- Nearly 200 San Francisco employees sent letters to the city containing COVID-19 misinformation.
- The identical letters contain disproven claims as arguments against getting vaccinated.
- The city’s mandate says all employees must get vaccinated once the FDA fully approves a vaccine.
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Nearly 200 San Francisco employees sent identical letters containing vaccine misinformation to the city after it announced a vaccine mandate for all city workers.
One hundred and ninety-two employees sent letters to the city’s human resources department saying they will only submit to the city’s vaccine mandate if it can disprove 41 conspiratorial claims about COVID-19 vaccines and face masks. Over half of the letters came from San Francisco Fire Department and San Francisco Sheriff’s Department employees, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
San Francisco’s vaccine policy says all employees have to submit their vaccination status to the city and that they must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 10 weeks after the US Food and Drug Administration fully approves at least one COVID-19 vaccine. Employees who have valid medical reasons or deeply held religious beliefs can seek exemptions from the vaccine mandate.
The San Francisco Deputy Sheriff’s Association posted a statement on Facebook that said city police officers and firefighters would leave their jobs if the city moved forward with the vaccine mandate.
A representative for the Association refused to provide Insider comment and hung up when asked over the phone about the union’s position on the vaccine mandate. San Francisco Firefighters 798, the city’s firefighter’s union, did not return calls for comment.
The letter reviewed by Insider says the employees will only submit to a vaccine mandate if the city can disprove various claims about COVID-19 vaccines and facemasks that are rooted in conspiracy theories, such as that COVID-19 vaccines contain “bovine serum,” which is untrue.
The letter also asks the city to disprove common conspiratorial claims about COVID-19 vaccines that they cause infertility and miscarriages and that face masks cause “dangerously high levels of carbon dioxide in the blood stream” – all of which have been disproven by the World Health Organization and other healthcare experts.
The letters also make the argument that the US is under “rule of law” and mandates have not been “voted on or passed by a legislature.” That holds no legal standing because both state and federal law allow employers to impose vaccine and mask mandates on their employees, according to the Chronicle.
The Chronicle reported that San Francisco Human Resources Director Carol Isen responded to every letter the department received and reminded the employees of the vaccination policy, but did not directly address any of the demands in the letters.
The city’s human resources department provided a statement to Insider that said over 80% of city employees are vaccinated and that they will continue working to educate other departments and unions within San Francisco government on COVID-19 and the Delta variant. The department’s statement reiterated that employees can claim medical exemptions where appropriate.
“We will continue our robust outreach to every employee to ensure that they know that infections and deaths from COVID-19 are preventable and that vaccines are readily available, safe, effective and the only way to end the pandemic,” the statement read.