccinated while 78% have received at least their first dose.

The sheriff’s department, however, isn’t the only county agency with vaccine-hesitant employees. Firefighters rallied Tuesday in Beverly Hills to protest the mandate for county workers.

Eleven-year veteran firefighter Josh Sattley told the Daily Caller’s Jorge Ventura he has been placed on unpaid leave after refusing the vaccine.

“I decided to stand my ground,” Sattley said, noting that he and five other firefighters had applied for religious exemptions but were all denied.

“We were all interrogated about our religious beliefs,” he added.

The other five firefighters eventually got their vaccination before the Oct. 1 deadline.

Villanueva has bucked other county mandates, announcing in July he would not enforce a mask mandate for vaccinated individuals and those who already had the coronavirus.

“Forcing the vaccinated and those who already contracted COVID-19 to wear masks indoors is not backed by science and contradicts the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines,” he said at the time.