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Letter to President Biden

(Disclaimer:  I am very concerned about law enforcement agencies being able to serve the citizens and their respective communities if this Presidential mandate follows through.  I made a personal choice to be vaccinated as that is my right as a citizen.  As sheriff, I have a duty to uphold my Oath of Office and protect the Constitutional rights of our citizens.  I have a great deal of respect for those who work and serve in the health care system.  It does raise a flag in my mind when not all those health care workers want to be vaccinated.)


October 22, 2021


President Joe Biden

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW

Washington, DC 20500



Dear Mr. President Biden:


My name is Steve Cox and I am the sheriff in Livingston County, Missouri and have been sheriff since January 01, 2001 and a full time law enforcement officer in this area since June 1985.

I am writing in regard to our presiding county commissioner recently telling me that you have mandated even 3rd class counties (Livingston) in Missouri to have all of our employees vaccinated for Covid-19 or Livingston County will receive no federal funding.  This denial of federal funds would include law enforcement grants, road and bridge money and basically any federal money to Livingston County government. 

As you know you have an oath to uphold and protect the Constitution of the United States.  As a Missouri Sheriff I have an oath to not only my profession but to uphold and protect the Constitution of the United States and the State of Missouri.  In Missouri all our law enforcement officers also have a "Duty to Intervene" which is best described as a requirement of a law enforcement officer to immediately take action to stop the violation of another person's rights.  I firmly believe my "Duty to Intervene" also requires me to stop your covid vaccine mandate.  I believe your order is a direct violation of the Constitution of the United States and State of Missouri and is actively violating the rights of our citizens and my employees.  Therefore I will never demand our deputies and staff to take the Covid-19 vaccination or face termination and urge you to reconsider what you are doing to this country and citizens with your mandate.

We understand everyone wishes this virus did not exist and that many people were still with us.  However, your mandates go directly against the basic concept of freedom and our Constitution.

I have friends who have had and even passed away from Covid.  I also know many in health care, law enforcement and private citizens who will leave their employment before they adhere to your mandate(s).  My question, how far are you willing to take this?  Are your next mandates for federal officers to round up these non-vaccinated deplorable citizens and confine them somewhere?  Martial law?  Forced Vaccinations?

In all fairness I voted for President Trump.  However when you were sworn in as President I heard your words on how you wanted to unite this country and lead us together.  As with every President we have had in my lifetime I have had hope and prayed each one would become the best president our country has ever had.  Unfortunately Mr. President, you obviously need to take a firsthand look at the real world we live in. In rural America we are struggling to hire law enforcement officers as since President Obama the numbers of citizens who want a career in law enforcement has dwindled.  Now you are saying law enforcement and health professionals who do not vaccinate should remain home and be fired?  Wow.  These people work to save lives and the vast majority do a tremendous job for our citizens and country.  Now you want to treat them like a piece of trash and throw them and their career away while only further dividing this country and causing more harm to our citizens.  You sir really have no clue the daily struggles rural Americans are faced with.  You do not understand the crimes, crime victims suffering, the hardships and financial struggles we face even when employed full time.   Frankly, with your mandates our small organization would probably lose over 1/3 of our deputies on day one because of their beliefs or their doctors orders on not taking the vaccine.  This would basically render our office unable to properly serve our communities.  It is a struggle to do this when we are at full staff due to the work load our office carries along with the statutory obligations for court and jail/detainee requirements.

Unfortunately Mr. President there are so many positive and wonderful things you and your administration could be doing to actually help people and bring this country together instead of only further dividing the population, causing and supporting hatred, discontent, and punishing working citizens and businesses.  You support making hard working people who protect and save lives quit or be fired if they do not relinquish their civil rights to your command of becoming vaccinated.

I have taken both Pfizer shots as that was MY choice.  Just because I wanted the vaccine does not permit me to judge anyone who does or does not want the vaccine.  Have you sat back and looked at all the misleading information coming from your administration?  Even the words which have been spoken through your lips about the vaccine before you became president has made many not trust the vaccine and our government.  Sir, have you really given consideration on where does it stop if the President of the United States can now tell businesses, other government organizations, and health care industry to mandate vaccinations or face financial punishment?  What happened to such things as due process, individual rights, and personal freedom?  Really sir, what is next, storm troopers, mass arrests, detention centers or civil war? 

My grandfather was a great American and a staunch democrat who unfortunately passed away in 2000.  I am confident he would be upset with and not recognize the democrat party of today and the actions of your administration.

Viewing the totality of the circumstances, loyalty to my oath and duty to protect and support the Constitution of the United States and State of Missouri and my duty to intervene; I cannot and will not ever mandate any employee of this office to take the Covid vaccine or face disciplinary action. 

I will continue to pray for our country and leaders to make the right choices in bringing this country together, protect our citizens and country, and to stop with the erosion of our rights and freedoms.

Thank you for listening to my concerns.



Steve Cox