This article comes from “citizens.news”
New York City (NYC) terminated more than 1,400 employees who turned down the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine. Another 10,000 unvaccinated employees are set to be terminated pending medical and religious exemptions.
An article by Yahoo News provided a breakdown of the city’s terminations. NYC terminated 36 police officers, 25 firefighters and 914 staff members at the city’s public schools. Most of these workers had not been working or collecting paychecks since November 2021.
The 1,430 individuals who were fired for turning down the COVID-19 shot comprised less than one percent of the Big Apple’s 370,000-strong workforce. But aside from this initial group, 10,000 more employees are in danger of termination for noncompliance with the city’s vaccine mandate. Their appeals for medical and religious exemptions are still pending. (Related: Looming NYC vaccine mandates are a threat to freedom and fundamental civil rights.)
NYC first saw vaccine mandates during the tenure of former Mayor Bill de Blasio. His mandates were continued by incumbent Mayor Eric Adams. The newly-elected city executive claimed that the more than 1,400 employees were “not being terminated, they are quitting.”
Adams lauded the majority of NYC’s public workers for willingly rolling up their sleeves. “Our goal was always to vaccinate, not terminate. City workers stepped up and met the goal placed before them,” he said in a statement. “I’m grateful for all the city workers who continue to serve New Yorkers and ‘get stuff done’ for the greatest city in the world.”
Adams, the second African-American to lead NYC after the late former Mayor David Dinkins, centered his campaign on the theme of “getting stuff done.”
Affected parties challenge vaccine mandate in court
Since it was announced, the Big Apple’s vaccine mandate has faced legal challenges and survived. Last week, several teachers filed an emergency appeal against the mandate. Their efforts were in vain, however, as the U.S. Supreme Court rejected their petition.
Back in July 2021, de Blasio announced that he would expand the city’s vaccine-or-test mandate to include the entire NYC workforce. Health workers in the state were the only ones required to get injected with the COVID-19 vaccine or undergo frequent COVID-19 testing prior to the announcement. The arrival of the B16172 delta variant prompted this expansion.
“We all know the delta variant has thrown us a curveball. This is about our recovery, this is that we need to do to bring back NYC, this is about keeping people safe,” de Blasio told reporters during a July 26 press conference.
The former mayor first gave an Aug. 2 deadline for city workers to get vaccinated. Staffers in nursing homes operated by the city were given an Aug. 16 vaccination deadline, while those in other agencies – including the New York City Police Department – were given a Sept. 13 deadline.
However, de Blasio’s vaccine mandate was not without opposition. The Police Benevolent Association of the City of New York (PBA), the largest union of police officers in the city, announced plans to challenge the vaccine mandate for law enforcement in court. PBA President Patrick Lynch said in August 2021 the union will protect its members’ right to turn down the vaccine.
In an email sent that time, Lynch said the city “has not indicated whether it will attempt to impose any vaccine mandates on other city workers.” He warned: “If the city attempts to impose a vaccine mandate on PBA members, we will take legal action to defend our members’ right to make such personal medical decisions.”
Watch the video of NYC Mayor Eric Adams promising to maintain his predecessor’s vaccine mandates for the private sector.