Will Eric Adams keep NYC’s new vaccine tenure?
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In the long run leading up to this year’s New York mayor election, one obvious question eclipsed the campaign: How would the winner handle the city’s response to the coronavirus?
For mayor-elect Eric Adams, the answer is still unclear. He both expressed support for the vaccination mandates for city workers and, in November, also said he would reconsider them.
Mr Adams had another chance to clarify his position on Monday, after current mayor Bill de Blasio announced his intention to demand that all private employers require their staff to be vaccinated by December 27 – five days before his departure, and Mr. Adams takes over.
Mr de Blasio on Monday expressed confidence that Mr Adams would make similar public health decisions. Yet at the end of the day it was still unclear whether Mr. Adams intended to enforce Mr. de Blasio’s edict or defend it against possible legal challenges.
The mayor-elect, who is on vacation in Ghana, intends to “assess this term and other Covid strategies when he is in office and make decisions based on science, efficiency and advice health professionals, ”Adams spokesperson Evan Thies mentioned.
So even though Mr de Blasio won wide publicity ahead of his likely gubernatorial candidacy, it is far from clear what would become of this private sector mandate – or Mr de’s pandemic policies. Blasio in general – once he leaves office.
Mr. Thies declined to answer further questions. Four members of the health committee of Mr. Adams’ transition team did not respond to requests for comment. A contributor to the committee, the chairman of the Latino AIDS Commission, Guillermo Chacón, urged the incoming mayor to keep the term in place.
“It’s always difficult to balance, but as mayor I think you always have to think of the majority,” said Chacón. “It is a very difficult and painful virus that we are facing these days.”
Over the course of the year, Adams has taken several, sometimes contradictory, positions on the wisdom of vaccine mandates in the fight against the coronavirus.
Two days after saying he would reconsider the vaccination mandates for municipal workers, Mr Adams expressed his unequivocal support for Mr de Blasio’s demand that indoor public places like theaters and restaurants refuse l entry to unvaccinated adults. The rule prompted the NBA to ban Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving from playing games in the city. (The Nets have since indefinitely banned him from training or playing with the team.)
“New York City will not change their rule,” Adams said.
Part of Mr. Adams’ calculation of whether to support a vaccine mandate for private employers may be shaped by his relationship with business leaders; Mr. Adams has made it clear his desire to lead a business-friendly government.
In September, he declared that “New York will no longer be anti-business,” in an implicit rebuke of Mr. de Blasio’s often strained relations with the business sector.
This business sector is shared on this last term, which, according to Mr. de Blasio, was the first of its kind in the country.
Douglas Durst, a major owner and developer, said he believes private employers should force vaccines on their employees, as he has done, but not at the behest of the government.
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“It’s going to take a lot of regulation and a lot of reporting, and it’s just not necessary,” said Durst.
Randy Peers, president and CEO of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, said the tenure would only exacerbate existing labor shortages and make it even more difficult for employers to recover from the pandemic.
“Small businesses in all fields can’t find workers and now with that requirement around the holidays we’re basically going to be forcing employers to let people go,” Peers said.
But at least one employer has taken the opposite approach and encouraged Mr. Adams to continue the tenure once he takes office.
Scott Rechler, managing director of RXR Realty, touted his own company’s successful vaccination mandate as proof that the technique works.
“The vaccine has proven to be our biggest line of defense allowing us to safely coexist and move forward without loss of life or livelihood,” he said. “We commissioned him for our teams at all our development sites in September for this reason. In the beginning, there were people who were against it, but they eventually came back. “
Whatever thoughts Mr. Adams may have on the matter, the timing of Mr. de Blasio’s announcement suggests that the decision will, ultimately, be in Mr. Adams’ hands.
“These are decisions, I think, made in the last few days of a town hall that really falls under the responsibility of our new mayor,” said Max Rose, the former congressman who has represented Staten Island and parts of it. from Brooklyn and announced a return candidacy on Monday. .
Katie glueck contributed reports.
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