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Letitia James backs NYC vaccine mandate – and wants statewide mask requirement

New York Attorney General and gubernatorial candidate Letitia James (D) approved New York City’s plan Bill de Blasio to impose a coronavirus vaccine mandate on all employees of private companies, while apparently bemoaning what she called a lack of further action by Governor Kathy Hochul (D) to tackle the pandemic.

“I support a vaccine warrant with a testing option, but why do we always do this piecemeal? A mandate alone will not get us out of the crisis, especially when it is implemented without the contribution of employees and employers ”, James noted in a Monday statement across his campaign. “Science tells us that we need everyone to wear a mask in public places; accessible home tests and real public health awareness in our communities. This cannot be done commune by commune. New York State must finally take the lead.

Earlier Monday, De Blasio announced the mandate of the country’s first vaccine for private companies, calling the measure a “bold” step to tackle coronavirus infections as cases of the Omicron variant increase in the United States.

“We in New York decided to use a preemptive strike to really do something bold to stop further growth of COVID and the dangers it is causing us all,” De Blasio said in an interview with MSNBC.

“Vaccines work and vaccine mandates work, especially when combined with efforts to build confidence in vaccines, provide incentives and improve access, as we did in New York.” New York City Health Commissioner Dr Dave Chokshi said in separate remarks. “We have seen it with our health care workers, school staff and public sector employees. Now is the time for the private sector to step up and follow.

De Blasio said city officials will outline the rules for the mandate on December 15 and go into effect on December 27.

Staten Island City Councilor Joe Borelli (right) raised concerns about the announcement, tweeting: ‘In the Bronx, with 15% unemployment, 28% of residents will no longer be able to work on Dec. 27, of which 44% are young black adults, following de Blasio’s vaccine mandate for the private sector.


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