Chris Lange, FISM News
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) on Monday touted his latest and “first in the nation” sweeping COVID-19 vaccination mandate which affects the city’s entire private business sector as well as children as young as 5 years old.
Per the order, all 184,000 of the city’s privately-owned businesses will have until Dec. 27 to provide proof of employee vaccinations. Further, children from 5 to 11 years old are now required to receive at least one vaccine dose by Dec.14, with those 12 and older to be fully vaccinated by Dec. 27, in order to eat at a restaurant, gain admission to a public entertainment venue, or participate in any extracurricular school activities.
De Blasio cited the recently discovered Omicron variant as the reason behind the directive, despite evidence showing the variant presents only mild symptoms, as confirmed by the Biden Administration’s chief medical advisor, Dr. Anthony Fauci. The move is destined to have a demoralizing impact on businesses still struggling to recover from forced lockdowns and families who remain uncertain about subjecting their children to the vaccine. To date, only about 27% of New Yorkers ages 5 to 12 have received at least one dose and just 15% are fully vaccinated, according to the city’s website.
“Vaccination is the way out of this pandemic, and these are bold, first-in-the-nation measures to encourage New Yorkers to keep themselves and their communities safe,” said de Blasio in a statement.
Many believe the outgoing mayor and former presidential candidate is laying the groundwork for his expected bid to become the state’s next governor by issuing a flurry of far-left policies designed to garner national attention and the endorsement of Democratic progressives. Republican lawmakers have accused him of tyrannical overreach, particularly for his use of the pandemic as an excuse for a multitude of power grabs.
“Worst Mayor in America is the dangerous combo of far-left, on the way out the door, ‘de Blasio always knows best’ attitude, anti-business, one-dimensional, unaccountable, and not bright,” Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.) said in a tweet, adding “Also, no way this is legal!”
Worst Mayor in America is the dangerous combo of far-left, on the way out the door, “de Blasio always knows best” attitude, anti-business, one-dimensional, unaccountable, and not bright. Also, no way this is legal! https://t.co/BARaTeO98P
— Lee Zeldin (@RepLeeZeldin) December 6, 2021
“Bill de Blasio isn’t a mayor, he is a tyrant.” tweeted Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ).
Mayor de Blasio will impose a first-in-the-nation vaccine mandate for all PRIVATE sector workers in NYC.
Bill de Blasio isn't a mayor, he is a tyrant.
— Rep Andy Biggs (@RepAndyBiggsAZ) December 6, 2021
Earlier this month, de Blasio expanded his public-school employee vaccination mandate to include private and parochial schools.
President Biden’s nationwide vaccine mandate issued earlier this year for companies with 100 or more workers was struck down in a November court ruling. De Blasio, however, expressed confidence that his latest directive will withstand legal scrutiny. His prior mandates imposed on restaurants, gyms, and other private employers survived legal challenges.
Approximately 94% of the 378,000 city employees are vaccinated, up from 86% in late October ahead of the city’s enforcement of its mandate for emergency responders, a spokesperson for the mayor told Reuters. A total of 1,339 workers are on unpaid leave and 12,200 have medical or religious exemption requests pending, he said.