- The Washington Times
Sunday, December 12, 2021

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Sunday that his sweeping vaccine mandate on private businesses just days before he leaves office is not an affront to incoming Mayor-elect Eric Adams, who would be left to enforce the new policy.

“My job is to protect New Yorkers. Look, the bottom line is we’ve gone through the worst crisis in our history. We’ve lost tens of thousands of people in this city,” Mr. de Blasio told “Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace.

The Democratic mayor boasted that New York City’s population is 71% vaccinated as a result of “incentives and mandates” he pushed.

“Every single mandate we put in place has greatly increased the number of people vaccinated. Since the first mandates back in August, we’ve had over a million more doses, and that’s why the city is open and thriving,” he said. “Vaccination equals freedom because it allows people get back to work, get back to their lives, be safe, wherever they are, school, a workplace, it works. And that’s why we’re continuing to deepen it.”

It is unknown if Mr. Adams, who is on vacation in Ghana, will keep the mandate in place.

“I think for the outgoing mayor to announce something like this knowing that the implementation and enforcement would entirely be the responsibility of the next mayor is a real big eff you,” a spokesperson for Mr. Adams told the New York Post on Wednesday.

Sources close to Mr. Adams’ inner circle said the mandate could be easily ignored.

“I think anything the outgoing mayor tries to implement at the 11th hour is really on the table. This won’t be some long-standing policy that would need to be reserved,” the source said. 

Mr. de Blasio last Monday unveiled his latest vaccine mandate requiring on-site employees at all private businesses regardless of size to be vaccinated. This is the largest local mandate in the nation and is expected to affect about 184,000 employers.

In part, the mandate requires documentation of two vaccine doses for employees who have received the Moderna or Pfizer shots and, apparently, proof of one dose for those vaccinated with Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose vaccination. Presently, there is no requirement for proof of a booster shot.

The mandate is likely to face legal challenges and become an obstacle for employers who must enforce it. It is set to go into effect Dec. 27, just days before Mr. de Blasio, who is term-limited, is expected to leave office.

• Kerry Picket can be reached at kpicket@washingtontimes.com.

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