ROCKVILLE, Maryland, (LifeSiteNews) — Elected officials in Democrat-run Montgomery County, Maryland — a wealthy suburb bordering Washington, DC — have disparaged and maligned firefighters, police, and other county servants who, either for medical reasons or for matters of faith or conscience, are seeking to be exempted from a proposed county-wide COVID-19 “vaccine” mandate.
Council members have sought to pass Expedited Bill 34-21, dubbed “Personnel and Human Resources – COVID-19 Vaccination Required,” quickly since September, but they have faced pushback from the Montgomery County Career Fire Fighters Association (IAFF); the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), representing county police officers; and United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), representing county government employees, as well as many concerned county residents.
The proposed mandate is seen by many county employees — whose careers now hang in the balance — as signaling the Council members’ disrespect for their dedicated service and ruthless disregard for their wellbeing and the welfare of their families.
As of this writing, the controversial measure has not been enacted, but the council members — all of whom are liberal Democrats — seem to be united in their intention to fire those who have decided against receiving the not-fully-tested, abortion-tainted COVID-19 “vaccine.”
‘Crass comments, beneath the dignity of an elected official’
County Council member Hans Riemer, whose wife is a Pfizer vice president, asserted in an interview that first responders and other county employees seeking medical or religious exemptions are “a bunch of Trump-loving deplorable anti-vaxxers who are making this pandemic last longer and hurt more people than it should.”
“Is he striving to protect the public health or to appease the source of a majority of his household income?” asked the FOP, IAFF, and UFCW in a joint statement.
During a September 28, 2021 County Council meeting conducted via Zoom, Riemer said, “the real logs in this fire are people who are unvaccinated,” seemingly aiming his stinging condemnation at firemen who daily risk their lives to save people from fires.
Riemer went on to declare, “I can’t conclude anything other than refusing to take vaccination is a political statement,” apparently oblivious to the intensely partisan, political nature of his own words.
None of the other council members objected to Riemer’s offensive characterization.
“Is this how little the county council values its first responders and workforce?” asked county resident Lindsay Haley in a written testimony provided to the Council.
“Not only are these crass comments by Mr. Riemer highly inappropriate, they are also inaccurate. If you speak to any employee who is against the mandate, I can assure you that you will not find even one of them who cites ‘loving Trump’ or being an ‘anti-vaxxer’ as the reason for their opposition,” Haley continued.
“His comments are beneath the dignity of an elected official in Montgomery County. They are slanderous, display malice toward these county employees and they are unnecessary. They do nothing to further the debate.”
“There is no accommodation for religious exemptions in this bill,” noted Mrs. C. Hart in her testimony.
“Why? Is this (as well as the disregard of the deeply held reservations of minority people) evidence of bigotry on your part? Are you all so privileged and isolated from the lives of real people that you feel entitled to impose your medical dictatorship on the peasants?” asked Mrs. Hart.
“Shame on you all if you dare to pass this bill.”
“Name calling like ‘anti-vaxxer’ or ‘Republican dissident’ is propaganda,” said another testifying against the proposed county mandate.
“I am vaccinated and a registered Democrat. So what do you want to call me?” he or she asked.
“Stop the name calling, and let’s look at the facts. Bring in the doctors to discuss their successful early treatment protocols.”
Charles Greene wrote, “The Council is literally going to force Montgomery County employees to either leave their careers or abandon their ability to make a personal health choice.”
Justifying the firing of experienced first responders
An economic impact report conducted by the County’s Office of Legislative Oversight (OLO) concluded that firing the unvaccinated from county payrolls would likely be “beneficial for County economic conditions.”
The OLO based its conclusion on the fact that most first-responders reside outside Montgomery County because of its high cost of living and that needed replacements could be recruited solely from among county residents.
A second report by the OLO focusing on “Racial Equity and Social Justice” (RESJ) concluded that mandating the COVID-19 “vaccines” would help people of color, “especially those who are Black and Latinx.”
The mandate might “mitigate the disproportionately negative economic effects of the pandemic on communities of color and low-income residents,” the RESJ report also concluded.
One first responder who spoke to LifeSiteNews on the condition of anonymity said that the recent mandate deliberations have made it clear that county council members, who hailed them as frontline heroes during the first year of the pandemic, now consider them to be “nothing more than numbers.”
“The same mistakes that were made on a national level are being made on a county level because, in my opinion, of the political agenda that … two or three councilmembers are pushing,” said UFCW MCGEO Local 1994 President Gino Renne.
The dangerous ideas of Critical Race Theory (CRT) are being forced on students in public schools around the country.
This is wrong and parents have had enough! It's time to join them in saying "STOP!" to this harmful and racist propaganda.
Please SIGN and SHARE this urgent petition which says "No to CRT" in public schools, and "Yes to parents' right" to strongly protest CRT.
But, what is CRT anyway and why is it so dangerous?
Critical Race Theory is a hateful system of indoctrination which teaches that one race is either superior or inferior to another race, and that the United States is inherently racist.
CRT is dangerous and hateful precisely because it teaches children who are not white to despise and envy white children simply because of their skin color. And, as a result, it also teaches white children to despise themselves simply because of the color of their skin.
CRT also erroneously teaches that American society is inherently racist, and that different, detrimental policies (like reparations for slavery and race-based pay scales) should be imposed on the population to redistribute wealth from whites to non-whites.
This type of racist/marxist propaganda should have NO place in public, taxpayer-funded schools!
And, thankfully, American parents of EVERY COLOR are raising their voices and ballots against it!
Indeed, parents understand the destructive ramifications of CRT and, despite outrageous threats from Biden's Justice Department to prosecute them, they have been strongly protesting CRT at school board meetings across the country!
And now, in the first test of its kind, a candidate who was campaigning hard against CRT just won the governorship of Virginia in a huge upset victory.
That's great news, but we now need to contact every state legislature about this crucial educational issue.
And, we need to DEMAND that they BAN Critical Race Theory from every public school in their states - both primary and high schools, and colleges!
Whereas advocates of CRT seem more intent on vengence than on teaching children of every race to respect everybody, regardless of skin color, American parents of every race understand that it is not the color of one's skin that matters, but the content of one's character (to paraphrase Martin Luther King, Jr.).
Please SIGN and SHARE this urgent petition asking all state legislatures to BAN Crititical Race Theory from public schools in their respective states.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
'States are fighting the Left over the morally bankrupt critical race theory' - https://www.lifesitenews.com/opinion/states-are-fighting-the-left-over-the-morally-bankrupt-critical-race-theory/
'Parents who oppose Critical Race Theory in schools could be prosecuted by FBI' - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/attorney-general-tasks-fbi-to-move-against-parents-protesting-leftist-agenda-in-schools/
Ohio parents testify: Yes, critical race theory is in our schools, and we say NO! - https://www.lifesitenews.com/opinion/ohio-parents-testify-yes-critical-race-theory-is-in-our-schools-and-we-say-no
An excellent Heritage Foundation document on CRT: Critical Race Theory Would Not Solve Racial Inequality: It Would Deepen It
**Photo Credit: EJ Nickerson / Shutterstock.com
While plotting to toss unvaccinated first responders out on the street, the elite members of the Montgomery County Council have exempted themselves from their own COVID-19 protection measures which they have set in place for non-elites.
Several members of the Council have posted pictures of themselves at various crowded political and social events not wearing the masks they demand everyone else wear, including school children and toddlers.
This looks like a fun event in a county where you’ve decided we have a mask mandate in place until we hit 85% vaccinated. Well, until you move the goal posts next time. Smart that you posted only pictures of you wearing a mask. Here’s some shots from other attendees. https://t.co/BdGuYIFgCS pic.twitter.com/L4akP17A5Q
— Bethany S. Mandel (@bethanyshondark) December 10, 2021
“This looks like a fun event in a county where you’ve decided we have a mask mandate in place until we hit 85% vaccinated. Well, until you move the goal posts next time,” began a Tweet series by Bethany S. Mandel.
“Smart that you posted only pictures of you wearing a mask. Here’s some shots from other attendees,” continued Mandel, revealing that the masked photos posted by Councilmember Andrew Friedson were nothing more than posed-virtue signaling.
Great to be back this year in person for the #CFMBreakfast2021 with a huge turnout of Montgomery County’s civic, business, nonprofit and government leaders. Great job, @sbabethomas, Bonnie and everyone at @CFMontgomery for a great job and a special thanks to the hotel staff! pic.twitter.com/4Dsy7IEMBq
— Councilmember Andrew Friedson (@Andrew_Friedson) December 10, 2021
“This is after other members of the MoCo Council MD posted pictures of themselves maskless in group settings within the last two weeks. Just keep that in mind when we’re told we need to extend the mandate indefinitely because DANGER,” stressed Mandel, sharing social media postings of councilmembers Will Jawando, Evan Glass, Tom Hucker.
This is after other members of the @MoCoCouncilMD posted pictures of themselves maskless in group settings within the last two weeks. Just keep that in mind when we’re told we need to extend the mandate indefinitely because DANGER. pic.twitter.com/4Lh5QirEKx
— Bethany S. Mandel (@bethanyshondark) December 10, 2021
If the virus is such a threat that toddlers have to mask all day, you as the person putting them in masks should skip Hanukkah parties and networking events.
— Bethany S. Mandel (@bethanyshondark) December 10, 2021
“If the virus is such a threat that toddlers have to mask all day, you as the person putting them in masks should skip Hanukkah parties and networking events,” said Mandel
Wow, fun, looks like a great event. Weird I don’t see “taking pictures” as a reason in the masking regulations YOU voted for as a reason to remove the mask. https://t.co/2Dfj1XCbXs pic.twitter.com/Esey8RTOoJ
— Bethany S. Mandel (@bethanyshondark) December 12, 2021
Glenn Greenwald, perhaps the world’s most respected independent investigative reporter, picked up on the story:
“Continue to be engrossed by these endless events where celebrities and other rich people prance around indoors without masks, while all the workers and staff have their face covered. It’s absolutely the new normal,” wrote Greenwald concerning pictures of Hollywood stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Meryl Streep maskless at an event promoting Netflix’s “Don’t Look Up.”
Continue to be engrossed by these endless events where celebrities and other rich people prance around indoors without masks, while all the workers and staff have their face covered. It’s absolutely the new normal. And whatever it is, it has nothing to do with The Science™: pic.twitter.com/Dk6YN7bbua
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) December 12, 2021
“And whatever it is, it has nothing to do with The Science™” added Greenwald.
“Here’s one where a Maryland City Councilman, Andrew Friedson, went to a gala and, for his social media pages, only posted pics of himself with a mask, even though, the whole time, the political elites chatted and played indoors without a mask in sight:”
Here’s one where a Maryland City Councilman, @Andrew_Friedson, went to a gala and, for his social media pages, only posted pics of himself with a mask, even though, the whole time, the political elites chatted and played indoors without a mask in sight:https://t.co/rkjux4lgb7
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) December 12, 2021
Tom Perez, U.S. Labor Secretary under Obama who is currently campaigning to be the Democratic Party’s Maryland gubernatorial candidate, posted a picture of his maskless team outside the event.
The #CFMBreakfast2021 was a success! It was an honor to share my vision for our state with community leaders from across the county. Thank you to @CFMontgomery for hosting such a great event, and to our outstanding #TeamTom volunteers (and our 🐶 mascot, Prancer!) for joining us. pic.twitter.com/iRqiwk47MH
— Tom Perez (@TomPerez) December 10, 2021
Protecting the first responder community, individual liberty
Montgomery County first responders seeking exemptions from the proposed COVID-19 “vaccine” mandate have organized to sue the County Council. The group, MoCo First Responders, LLC, has brought together about 300 county employees, 54 of whom have signed on as plaintiffs in the suit.
In a published statement [bold highlights original], they explain:
MoCo First Responders, LLC has the sole purpose of protecting the first responder community of Montgomery County, Maryland from the abusive overreach of government. Since the start of the pandemic, we have seen a gradual erosion of individual liberty nationwide. Montgomery County is no different. The proposed expedited County Council Bill 34-21 seeks to jettison a large component of the first responder community from service with zero recourse for those affected.
The loss of livelihood and purpose for those who have made their life’s work the service of the Citizens of Montgomery County is intolerable. The loss to the County of the dedicated professionals and services they provide undermines the public trust and efficacy with which we serve the community. We intend to fight to the last any unconstitutional and unnecessary action that harms the first responder community and that undermines that mission of service that we have made our profession.
Instead of honoring those who have been on the frontlines of the pandemic since March of 2020, members of the County Government wish to dispense with all personnel who have questions about the safety, efficacy, necessity and morality of the vaccines.
To mount legal challenges to the mandate, the group has hired Hartman Attorneys at Law.
Days before publishing this article, LifeSiteNews reached out to each member of the Montgomery County Council asking if they agreed with their colleague Hans Riemer’s offensive characterizations of first responders. We also asked each to explain why Riemer should or should not be rebuked or censured.
Councilman Riemer was asked if he regretted his comments and was given an opportunity to issue a public apology for his derisive language concerning first responders serving the county.
Montgomery County, Maryland residents and others who want to express concern about Expedited Bill 34-21, “Personnel and Human Resources – COVID-19 Vaccination Required,” in a civil manner can reach members of the County Council as follows:
D – At – Large, 240-777-7964
D – At – Large, 240-777-7811
D – At – Large, 240-777-7959
D – District 1, 240-777-7828
D – At Large 240-777-7966
D – District 5, 240-777-7960
D – District 3, 240-777-7906
D – District 4, 240-777-7968
D – District 2, 240-777-7955
LifeSiteNews has produced an extensive COVID-19 vaccines resources page. View it here.