Pregnant Boston police attacked Mayor Michelle Wu’s beefed-up immunization warrant in a recent roll call the mayor attended, which they said forces them to choose between their job and the health of their unborn children .
Officers toast the new mayor in a series of videos posted on Twitter of the Boston Police Department’s visit to Wu last week.
“Mayor Wu, when you were pregnant, did you use drugs or drink alcohol? Have you eaten sushi or cold cuts? Have you listened to your doctor, your husband’s wishes, and the advice of your religious leaders? Mayor Wu, have you made your own decisions for yourself and your unborn children? Asked a visibly pregnant officer.
“Did you do everything you needed to do to have a safe and healthy pregnancy? Do you understand what it is like to lose a child and have to undergo fertility treatments? We ask you, Mayor Wu, to understand where we are from. We are mothers. We are fathers. We don’t know what the outcome will be. We care about our families, ”added the officer.
Wu announced last week that the city would strengthen an existing vaccine mandate for its roughly 18,000 workers. Under the new policy, city employees must be fully immunized against the coronavirus by mid-February or receive a valid religious or medical exemption. Until now, workers could provide proof of negative coronavirus tests weekly rather than getting vaccinated.
The current vaccine mandate was instituted by former acting mayor Kim Janey over the summer. Wu’s decision to toughen existing policy aligns the city’s vaccine policy with a policy for state employees, but has drawn opposition from some working groups, especially those who advocate on behalf of first responders.
As of December 20, about 2,300 city employees and contractors were still not in compliance or covered by the testing protocol. These workers will need to submit proof of vaccination by Jan.15 for one dose and Feb.15 for two doses, according to Wu’s office.
A spokeswoman said the city would continue to consider reasonable accommodation for medical purposes, but questions regarding exemptions for pregnant officers were not addressed.
Boston Police Unions declined to comment on Monday, but an advocacy group, Boston First Responders United, said it was considering legal action.
A second pregnant officer also asked Wu in the video if she would be willing to sign a document saying that she and the city “would take full responsibility if anything should happen to us as mothers and to our unborn children.” .
Wu deviated, thanking the first mom for speaking and asking how her third trimester was going.
In a separate video, another officer asked Wu if she would consider extending the start date of the beefed up vaccine mandate until the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled on the legality of the vaccine warrants. SCOTUS is expected to hear oral arguments Jan. 7 on consolidated appeals over President Biden’s order requiring employees at workplaces with more than 100 people to be vaccinated and on an order from the US Centers for Disease Control. United requiring vaccines for workers in many health facilities.
“Um, no,” Wu replied. “We’re going to be on our schedule, and if the court tells us otherwise, then we can do it. But there have already been cases that have happened elsewhere, and we match what the state is doing in terms of policies. “
Attempts to block vaccination mandates at the state and federal levels have so far failed.
“As COVID-19 cases continue to rise, the city has acted within its authority, and with advice from public health officials, to demand immunizations for all city workers, aligning our policy with that of the state and with public service employers across the country, ”a city spokeswoman said. “This plan provides an appropriate time frame for compliance, and we expect all of our city’s workforce to join us in protecting our communities by taking all possible measures to end this pandemic.”