New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s decision to mandate vaccines for all private workers in the final days of his administration is a big “eff you” to fellow Democrat Eric Adams, according to surrogates of the mayor-elect, who now must decide whether to scrap the mandate or keep it and possibly defend it in court.
“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,’” an Adams spokesman told the New York Post this week.
Mr. de Blasio’s mandate, which goes into effect on Dec. 27, would cover workers at 184,000 private businesses in the city. He also said children ages 5 to 11 must show proof of at least one vaccine dose to enter social venues and participate in school extracurricular activities.
Pundits say the departing mayor is trying to burnish his credentials as a virus-fighter as he leaves office and weighs his political future, including a possible run for governor.
Businesses said they were blindsided by the new rules, which land in Mr. Adams’ lap after he is sworn in on Jan. 1.
Mr. Adams’ transition personnel have taken a noncommittal stance on the rule, saying the mayor-elect will evaluate the rules once he takes office. But surrogates who spoke to the Post suggested the new mandate could be tossed in the trash.
“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 reversed,” the source told the newspaper.
The current mayor, meanwhile, has defended the new mandates as an extension of previous efforts to increase uptake of vaccines and combat COVID-19 ahead of the omicron variant, holiday gatherings and cold winter weather.
“It’s fully baked, it’s fully baked,” Mr. de Blasio said Wednesday. “I’ve been working with [Mr. Adams] closely. Our teams have been working closely together. I want to make sure that I am doing everything right now to keep the city safe and to hand off this city to him in the best possible way. And I’m absolutely convinced this mandate is necessary and it’s going to work.”
Health, The New York Today