Riverside County, CA, Sheriff Chad Bianco said he won’t require Sheriff’s Department employees or job applicants to be vaccinated against COVID-19 despite a state public health order mandating vaccinations or regular coronavirus testing for those working in jails.
During a recent podcast and video posted on his department’s Facebook page, Bianco also expressed doubts about the vaccine’s effectiveness and the threat posed by the pandemic and said it’s not the role of government to keep people healthy, the Press Enterprise reports.
A state public health order from July 26 requires those working in “state and local correctional facilities and detention centers” to get vaccinated or submit to twice-a-week COVID-19 testing. The order gave jails and health-care facilities until Aug. 23 to comply.
Since the pandemic’s onset, Bianco, who tested positive for the virus in January and once said “I knew I would” contract COVID-19, has garnered national attention for his refusal to enforce mask mandates or business restrictions intended to prevent the virus’s spread.