Speed Reads

Speed Reads

Only 34 NYPD cops placed on leave over vaccine mandate, but firefighters are apparently staging sick-out

New York City's requirement that all city employees get vaccinated against COVID-19 took force on Monday, and Mayor Bill de Blasio said about 9,000 city workers were placed on unpaid leave for failing to comply — or a little over 2 percent of the city's 378,000 workforce. And despite warnings of threats to public safety, only 34 New York Police Department officers were placed on leave, along with 40 civilian NYPD workers. 

"I would remind people that's 34 out of roughly 35,000 workforce," Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said Monday. "That's very fluid, that could go up as the day goes on, it could also go down as people get their vaccinations status." Overall, 91 percent of New York City workers are vaccinated, de Blasio said Saturday night, up from 83 percent 24 hours earlier.

As of Monday morning, 85 percent of the NYPD had gotten at least one shot of vaccine, up from 70 percent before de Blasio issued his mandate on Oct. 20. "With that remaining 15 percent, it's very important to remember that there is a process where people can request reasonable accommodations for religious or medical reasons," Shea added. The Daily Show cheekily suggests the 85 percent of compliant cops are just following their own advice. 

An unusually high number of NYPD officers retired early in October, the New York Daily News reports — 163 cops, versus 55 in October 2020. And 2,300 New York City firefighters have called in sick since de Blasio announced the vaccine requirement, FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro said Monday. As of Monday, 77 percent of firefighters are vaccinated, up from 58 before the mandate was announced. 

Nigro said hundreds of the firefighters "most definitely are" faking their sicknesses. "We know that's related to protests against the mandate. It's obvious," he elaborated. "Generally, two hundred people come into our medical office every day. In this past week, it's been seven hundred a day. Most, or the majority of them, are unvaccinated. This is completely unacceptable." He said "we'll look into discipline for these members," and de Blasio said "when people do this kind of thing, there are consequences." The Late Show illustrated the conundrum with a dark homage to Paw Patrol