World Seattle business owner fears vaccine mandate will lengthen 911 response time: 'I can't get help'
GOP demands Biden stop 'bullying' airlines with vaccine mandate, says taxpayers 'saved' industry
Top GOP House lawmakers on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee called on President Biden Thursday to reverse his COVID-19 mandates and warned it could have adverse effects on the airline industry. In a letter obtained by Fox News to the president, ranking member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Rep. Sam Graves, R-Mo., and Aviation Subcommittee ranking member Garret Graves, R-La., expressed "serious concerns" over White House pressure on U.S. airlines.
business owners are fearing the looming deadline for and firefighters will further lengthen response time to 911 calls, as the city that saw months of violent demonstrations last year already grapples with police staffing shortages and surging crime.
Maher Youssef, owner of Youssef’s Pluto Organic Café in Belltown, toldhe’s dialed 911 several dozen times over the past few years, including for two separate break-ins which were captured by the coffee shop’s surveillance camera.
Seattle police responded to both robberies, but Youssef said response times were lengthy and staffing shortages expected to worsen with Monday’s vaccine mandate deadline for the city and state could worsen business.
Ted Cruz & Co. Promote Non-Existent Anti-Vax Airline 'Strike'
Republican senators and congressmen who have railed against vaccine mandates rushed to praise a protest by airline workers who were resisting getting the shot. There’s just one slight problem: There’s no evidence it actually exists. Over the past few days, right-wing anti-vaxxers and the likes of Sens. Ted Cruz and Ron Johnson have managed to turn a series of otherwise boring travel delays into a nationwide working-class protest against Joe Biden and vaccine mandates by private companies that he has encouraged, through the magic of fan fiction and the creative use of correlation as causation.
"I feel like I’m on my own. I can’t get help from anywhere. I just open the door every day and don’t know if I’m going to go home safe and good to my family or if something is going to happen," Youssef said. "The tourists are not going to come, the people are not going to go out of their home to buy things. It’s going to be like a ghost city."
The extent of the vaccine mandate on police staffing shortages won’t be known until after Monday’s deadline. Oct. 18 is the date Seattle, King County and Washington State employees are required to submit proof of full vaccination, request an exemption or face termination.
Seattle Police Officers Guild President Mike Solan said officers won’t face immediate termination Monday, but instead, those who choose not to get vaccinated against COVID-19 will receive notice for a "Loudermill hearing," or a public forum where an employee can present their reasoning for going against the mandate before formal separation. An internal memo distributed by the King County Sheriff’s Office Thursday indicated deputies who don’t get vaccinated will also be affording similar hearings before being terminated.
Fauci says people 'react against me' when 'truth becomes inconvenient'
Fauci says he has been targeted by conspiracy theorists because he chooses to stand by 'science, data and hard facts. He claims people react against him when they don't like the truth.During an interview on Fox News Sunday, Fauci said: 'I have stood for always making science data and evidence, be what we guide ourselves by and I think people who feel differently, who have conspiracy theories, who deny reality, that's looking them straight in the eye.
As of last Wednesday, the Seattle Police Department activated its emergency three-stage mobilization plan, which involves sending detectives and non-patrol officers to emergency calls because of a shortage of patrol officers. The Seattle Fire Department canceled non-essential training and community events as part of its contingency plan.
"That’s what this contingency is in place for, so that we do have officers who are available to handle 911 calls, not knowing what our numbers are going to be on October 18th," Sgt. Randy Huserik told KING. "Our first concern is those priority one calls, those crimes in progress and whatnot, and having the staffing levels available to respond to those high priority calls first."
The union representing some 1,000 Seattle police personnel suggests that the COVID-19 vaccine mandate could worsen staffing shortages, which in turn could risk public safety. The union’s president, Mike Solan, said the city’s police force lost some 300 officers over the past 18 months and anticipates another "mass exodus" in the coming weeks.
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"Crime is surging in this city. Our community is demanding more police officers to answer the 911 calls, and the fact we've already lost close to 350 police officers because of the politicians' political betrayal," Solan said. The union president said city officials described the Seattle Police Department as a "model" agency before George Floyd’s death when it came to police reform, but after Floyd’s death began calls to decrease its budget by 50%.
Solan said Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan is refusing to allow officers who prefer not to get vaccinated against COVID-19 to instead submit to regular testing and wear masks. As of last week, nearly 300 of the 1,000 uniformed officers in Seattle had either not turned in paperwork showing they were vaccinated or were seeking an exemption, the mayor’s office said. But scores more are believed to have been vaccinated since then.
"People believe in personal choice, and we as a union have to represent everybody," Solan said. "We’re not going to play the games of segregating between the vaxxed and the unvaxxed, It’s not about that. This is about saving jobs."
In response, Durkan’s office said, "COVID-19 is currently the number one cause of death for our first responders. Throughout the pandemic, we have seen dozens of firefighters and officers exposed with some hospitalized even with testing and PPE. This deadly disease puts our families, children, co-workers, and the community at risk, so Mayor Durkan sincerely hopes that anyone at risk of leaving the City or at departments statewide will make the decision to stay by getting vaccinated."
Durkan is not seeking a second term after a year of controversies related to pandemic-era lockdowns, anti-police protests and an eventual autonomous zone. During a debate last week, opposing Seattle mayoral candidates, Lorena González and Bruce Harrell, both said they would tell those interested in serving as law enforcement in Seattle that they must get vaccinated.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
58,000 Dead, and Depraved DeSantis Is Just Getting Started .
Florida’s Governor Ron DeSantis gave us a sneak preview of how Republican leaders will challenge the Biden Administration’s proposed mandate that would require private sector employers with 100 or more employees to either vaccinate their staff or impose weekly COVID tests. The mandate would affect nearly two-thirds of the private sector workforce, and judging from the success of other recent mandates, it would be a major step towards trying to flatten the COVID-19 curve and “reopen” America by 2022.