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New York firefighters plan to take their protests against the city’s COVID-19 vaccine warrants to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s residence on Thursday.
The mayor approved a vaccination mandate that requires all public employees in the city to be vaccinated against the coronavirus before November 1, or lose their jobs.
“It’s a personal choice that everyone wants to make for themselves,” Andrew Ansbro, president of the Uniformed Firefighters Association, told Fox News. He said the union planned to file a complaint about the mandate.
Ansbro, who said he was vaccinated himself, said up to 45% of New York City firefighters could lose their jobs during the vaccination tenure.
He estimated that around 70% of the department’s employees contracted the coronavirus during the pandemic. He said with more than half of the department’s firefighters vaccinated and a large portion having already had the virus, they “are covered” and protected from the coronavirus.
Opposition to the city’s vaccination mandates extends beyond firefighters. Over the weekend, thousands of New York City employees took to the streets to protest.
Teachers, police, and other officials in Chicago, Los Angeles, and Washington are fighting similar battles over these rules.
All this despite statistics showing that the coronavirus was the leading cause of death for police officers during the pandemic.
Ansbro blamed de Blasio for what could turn out to be a massive shortage of first responders.
“We’ve been here every day of the pandemic and we’ll still be here on November 1,” Ansbro told a local CBS affiliate over the weekend. “It will be the mayor who separates you from the people of New York and what happens to them will be up to him, not us.”
The mayor said the city had back-up plans to ensure the continuity of municipal services, including using overtime in the event of staff shortages.
A similar lawsuit filed by the city’s police department failed earlier this week. A state judge denied the New York City Police Benevolent Association’s request to temporarily ban the execution of the police warrant.