New York City mayor reverses vaccine mandates for athletes and performers          

by mcardinal

Matt Bush, FISM News


New York City Mayor Eric Adams lifted the private sector vaccine mandate on Thursday at a news conference, saying that “the city has to function.” The mandate has kept Net’s star Kyrie Irving off the court for all of the Nets’ home games, and it would have potentially affected numerous Mets and Yankees players with opening day approaching on April 15.

Adams has been slowly rolling back the mandates set in place by his predecessor Bill de Blasio, but many feel the changes are not coming quickly enough or are too focused on specific groups rather than the city in general. In the announcement Adams reversed the mandate “specifically for performers and athletes in local venues, including Barclays Center — home to the Brooklyn Nets — and both Citi Field in Queens and Yankee Stadium in the Bronx,” according to Politico.

Jay Varma, former CDC employee and City Hall’s COVID advisor under de Blasio, said, “I think the same rules on vaccination should apply uniformly to all. If there’s a carveout for this group, why can’t any other group then raise its hand and say, I deserve a carveout too.”

New York police union president, Patrick Lynch, also raised frustration over the bill, noting that a vaccine mandate remains in place for city police officers. “If the mandate isn’t necessary for famous people, then it’s not necessary for the cops who are protecting our city in the middle of a crime crisis,” Lynch said in a statement.

Today’s announcement follows last week’s statement from Adams that he expected to roll back NYC’s private sector mandates and a specific comment yesterday that April 4 would be the last day that toddlers in preschool or daycare would be required to wear masks.

Regarding the private sector mandates, Adams told ESPN, “We’re going to follow the science … we’re going to make the right decision. And in New York, no matter what you do, this is 8.8 million people and 30 million opinions, so you’re never going to satisfy New Yorkers, so you must go with the logic, your heart and the science.”

Some in the media question the “science” and “logic” that Adams is following. Trevor Noah, on “The Today Show” this past Monday, mocked a specific rule in NYC that allowed Kyrie Irving to purchase a ticket to a Nets game, sit behind the bench and watch the game, but be banned from actually playing in the game.

Restrictions are being lifted so quickly, that things are getting a little confusing, you know. Like for example, OK, right here in New York City, Mayor Eric Adams has lifted the rule that you have to be vaccinated to attend indoor events. OK, that is gone. But there is still a rule that you have to be vaccinated to go to your workplace. So, if someone’s job is at an indoor event, they can’t go to work. But they can show up to work to watch their colleagues do their thing.

While attending the game, Kyrie Irving even hugged some of his teammates on the court, underscoring the arguably senseless mandates, 

Former Mayor Bill de Blasio “followed the science” and it led him to institute mask and vaccine mandates for children as young as five, instituting some of the strictest COVID rules in the nation. Now, the same “science” has led Mayor Adams to roll back many of the mandates instituted by his predecessor, some that were enacted just four days prior to Adams taking office.

According to a recent Politico article, Mets owner Steve Cohen donated $1.5 million to Adams campaign. There was no wrongdoing implied, but it is interesting that the mandate specifically affecting athletes in New York was reversed two weeks prior to opening day for MLB and directly before Kyrie Irving’s Nets start their playoff run.

Varma closed his statement by saying, “Basically it sends a message that this is an arbitrary rule — that if you’re rich enough and powerful enough and high profile enough, that you don’t have to play by the same rules as everyone else.”