New York City has drawn nationwide attention for its new policy compelling many private businesses in the city to inspect vaccination documents they are required to demand their customers show before doing business with them.
Now Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio is busy defending the city’s upcoming mandate that will require all public school employees to be vaccinated to work in schools this fall.
On Monday, the mayor told MSNBC that he is not concerned if some teachers refuse to comply with the vaccine mandate, as the city has lots of substitute teachers.
He said that he knows for parents, “it’s all about the health and safety of kids.” He added that he wants 100 percent in-person education and that a vaccine mandate is necessary to ensure a safe school environment.
De Blasio was asked about situations where a teacher may request an exemption for religious or medical reasons. He said that if it is “something medically confirmed by a doctor,” it would be examined and emphasized that “there would be no choice to be tested instead of being vaccinated and that the single clear standard is going to be you got to be vaccinated.”
The mayor was asked if he had a backup plan in the event of vaccine refusal by many teachers. He said that he has found that as mandates have been announced, people overwhelmingly comply. After trying incentives and voluntary compliances, he said that “human beings respond to mandates.”
Because of the large number of substitute teachers the system has and the new FDA approval of the Pfizer vaccine, de Blasio said he is “confident we’ll have the staffing” to keep the city schools running.
The city’s mandate for compulsory teacher and school staff vaccinations will be enforced beginning September 27.