Lt Stephen Shyti: Manhattan anti-vax officer who 'mistrusted' govt dies of Covid-19

Shyti’s anti-vax opinions were due to work at Ground Zero post-9/11 as he had breathing issues from exposure to toxic rubble of the World Trade Center

                            Lt Stephen Shyti: Manhattan anti-vax officer who 'mistrusted' govt dies of Covid-19
Lt. Stephen Shyti (Office of Court Administration)

A Manhattan court officer who refused to get vaccinated as he had no trust in the government died of Covid-19 on Tuesday, September 7, officials said. Lt Stephen Shyti, 63, died on Tuesday, September 7, at 5.45 pm after spending more than two weeks on a ventilator. Sources have stated that the veteran court lieutenant and father of two was very open about his opinion on the present government, he was against the vaccine and did not wear a mask at work. He was responsible for enforcing mask-wearing and other safety measures at the sprawling lower Manhattan courthouse.

Dennis Quirk, the court officers’ union president, said Shyti’s opinions about the vaccine were the result of work at Ground Zero in the aftermath of 9/11. Shyti suffered breathing problems from exposure to the toxic rubble of the World Trade Center. “He’s one of the people that was working down at the site of 9/11 and received some ailments from that,” said Quirk. “He had total mistrust in the government and wouldn’t get the vaccine.”


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We have reported similar cases in the past. Last year we reported how a Ohio army man, 37, who refused to wear a mask died from Covid-19 infection and last month, Lawrence and Lydia Rodriguez, a Texas anti-vax duo died of Covid-19, leaving behind their 4 kids. Vaccine hesitancy continues to be a problem in parts of the country. Data released on July 14 through the US Census Bureau's Household Pulse Survey shows that while hesitancy has declined nationally from 21.6% between Jan. 6-18 to 10.8% between June 23 and July 5, rates remain high in certain states. The populations most hesitant to get vaccinated are in Wyoming (25.6%), West Virginia (22.4%), North Dakota (22.2%) and Alaska (20.5%). The most common reasons nationwide are concerns about side effects (50.6%) and a lack of trust in Cpvid-19 vaccines (47.6%), according to the bureau's survey.

A spokesman for the Office of Court Administration said Shyti was “a calm and reassuring presence at Manhattan Criminal Court,” where he worked for 26 years. “He was well-liked by all members of his command and was known for his fairness and care for his co-workers. He had an encyclopedic knowledge and grasp of all aspects of criminal court operations and case processing and was a resource for younger officers throughout his career,” said the spokesman, Lucian Chalfen.