There is an older rule in the PR world that seems to be forgotten, almost every day. That rule is “Don’t lie.” Seems kind of simple, but all too frequently those who feel they must manipulate public perception or public emotions forget or simply ignore this rule. Sooner or later a liar is going to get exposed and like like, well, a liar.
The latest case in point was the Police Benevolent Association of the City of New York who claimed that 10,000 officers (out of the NYPD force of about 35,000) would resign if forced to comply with Mayor de Blasio’s vaccine mandate.
Of course this claim got maximum coverage and maximum concern since that represented nearly a third of the force.
The actual number of officers who were put on leave because of not getting vaccinated is just a but different: 34. That’s right. Just 34 officers at the end decided to part company with their jobs over this issue.
Anti-vax propagandists loved this dust up, using it to create an impression that vaccine mandates would lead to civil unrest and disaster. But according to Alternet.com, this is a tempest lacking a teapot.
That vaccine mandate required proof of just one shot, and provided in return a $500 bonus for getting vaccinated. “The total of New York City workers that have been vaccinated is currently at 91%.”
In total, “9,000 city employees,” including the 34 police officers and 40 civilian members of the NYPD, “have not yet been vaccinated and have been placed on leave without [pay] as of Nov. 1, which is less than 6% of the entire city workforce at 378,000.”
The Police Benevolent Association of the City of New York in a statement had claimed the vaccine mandate was “arbitrary,” its rollout “chaotic,” and “the NYPD brass is completely unprepared for the staffing shortage that will result from the mandate’s haphazard implementation.”
Exaggeration or out-and-out lie? This is harder to answer. Either way it is propaganda and we need to be on guard against the manipulation and falsification of facts. It has been documented thoroughly that lies spread faster than truth. And this means cleaning up the resulting mess takes a LOT more work than the telling of the lie.