New NYC Mayor Eric Adams Will Keep De Blasio’s Private Sector Vaccine Mandate, Plans Potential Expansions

New NYC Mayor Eric Adams, a Democrat, plans on keeping former Mayor Bill de Blasio’s vaccine mandate for private employers. The mandate was announced by de Blasio in early December, who touted it as a “first-in-the-nation measure.”

The mandate went into effect on Monday and applies to approximately 184,000 businesses.

Eric Adams, who was sworn in on New Year’s Day, announced that he planned on keeping the mandate during a press briefing last week. Shortly after being sworn in, Adams signed an executive order that extended the mandate. He also signed another that extended the city’s state of emergency declaration over COVID-19.

“Our focus is vaccine and testing. Vaccine and testing. Vaccine and testing. We must say that over and over again. Someone needs to make a T-shirt and a cap that says ‘vaccine and testing.’ This is the clear message, we must get out. It is our most potent weapon, as I say over and over again,” Adams said at the press briefing. In regards to the private sector vaccine mandate, Adams said his administration would have an emphasis on “compliance, not punishment.”

“The goal is to be cooperative and not punitive,” Adams said. The new mayor said his administration will crack down on businesses that are not complying. “We will fine those businesses that are recklessly not complying and just refuse to do so,” said Adams.

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In addition to keeping the vaccine mandate for private employees, Adams said his health team is exploring a coronavirus vaccine mandate for students and staff at public schools, though he acknowledged that Governor Hochul would need to sign off on such a policy.

The new mayor is also considering the possibility of expanding existing mandates, such as indoor dining and municipal workforce rules, to include booster shots. “We’re at the point where we must safely learn to live with COVID,” said Adams.

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Cullen McCue