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Photo: Genaro Molina/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

COVID-19 is the leading cause of death for police officers even though members of law enforcement were among the first to be eligible to receive the vaccine, CNN reports, citing data from the Officer Down Memorial Page.

Why it matters: Nearly 476 police officers have died of COVID-19 since the pandemic started, compared to the 93 deaths as a result of gunfire in the same time period, according to ODMP and CNN.

Driving the news: Many police officers across the country are refusing the COVID-19 vaccine and ignoring local mandates to get vaccinated.

The big picture: In 2020, 245 members of law enforcement died from COVID-19 and 231 have died in 2021, according to ODMP.

  • Police officers aren't getting vaccinated due to misinformation and distrust in the science of vaccines, per CNN.
  • Almost 2,600 members of the Los Angeles Police Department said they intended to get a religious exemption so they wouldn't have to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, the New York Times reports.
  • Vaccine mandates in the workplace have become more common due to the wave of new COVID-19 cases and deaths over the summer.

What they're saying: “If this was cops getting shot on the streets of America today at this number, there would be outrage,” said Chuck Wexler, executive director of the Police Executive Research Forum, per the NYT.

  • “This is an issue that begs for leadership and putting politics aside," Wexler added. "And that’s exactly the opposite of what’s happening right now.”
  • "If you are serious about your commitment to protect the public ... and if you are serious about your personal commitments to your family, then that should be enough," said Jessica Desfosses, whose husband was a police officer and died of COVID-19 in January, per CNN.

Go deeper: Scores of police officers are refusing the COVID vaccine

Go deeper

Dec 6, 2021 - Health

CDC raises travel advisories for France, Portugal to highest level amid COVID surge

Angus Mordant/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention raised COVID-19 travel advisories to their highest levels for a number of countries on Monday, including France and Portugal.

Why it matters: The detection of the new Omicron variant last month has spurred fears of a new wave of virus infections.

Dec 6, 2021 - Health

Cruise ship COVID outbreak: Louisiana officials find "probable" Omicron case

The Norwegian Breakaway cruise ship. Photo: Gerard Bottino/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Louisiana health authorities said a suspected Omicron case was one of 17 confirmed COVID-19 infections among the passengers and crew of a Norwegian Cruise Lines ship that returned to New Orleans Sunday.

Driving the news: The Norwegian Breakaway departed New Orleans on Nov. 28 with more than 3,200 people on board, before making stops in Belize, Honduras and Mexico, according to a Louisiana Department of Health statement.

Gov. Hochul will order some NY hospitals to halt elective surgeries

New York State Gov. Kathy Hochul COVID-19 addresses rising cases in the state and the new variant Omicron at a press conference in November. Photo: Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul announced on Monday that some state hospitals will be ordered to halt certain elective surgeries in an effort to combat a recent COVID-19 surge, Hochul said at a press conference.

Why it matters: New York has struggled with hospital capacity throughout the pandemic and postponed nonessential procedures before.

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