A former New York City firefighter captain — who said his 20-year career ended after his religious exemption from the city's vaccine mandate was denied — absolutely shredded city council last Friday in a blistering address.
What did he say?
“I went from being essential to being disposable from the mandates," Brendan Fogarty began as he sat calmly — at first — in front of a microphone.
“My religious exemption was denied,” he added, noting that he then "received those threats of termination" since the mandate requires city employees to be vaccinated in order to keep their jobs.
With that, Fogarty said he retired — but clearly not willingly, as he told the council that he'd "love to go back to my job."
At another point in his address, he began to get angry.
“I gave my best years to this city! Twenty years from [age] 21 to 41, and then they take it away at the peak of my earning career! I made it to captain; I went through that process! You should be ashamed of yourselves!” Fogarty told the council.
He added, "I was allowed to work in this city, but I wasn't allowed to eat in a restaurant in this city! I was allowed to work through the pandemic, but I wasn’t allowed to eat in a restaurant! I could wear the uniform, go to a burning building, but not eat here! What’s wrong with you people?”
With that, he got up and concluded his address with a blistering kiss-off: "Trust the science! You guys are f***ed up!”
Fox News' Tucker Carlson featured video of Fogarty's speech on his Thursday program and interviewed his attorney, Barry Black, as Fogarty is suing the city.
"It's indefensible, and it's entirely unconstitutional," Black told Carlson of the city's vaccine mandate.
Black added that his firm is representing firefighters, police officers, sanitation workers, teachers, parks department workers, and even private-sector employees, "all of whom are subject to a New York City vaccine mandate, so if you are terminated because you object on religious grounds, you are out of luck."
What's more, the attorney pointed out that the city has "discretionarily" granted exemptions to "artists, athletes, entertainers — and yes, that includes adult entertainers. So you have strippers scot-free exempt of vaccine mandates, but priests, pastors, and rabbis, they have to get vaccinated. It's the First Amendment turned upside-down on its head."
Here's the interview:
Tucker Carlson Tonight 9/15/22 Full show September 15, 2022 Fox News Breaking News (no ads) youtu.be
Mayor Eric Adams exempted athletes and performers from the vaccine mandate in March following intense pressure — but most notably over NBA star Kyrie Irving being barred from playing in Brooklyn Nets home games yet being allowed to enter the Nets' arena as a spectator and sit courtside.
“Being healthy is not just about being physically healthy, but being economically healthy,” Adams said, the New York Post reported at the time. Adams also said the exemption was needed because New York City — heavily reliant on the tourism — "has to function," the paper added.
The city's vaccine mandate resulted in more than 1,400 employees getting fired, and Adams said at the time he wasn't planning on rehiring them, the Post reported.