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Dozens of Massachusetts state troopers resigned in protest of a COVID-19 vaccine mandate, a state police union said on Monday.
Michael Cherven, president of the State Police Association of Massachusetts, issued a statement in response to a judge's rejection of the group's lawsuit last week that attempted to delay the vaccine mandate issued by Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker.
"Throughout COVID, we have been on the front lines protecting the citizens of Massachusetts and beyond," Cherven said in his statement. "Simply put, all we are asking for are the same basic accommodations that countless other departments have provided to their first responders, and to treat a COVID related illness as a line of duty injury."
Cherven added that he was disappointed in the judge's ruling but said the union respected the decision.
States and private companies across the country are attempting to raise their vaccination numbers as the delta variant of the coronavirus continues to spread.
President Joe Biden issued a mandate this month for companies with over 100 workers to require employees to be fully vaccinated or face weekly tests, and he signed another order requiring all federal employees and contractors to get fully vaccinated without a testing alternative.
Baker, a Republican, said offering alternatives would defy the "primary objective" of the mandate.
"I want people who are face to face with public folks who work for the commonwealth to be comfortable in knowing that those folks are vaccinated," Baker said on Wednesday, according to Boston.com. "They’re face to face with people they don’t know, so I happen to think it’s important for them to be vaccinated so that they can be safe."
The police union's attorney said about 20% of the state police have not been vaccinated against COVID-19, according to Boston CBS.
Employees who fail to receive the vaccination or an exemption by the deadline could face termination.
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Original Author: Misty Severi