By MARY ZAKHAROVA
On Thursday Mayor Bill de Blasio went live on Hot 97’s “Ebro in the Morning;” Dreamforce New York 2021 Conference; and MSNBC’s “MTP Daily with Chuck Todd” to talk about new COVID-19 mandate requiring all children ages 5 to 11 be at least partially vaccinated in order to enter most places. Those children who are not vaccinated, need to do that in the next five days.
De Blasio told Hot 97 that the mandate is crucial, especially since the appearance of the new COVID-19 variant, Omicron. It is especially important during the winter season when everybody gets together to spend the holidays, and the weather is cold enough to weaken the immune system, de Blasio said.
“This new variant moves fast. We have to move faster…,” said de Blasio.
The question is, is it right to make vaccinations mandatory for kids? In the interview with MSNBC, de Blasio mentioned that even though the vaccination for kids was always in a category of emergency use, it is important to make it mandatory now. “I trust parents entirely…but I’m going to tell you, in the end, we are thinking about what’s going to stop a pandemic from once again causing our city to shut down.” De Blasio also mentioned that vaccination is only required for children if their parents want them to go out to places like restaurants, cinemas, etc. It doesn’t affect going to school, so it’s up to parents if they want to get their kids vaccinated, or not.
The big problem is if a kid brings COVID-19 home and infects an elder member of the family, who might be in danger. “I do have empathy…but I’ll tell you something, Chuck, our medical leadership [in] one voice says we need stronger mandates…,” said de Blasio.
The mandate not only touches children, but also small businesses and their employees. De Blasio maintained small restaurant owners appreciate the mandates. “It actually brought a lot of customers back, because they knew they are going to the safe environment,” he said.
In an interview with Hot 97, de Blasio said that the new variant is affecting him emotionally. “It takes me right back. March 2020, April 2020. We were living on the edge…,” said the mayor. “It’s a lot better now compared to then, but what we have learned from these diseases is never take it lightly. Never take your eye off COVID….”
The mayor said he hopes that this situation will soon change. “I think this is a transitional phase,” he said. “But the irony is, if we are not aggressive now, then we are going to live in this reality a lot longer.”
De Blasio also said he believes the newly elected mayor of New York, Eric Adams, agrees with the measures de Blasio has taken. “He will make his own judgment at his own time, but he said very clearly: His greatest concern is what are healthcare leaders saying. He wants to follow data and the science.”