As governments and businesses move ahead with employee vaccine mandates upon the FDA’s approval of the Pfizer COVID-19 shot, a Los Angeles Fire Department captain is under investigation for expressing his opposition, calling his city’s requirement “tyranny.”
“I am so hopping mad right now, you have no idea, my head could pop,” Christian Granucci said in a video that has gone viral on social media.
The Fox affiliate in Los Angeles reported his comments on the social media app Telegram came after the Los Angeles City Council voted Aug. 18 to require COVID-19 vaccinations for all city employees, except for those who have medical or religious exemptions.
Non-exempt employees now have until Sept. 7 to get the first dose of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine. The second dose must be taken no later than Oct. 5. And those who choose the Johnson & Johnson vaccine have until Oct. 5 to be inoculated.
“This is tyranny,” Granucci said of the city council’s order. “This is about freedom of choice.”
He called the medical and religious exemptions “pie in the sky,” arguing city officials “have end-runs around those.”
“The vaccinations will come,” he said. “And then after that, it will be a booster, and another booster and another booster. When will this end? When will this tyranny stop.”
On Monday, the Pfizer and BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine became the first in the U.S. to win FDA approval. The mRNA vaccine, like the Modern and Johnson & Johnson vaccines, was administered under emergency use authorization granted by the FDA in December. It will be marketed under the name Comirnaty.
U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy promised Sunday that more vaccine mandates are coming from businesses and universities in the wake of the FDA approval.
See Granucci’s video:
He threatened legal action, saying he and a group of unspecified firefighters have an attorney “on retainer.”
“He is a shark,” Granucci said of the unnamed attorney. “We will seek legal counsel and we will take fight to you, the city of Los Angeles.”
‘May lead to disciplinary action’
LAFD said in a statement after Granucci’s comments that “the Department’s Oath and Affirmation require all members to obey the Laws and Ordinances of the City of LA.”
The department said it was made aware of Granucci’s video.
“While we respect the individual’s right to his opinion, he is not authorized to speak on behalf of the Department,” the statement said. “The individual is in uniform and appears to be on duty, thereby giving the impression that he is speaking in an official capacity.”
The department warned that “the matter has been submitted to our Professional Standards Division for investigation, which may lead to disciplinary action.”
Freddy Escobar, president of the United Firefighters of LA City, said in a statement that “there is passionate discussion regarding this issue in our fire stations,” and the majority of firefighters “have voluntarily been vaccinated and more are choosing to do so each week.”
“We continue to encourage our members to get vaccinated, but we do not support any City policies that make it a condition of employment,” he said.
However, Escobar said the union is in “discussions with the City because our highly skilled and experienced LAFD Firefighters and Paramedics cannot be easily replaced — especially in a department that is already understaffed.”
“The unexpected departure of even a small percentage of our workforce would have a devastating impact on public safety in Los Angeles,” he said.
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This article was originally published by the WND News Center.