Mayor: NYC businesses should mandate worker vaccinations
NEW YORK (AP) — New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on Friday urged the city’s private sector businesses to institute vaccine requirements for their employees, saying the “limits of a purely voluntary system” have been reached.
Speaking in his weekly appearance Friday on WNYC radio, de Blasio told host Brian Lehrer, “If people want freedom, if people want jobs, if people want to live again, we have got to get more people vaccinated and obviously, it’s time for whatever mandates we can achieve.”
De Blasio on Wednesday announced a policy that would require workers in New York City-run hospitals and health clinics to either get vaccinated or get tested weekly. Other city employees including teachers and police officers aren’t under a mandate as of now, but de Blasio said he hasn’t ruled out applying one at some point.
On Friday, he called on the city’s private hospitals, as well as other private employers to follow suit.
“Any form of mandate, including the type we’re doing, you know, the either/or approach, any type of mandate helps,” he said. “It will move the ball. It will get more people vaccinated. It will change consciousness.”
He pointed to the more contagious delta variant of the virus, which he likened to “a freight train coming on.”
Daily COVID-19 infections in the state of New York have soared 327% since June 25, with most of the illnesses occurring among unvaccinated people. Over the past seven days, more than 5,400 new infections have been reported in New York City as the delta variant has spread.
De Blasio was asked about a move by the French government to require people to show proof of vaccination or a negative test to enter spaces like restaurants and other public places.
He said, “That’s a direction we need to seriously consider.”