That was actually an understatement. Not only was COVID-19 the leading cause of death for on-duty police officers last year, it is also the leading cause of death for police officers this year, and in both cases is more than four times more common than the No. 2 cause of death.
Psaki also presented a litany of statistics demonstrating the effectiveness of vaccine mandates, and the extent to which the claim that large numbers of officers will quit has been exaggerated. “If you look at Seattle as an example, which I know is in some reports, 92% of the police are vaccinated, as are 93% of the firefighters. Ninety-nine percent of Seattle’s 11,000 employees have filed a vaccine verification or waiver request.”
Doocy carried on bravely/foolishly. “Public safety does. All those other problems: terror, murder, robberies, kidnappings. Is there any concern that if the police force shrinks or if the size of the military on standby shrinks, the United States or places there may not be well equipped to deal with it?’
“Peter, more than 700,000 people have died from COVID. Again, it was the number one cause of death among police forces and police officers. It’s something we should take seriously. Departments are trying to rescue people in their departments, people who work for them, we support that effort, and there has been success in that regard across the country.”
Terror? The US is currently experiencing about a 9/11 of COVID-19 deaths every two days. Murder? A year of homicides from COVID-19 approximately every 12 days, at the current rate. Kidnapping? Kidnapping by strangers is extremely rare – you would have to go to the state level to express the frequency of COVID-19 deaths relative to that.
Doocy and Fox News aren’t concerned about public safety. This is evident from their opposition to public health measures surrounding the coronavirus pandemic. They are not concerned about the downsizing of the police force or they would be concerned about the hundreds of officers the virus has killed. Doocy and Fox News are concerned about the appearance of supporting the police and using it here as a tool to attack attempts to end the pandemic. Its hunt for a “White House doesn’t care if the police stop en masse” headline is clownishly clear here, and it relies on Fox News viewers not to notice that there is currently no evidence of large numbers of police layoffs, and that proof is doing existence of the deadly impact of COVID-19 on police forces. Fortunately for him, Fox viewers can be trusted not to notice those things, but this exchange is very unlikely to increase the audience for Fox’s message about vaccinations.