New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union” that there could be lockdowns again without widespread “tough” vaccine mandates like the one he implemented in New York City.
De Blasio said, “Look, right now, here’s what I fear. Omicron is here. It’s all over the country. This variant moves fast. We have to move faster. I’ll tell you what I hear from our business community that their greatest fear is shutdowns. Their greatest fear is going back to where we were in 2020 to restrictions, to people losing their livelihood. You mentioned unemployment. The greatest threat to employment right now is that the Omicron variant and the cold winter months are going to supercharge COVID and take us backward. So I’m going to argue to you that mandates work, and it’s time since I put mandates in place in New York City. Starting in August, we’ve seen over 1 million more doses. Seventy-one percent of our people fully vaccinated. A lot of those people made the decision because the mandate was there, and it was the thing that moved them. It’s keeping people alive.”
He added, “This is my fear. We thought several times we’re going to leave the COVID era behind. We could leave it behind in 2022 if we truly focus on vaccination and put the tough mandates in place to make sure we turn the corner. If we don’t, here’s what I fear, we go back to lockdowns, restrictions, we lose another year. I can tell you, for a lot of businesses, small business owners, I’ve talked to mom and pop stores. They can’t afford to lose another year.”
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