The union representing the officers of the New York State Police was caught off guard by Gov. Andrew Cuomo's order requiring COVID-19 shots for all state workers and is still mulling its options, Thomas Mungeer, president of the Police Benevolent Association, said Monday on Newsmax.
"We're still waiting to see what his plan is [and] we're still reviewing our legal options,'' Mungeer said on Newsmax's "National Report."
He added that he's already been vaccinated, as have a large percentage of New York state troopers, but said what he opposes is that the troopers are not free to ''make up their own minds to get the vaccination or not."
"Some of them don't want to get it for whatever reason, whether it's personal, religious, you know," Mungeer said. "It's something that the individual should be able to decide, not the government."
Last week, Cuomo announced that all state workers would be required to either get their shots before Labor Day or undergo regular testing, an order made because of the highly contagious delta variant. He also urged local governments to issue their own orders.
The Civil Service Employees Association, the largest state workers union, has backed Cuomo's order, the Buffalo News reports, but the troopers union said it would explore its legal options.
Mungeer told Newsmax that when businesses were shuttered because of the pandemic last year, "my people, men and women who wear that great uniform of a New York state trooper, were out here every day, fighting crime, that didn't really slow down too much during the pandemic" and were able to "navigate around getting infected."
There were troopers who ended up getting sick, but all survived, he said.
"So if we're able to protect ourselves adequately and the public for the last year and a half, how can we not make up our own minds to protect ourselves going forward," Mungeer said.
When asked if he thinks the pandemic has become too politicized, Mungeer responded: ''I think se're all getting weary of the restrictions."
"We all did our part for the last year and a half," he said. "We've pretty much beat this back. I'm not a scientist. This delta variant is supposed to be a little bit worse. But listen, my people, again, have been doing a really good job out there protecting themselves and the public, both with COVID preventions and enforcing the law."
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