Letters to the Editor: Taxpayers and anti-vaccine cops and firefighters

A man with a Los Angeles Fire Department patch gives another man a shot in the upper arm
A Los Angeles firefighter receives a Moderna COVID-19 vaccine dose on Dec. 28, 2020.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: I am a retired firefighter from the Los Angeles area. I have been following the issue regarding certain firefighters and police officers resisting vaccination against COVID-19. One important issue that I have not heard discussed has to do with workers’ compensation. (“How fed up are readers with anti-vaxxers? They’re defending forced vaccination,” Opinion, Oct. 2)

If a firefighter or police officer is injured or sickened on the job, the employer is responsible for covering the costs of treatment. By resisting vaccination, these people become more susceptible to COVID-19 infection.

A severe infection could result in a worker being off duty with their medical costs covered by taxpayers. That may include doctor bills, hospital bills, payment of their salary while off duty and payment of overtime for those who are replacing the sick individual.

Is that fair to the taxpayer? People have a right not to be vaccinated, but is it responsible behavior? I think not.


Mike Reardon, Fallbrook


To the editor: Officers and firefighters are asking for vaccine exemptions in droves. Those who are asking for religious exemptions should not be asked to patrol any streets or fight any fires, or do anything else that might have them interact with members of the public. Instead, they should get desk jobs.

Those who are asking for medical exemptions should not be asked to do anything that could potentially put their delicate bodies at risk. Instead? Desk jobs.

Better yet, they should all be trained to process rape kits and prevent backlogs.

Leslee Koritzke, Altadena


To the editor: In my lifetime I have witnessed two deadly plagues — HIV/AIDS, which killed tens of thousands of gay men in the United States in the 1980s and ‘90s; and COVID-19, which has killed more than 700,000 people in the U.S.

I hope to survive both and die of old age.

Preventing infection is key to safety, but spreading disease was only criminalized for one of these pandemics. In many states, conservatives made it a crime to knowingly infect another person with HIV.

Now, many conservatives are cheering people’s “freedom” to spread COVID-19.

John Kluge, North Hollywood