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NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio called for New York Gov. Kathy Hochul to require that Metropolitan Transportation Authority workers be vaccinated against COVID-19, saying New York City’s vaccine mandate has shown “proof” it is effective.
“Gov. Hochul, here is an opportunity to do something that will really help New York City: Put a mandate in place for MTA employees. It’s time to do it,” he said during a virtual news briefing. “We need them to be vaccinated, for the safety of each other and their families, their communities, for the safety of their passengers.”
De Blasio announced in August that individuals “are required to show identification and proof they have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine for [indoor activities].”
“It’s worked with a New York City workforce, it can work for the MTA as well,” he added. “We have absolute proof that this effort worked, and it had a tremendously helpful impact on fighting back COVID.”
According to NYC Health’s latest COVID-19 data, the total cases have increased but the hospitalizations and deaths have decreased.
The MTA’s roughly 70,000 workers, 80% of whom are inoculated, are currently subject to a weekly-test-or-vaccine rule, which took effect in October, though the state-run agency is not checking each worker’s test results, the New York Post reports.
The NY Post reports that MTA acting Chairman Janno Lieber brushed aside de Blasio’s proposal and insisted the agency is “confident” in its prevailing pandemic-related policies.
“We are taking an approach that is going to maximize our ability to put on service — not to chase away employees and to get into ideological debates,” he told reporters. “I had the misapprehension we had moved into an era where the city and the state were collaborating and weren’t necessarily poking at each other about vaccination and ideological issues.”
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