Lame-duck New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s vaccine mandate for private businesses three weeks before he is shown the door is a big ‘eff you’ to incoming Mayor Eric Adams, his spokesperson said.
‘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 Adams told The New York Post.
The mandate concerns more than 184,000 businesses in New York City and is set to be put in place by December 27 — just four days before de Blasio’s term comes to an end.
De Blasio has not provided any details on sanctions, if any, for private employers who violate the rule.
The dogged progressive Democrat has recently said that he is cooperating with business leaders to find a solution.
But, Kathryn Wylde, who is the head of the Partnership for NYC, a group of nearly 300 CEOs from the Big Apple’s top corporate, investment and entrepreneurial firms, said there’s been little-to-no discussions with city hall on the matter.
Adams, 61, currently the borough president of Brooklyn, has not expressed his commitment to the new mandate, refusing to comment on the matter on Monday.
At the time, another spokesman said that he’ll ‘evaluate’ it when he takes office at the end of the month, while consulting with ‘science, efficacy and the advice of health professionals.’
Mayor Bill de Blasio is implementing a new vaccinate mandate four days before leaving office, forcing private employees to get their booster shots or to face punitive sanctions
A sign on the street of a testing site offering city residents free COVID-19 PCR tests
But sources close to Adams’ inner circle suggest the mandate could be easily dismissed.
‘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.
A city health official, who reserved skepticism over the new mandate taking effect in 19 days, agreed.
‘He could just leave it as an honor system,’ a source told the New York Post, implying the mandate wouldn’t be as strictly enforced if city officials catch private employers who are in violation of the rule.
During an appearance on CNN’s New Day, de Blasio responded broadly to questions regarding whether his successor, who is recently returned from a trip to Ghana, will follow through with the mandate.
‘I’ve had great conversations with the mayor-elect. He and I have a great, close relationship. What he always says is he’s going to listen to the health leadership,’ de Blasio said. ‘I think the mayor-elect has been consistent. He will follow the ideas and concerns of the health leaders.’
Mayor-elect Eric Adams, 60, will have to figure out how, or if, to enforce the controversial new mandate
On Monday, protestors demonstrated outside the New York City Department of Health offices after De Blasio announced that all private-sector employers must follow a new COVID vaccine mandates for their workers, as the highly transmissible Omicron variant has spread to at least one-third of U.S. states
When pressed further on whether Adams would publicly back the latest regulation, the mayor said, ‘I’m not going to talk about private conversations.’
Business executives who are also part of the mayor-elect’s transition team blasted the new regulation.
Randy Peers, the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce president, said De Blasio’s new vaccine mandate ‘means more pain for the city’s economy’
‘As many employers, especially small businesses, are still struggling with labor shortages, the mayor’s private business mandates mean more pain for the city’s economy,’ said Randy Peers, the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce president, who is a member of Adams’ economic and workforce development committee.
‘This new round of requirements creates even more confusion and problems,’ said Andrew Rigie, head of the NY Hospitality Alliance serving on the transition team’s economic committee along with Peers.
Some local small business owners have said that the mandate remains unclear to them.
‘How do you tell someone they have to be vaccinated or they’ll be fired?’ the manager of Bicycle Habitat, located on Seventh Avenue, told The New York Post.
‘I’m so lost on that one. It’s challenging,’ he added.
Dozens of demonstrators on Tuesday blocked roads outside de Blasio’s Park Slope, Brooklyn, home after he unveiled the mandate’s plans.
Protesters chanted ‘no vaccine mandates’ and ‘my body, my choice’ as they blocked traffic, including a garbage truck.
De Blasio issued the new Covid-19 vaccine mandate on Monday and ordered that children aged 5-11 be included in the rule that forces restaurants, movie theaters and other public spaces to ask for proof of vaccination before entry.
Protesters last night demanded: ‘Save our children’ and ‘We say no, we say no!’ while another held a sign reading ‘Wake up New York. Hold the line.’
Dozens of demonstrators last night blocked roads outside New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Brooklyn home after he unveiled plans to impose a vaccine mandate on employees at all private businesses
Protesters last night demanded: ‘Save our children’ and ‘We say no, we say no!’ while another held a sign reading ‘Wake up New York. Hold the line’
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (pictured on December 2) issued the new Covid-19 vaccine mandate on Monday and ordered that children aged 5-11 be included in the rule that forces restaurants, movie theaters and other public spaces to ask for proof of vaccination
And in another twist, a New York judge yesterday temporarily halted de Blasio’s city workers vaccine mandate, which required workers to have had at least one dose of the vaccine by October 29 or face being placed on unpaid leave.
An estimated 9,000 city workers were forced onto unpaid leave in November after the October 20 order came into effect.
However, the bombshell vaccine mandate – announced just four days before most private sector employees knock off for the holidays – will have more information available on December 15.
De Blasio said during a Monday press conference that the new shot mandate will apply to in-person employment, with any place with more than one employee on-site subject to it, and there will be no testing opt-out option.
Some local business leaders have said they were ‘blindsided’ by the new requirements. Others said they fear it will exacerbate the ongoing labor shortage, making employers lose some of their workers during a time where many are already short-staffed.
Meanwhile, indoor activity vaccine requirements for children aged five to 11 will also go into effect in mid-December.
Starting December 14, children wanting to take part in band, sports, orchestra or dance extra-curricular activities at school will have to have received at least one shot of a Covid-19 vaccine.
De Blasio’s earlier vaccine mandate sparked protests across New York, where official data from the city’s Department of Health indicated 80 percent of residents are fully vaccinated.
The mayor had ordered all city employees, numbering around 160,500, to have at least their first shot by October 29 or face being suspended without pay.
On November 1, de Blasio said the mandate had had the desired effect. The vaccination rate for city workers rose from 71 per cent on October 20 to 91 per cent by November 1, according to de Blasio.
Uniformed correctional officers were not included in the October 20 mandate, with their union being the most stridently anti-mandate of all, and only 46 per cent of employees being vaccinated.
Their mandate went into effect on December 1.
Demonstrators are seen on December 6 outside the New York City Department of Health offices
Municipal workers in New York City are seen protesting against the mandate on October 25
Thousands of municipal workers, including FDNY, NYPD and DSNY, marched over Brooklyn Bridge to City Hall in Manhattan on October 25, to protest the mandate
City workers angry at the vaccine mandate march over Brooklyn Bridge on October 25
Vaccination rates rose to 85 percent for the New York Police Department, 88 per cent for Emergency Medical Services, 83 percent for the Sanitation Department and 77 per cent for firefighters.
‘Time and time again we put the mandates in place and they’ve worked,’ de Blasio said.
But in another blow to vaccine mandates, US District Judge Stan Baker on Tuesday ruled President Joe Biden’s order requiring federal contractors to have employees fully vaccinated by January 18 was unlawful.
Baker said Congress did not clearly authorize the president to use procurement to impose a vaccine requirement on contractors that will have ‘vast economic and political significance.’
The ruling was the latest setback for Biden, who announced a series of measures in September aimed at increasing vaccination rates to fight the pandemic that continues to kill more than 1,000 Americans daily.