After eight years in office as mayor of New York City, Bill de Blasio issued one of the most progressive measures in the history of his administration. Before leaving office, he announced that children will not be able to escape the COVID-19 vaccine.
De Blasio, who will leave office this December 31, is requiring all private workers in the city to get vaccinated by the 27th of this month and called the mandatory measure a “preemptive strike” against an expected increase in Covid-19 infections.
The mayor also announced that two doses of the vaccine will be required to enter many closed businesses in the five boroughs, including bars, restaurants, and gyms.
Parents can no longer decide
De Blasio revealed that children ages 5 to 11 will soon be required to have received at least one shot to enter closed establishments. Previously, children under 12 could accompany vaccinated adults in settings where a vaccination “passport” is mandatory.
Now an initial dose certificate will be mandatory for children aged 5 to 11 years who participate in “high-risk extracurricular activities, including sports, bands, orchestras, and dances.”
“Case rates are currently highest among our 5- to 11-year-olds,” said New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Commissioner Dave Chokshi in support of the measure.
However, data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that the infection rate is very low: by December 4 there were only 102 cases of children (ages 0-4) with Covid-19 per 100,000 population; and 191 cases of children ages 5-11 in the entire state of New York; while by the same date there is no record of deaths.
Populist measure against freedom
The decision of the Democratic authority seems to be a reprimand against the city and not against the virus, since it is not only a mandatory order for all, but it will also hinder the economic recovery.
For de Blasio, it is a preventive action against the increase of infections by the Omicron variant. However, so far the city has only seven known cases, according to state data released on Saturday, December 4.
A federal judge has already stopped President Biden’s vaccination mandate for health care workers in 10 states. It remains to be seen what will happen with this de Blasio mandate that affects the individual freedom of public workers, private workers, children and even tourists coming to the city.
” Mayor de Blasio can’t leave fast enough. He has crushed small business, the economy and quality of life. How many more New Yorkers does he want to see move to the free state of Florida?” said Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY), who represents Staten Island and parts of Brooklyn.
“Heading out the door, de Blasio is causing maximum damage in his vain pursuit to become governor of New York,” said Councilman Robert Holden (D-Queens) through a spokesman.
“I work in the private sector and had really hoped until just now that it would stay private, but that’s not the case. I can’t live like this. It’s really disappointing. I hope the new mayor has the compassion and good sense to overturn this,” one city resident told the New York Post.