More than 2,000 New York City firefighters have taken medical leave in the past week ahead of a vaccine mandate going into force Monday—and fire chiefs suspect foul play. Frank Dwyer, deputy commissioner of the New York City Fire Department, told NBC News that the huge number of firefighters on medical leave was “very unusual” considering the department only employs around 11,000 of them. Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro suggested firefighters are taking part in a mass sickout over “anger at the vaccine mandate,” adding: “Irresponsible bogus sick leave by some of our members is creating a danger for New Yorkers and their fellow firefighters... They need to return to work or risk the consequences of their actions.” However, Andrew Ansbro, president of the Uniformed Firefighters Association, said the spike in sick days could be attributed to firefighters getting the vaccine and experiencing side effects. “Hundreds of guys are feeling flu-like symptoms, because that’s what the shot does to people,” he said.
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