Police officers—and their unions—have been pushing back against vaccine mandates and resorting to rather diva-like tactics to voice their opposition instead of, you know, getting a shot that will help protect themselves and their fellow people from a deadly coronavirus that has killed about 5 million people worldwide and 736,000 people in the U.S. alone.
So John Oliver weighed in on Sunday’s Last Week Tonight, first cutting to footage of Robert Lamay, a Washington state trooper who decided to film a video of himself in his squad car resigning over the mandate.
“This is the last time you’ll hear me in a state patrol car—and Gov. Jay Inslee can kiss my ass,” said Lamay, before dropping his walkie-talkie.
“Ooooh! A walkie drop! You don’t see many of those!” exclaimed Oliver. “And that’s probably because it looks pathetic. Dropping a microphone is inherently exciting. You get the thud as it hits the floor, and the cheer of the crowd, but a walkie drop? That’s just a sad man sitting in a dark car dropping an object directly on his penis.”
“All over the country, a small minority of police officers have received disproportionate coverage after threatening to resign over COVID mandates,” Oliver explained. “They frame this as a matter of individual liberty, even in cases where very little was being asked of them.”
For example, in Chicago, police officers were asked to just register their vaccination status at an online portal—and could still work their jobs even if they were unvaccinated, so long as they submitted to regular testing—but the portal requirement led John Catanzara, president of Chicago’s Fraternal Order of Police, to completely lose it, ordering his officers to “not comply” with the order and even comparing the vaccine mandate to the Holocaust.
“We’re in America, goddammit. We don’t want to be forced to do anything. Period. This ain’t Nazi f*cking Germany, [where they say], ‘Step into the f*cking showers. The pills won’t hurt you.’ What the f*ck?” he said. (He later issued an apology video.)
“Wow. I mean… just a big yikes to everything going on there,” said Oliver of his apology video, in which Catanzara claimed that he “technically” didn’t mention the Holocaust.
By the way, according to Oliver, Catanzara has been “suspended eight times,” and has received “more complaints per year of service than 96 percent of his fellow CPD officers,” and yet this is who the union members chose to represent them.
“So next time someone says to you, ‘Not all cops are bad,’ you can respond to them, ‘No… just their favorite ones,’” Oliver quipped.
As far as deaths in the line of duty, since the start of the pandemic more than four times as many police officers have died of COVID-19 (473) than gunfire (93), even though cops were among the first to have access to the vaccine.
“That is a terrible statistic,” said Oliver. “Look, there is also the key matter of the fact that the police are supposed to be keeping the public safe. That is the point of their jobs, yet some don’t seem to give much of a shit about that.”
“If an officer wants to quit over this, fucking let them,” he added. “Let the individuals who clearly don’t care about public safety stop being in charge of public safety. It really is that simple.”