UPDATED 10:04 AM PT – Tuesday, October 26, 2021
Thousands of New York City municipal employees took to the streets to protest the city’s vaccine mandate.
On Monday, thousands of school teachers, firefighters, police officers, sanitation workers and paramedics marched over the Brooklyn Bridge on behalf of the thousands of city workers who are in jeopardy of losing their jobs for not getting vaccinated against COVID. Last week, Democrat Mayor Bill de Blasio (N.Y.) announced regular COVID testing is no longer enough and all city workers will need to be vaccinated by Oct. 29 or risk losing their jobs.
“Today, our health commissioner is issuing an order requiring all city workers to be vaccinated,” said de Blasio. “This will apply to all the agencies that are not covered yet, and we want to move quickly. Obviously, we’ve given people a lot of time…first in voluntary phase, then in the vaccinate or test phase. It’s time to keep moving.”
As of now, 71 percent of city employees have received at least one vaccine dose. However, that number is far lower among the city’s firefighters, where only 55 percent have gotten vaccinated.
People march & hold a giant American flag to protest the COVID-19 vaccine mandate for New York municipal workers. City workers, except correction officers, must have at least one dose by October 29. #VaccineMandate More #GettyFootage 🎥 @NY_PHOTOGRAPHER ➡️ https://t.co/0owbt5Quur pic.twitter.com/w0saYMadhn
— Getty Images News (@GettyImagesNews) October 25, 2021
Many attending the protest said they’re not anti-vaccine, but rather are anti-vaccine mandate.
Many of the city’s first responders have said de Blasio’s mandate is disrespectful because they’ve worked tirelessly to keep the city safe throughout the pandemic and now many are being thrown to the wolves.
“We worked faithfully and diligently through a pandemic that affected nearly every facet of the world. We did so without question,” said Michael Sapia of the New York Fire Department. “Many of us putting ourselves and our families at risk. But now, as a pandemic winds down, we’ve gone from the pots and pans of last summer, from the parade in the Canyon of Heroes, to ultimatums and pink slips.”