New York, NY – With the rise of COVID cases in New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio and former Governor Andrew Cuomo took action. Starting Labor Day weekend, MTA and New York Port Authority workers will need to either have proof of vaccination or be required to get weekly negative COVID tests [8/23/2012 update from the editor: NYC just strengthened the mandate to require every Department of Education employee in the city to have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine by 9/27/2021]. “Everybody is talking about mask policies right now, but I don’t believe a mask policy is going to be enough, we need to talk about a vaccination policy,” said former Governor Cuomo.
Along with the MTA and New York Port Authority workers, the vaccination requirements will also stretch to the 340,000 firefighters, police officers, and teachers of the city. According to the acting MTA Chairman and CEO Janno Lieber, “To date, nearly 70% of our workforce has already been vaccinated – including some who got their doses in their home neighborhoods at pharmacies and other local sites.”
As the mandates for city workers are underway, Mayor de Blasio and former Governor Cuomo are even pushing for private companies to enforce the vaccination mandate. “The state is leading the way, but local governments, schools, public hospitals and even businesses should start considering mandatory vaccinations as well because if these numbers start to rise quickly, we can’t afford to go backward and lose the progress we’ve already made,” said former Governor Cuomo.
While some believe the vaccination mandate is what is needed to stop the spread of the delta variant, others argue this rule goes against their rights. “Bodily autonomy is the fundamental liberty. If you advocate any infringement of such, you’re the fascist,” says Twitter user Bob Cactour.
As of now, the mayor believes this is a step in the right direction to getting NYC back to normal and protecting its many citizens.
Starting September 13, all New York City workers and patrons will be required to show proof of vaccination at indoor facilities as well. According to NPR New York City is “the first major U.S. city to take such action amid a surge of new cases driven by the highly transmissible delta variant.”