Mayor Bill de Blasio insisted Wednesday that his private-sector COVID-19 vaccine mandate is “going to work,” despite concerns of Mayor-elect Eric Adams’ allies, who say Hizzoner’s dumping a half-baked mess on his successor.
During his press briefing, the lame-duck mayor dismissed a question from The Post about allies of Adams lamenting de Blasio’s Monday announcement that he’s imposing a private business vaccine requirement starting Dec. 27 — four days before his final day in office — and labeling it an “eff you” to Adams.
“I believe in him. I’ve been working with him closely, our teams have been working together closely. I want to make sure that I am doing everything right now to keep this city safe and to hand off this city to him [in] the best possible way, and I am absolutely convinced this mandate is necessary and it’s going to work,” de Blasio said, noting he is himself an Adams ally and that the policy is “fully baked.”
“It’s the right thing to do and it’s the right thing to do for the city and it’s the right thing to do for the next administration, and I look forward to the handoff coming up and giving the mayor-elect the best possible opportunity moving forward based on what we’ve done.”
On Tuesday, a member of the next mayor’s orbit told The Post they viewed the private-sector COVID-19 vaccine mandate as a giant middle finger to Adams — who will have to figure out how to handle the controversial new rule when he takes office Jan. 1.
“I think for the outgoing mayor to announce something like this knowing that the implementation and enforcement would entirely be the responsibility of the next mayor is a real big ‘eff you,’” one surrogate for Adams, currently the Brooklyn borough president, told The Post.
“I think anything the outgoing mayor tries to implement at the 11th hour is really on the table. This won’t be some long-standing policy that would need to be reserved.”
One city health official speculated Adams would decline to oversee stringent enforcement of the private-sector mandate.
“He could just leave it as an honor system,” the official told The Post Tuesday.
The uncertainty comes as de Blasio has admitted he doesn’t have details for enforcement of the vaccine requirement, promising in recent days to disclose on Dec. 15 more specific “guidelines” regarding the policy.
In addition to mandatory inoculation against COVID-19 — slated to take effect Dec. 27 for the Big Apple’s more than 184,000 businesses — de Blasio revealed Monday that children ages 5 to 11 will soon need to present proof of vaccination at restaurants, movie theaters and other indoor venues. And for adults, two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine will be required to enter many indoor settings in the five boroughs.
The current iteration of the “Key to NYC” program requires just one vaccine dose and allows children under 12 to accompany unvaccinated adults in indoor venues where vaccines are required. The city worker coronavirus vaccine mandate took effect in October.