Bill de Blasio vax mandate is ‘a real big eff you’ to Eric Adams: insider
Information about Bill de Blasio vax mandate is ‘a real big eff you’ to Eric Adams: insider
Mayor Bill de Blasio’s sudden private sector COVID-19 vaccine mandate is a giant middle finger to Mayor-elect Eric Adams — who will have to figure out how, or if, to enforce the controversial new rule, insiders told The Post.
“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 Adams surrogate told The Post.
The mandate for more than 184,000 Big Apple businesses is slated to take effect Dec. 27 — just four days before de Blasio leaves office.
And de Blasio has offered no indication of how private employees would be penalized for violating the rule. He insists he is working with business leaders on it, but Kathryn Wylde, head of the Partnership for NYC, which represents the city’s top employers, said there’s been little communication with City Hall about the matter.
Adams, the outgoing Brooklyn borough president, has been noncommittal about the new mandate, declining Monday to take a position on it. He said through a spokesman that he’ll “evaluate” it when he takes over from de Blasio, in consultation with “science, efficacy and the advice of health professionals.”
But the Adams surrogate orbit suggested the mandate could be easily overturned, since it will take effect so close to de Blasio’s departure.
“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,” the source said.
A city health official, who said the mandate will be nearly impossible to enforce, agreed.
“He could just leave it as an honor system,” the source said, meaning the mandate would have little teeth if city officials crack down on private employers who flout the rule.
During a morning TV appearance, de Blasio was evasive when asked a question if his successor, who is wrapping up a trip to Ghana, will carry out the mandate.
“I’ve had great conversations with the mayor-elect. He and I have a great, close relationship. What he always says is he’s going to listen to the health leadership,” de Blasio said on CNN’s “New Day.” “I think the mayor-elect has been consistent. He will follow the ideas and concerns of the health leaders.”
Pressed further as to whether Adams supports the new regulation, the mayor responded, “I’m not going to talk about private conversations.”
Several business leaders who are members of Adams’ transition team came out against the regulation Tuesday.
“As many employers, especially small businesses, are still struggling with labor shortages, the mayor’s private business mandates mean more pain for the city’s economy,” said Randy Peers, the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce president, who is on the teams’ economic and workforce development committee.
“This new round of requirements creates even more confusion and problems,” said Andrew Rigie, head of the NY Hospitality Alliance who serves on the economic committee with Peers.
Some small business owners told The Post they’re just plain confused by the directive.
“How do you tell someone they have to be vaccinated or they’ll be fired?” the manager of Bicycle Habitat on Manhattan’s Seventh Avenue told The Post.
“I’m so lost on that one. It’s challenging,” he said.
In addition to the private sector mandate, de Blasio revealed Monday that children ages 5 to 11 will soon get checked at restaurants, movie theaters and other indoor venues for proof that they’ve received a vaccine dose.
Domenico Sacramone, who owns Italian restaurant Sac’s Place in Astoria, Queens with his brother, said he was caught off guard by a policy that he suspects will hurt business.
“It just comes out of nowhere,” Sacramone, 56, told The Post. “It’s about trying to do business in this city, but it is very hard.”
“I know it’s going to impact us immediately,” he added. “I know a lot of families coming in and their kids are not vaccinated.”
A rep for de Blasio insisted City Hall has been in touch with small businesses on the matter.
“The City has already spoken to 76 Business Improvement Districts, the members of the Mayor’s Small Business Sector Advisory Council, and the Food & Beverage Hospitality Industry Partnership. Many more conversations will be underway in the coming days and weeks,” said mayoral spokesman Mitch Schwartz.
“We’re going to make sure everyone has what they need to do this smoothly,” Schwartz said.
Additional reporting by Bernadette Hogan, Elizabeth Rosner and Morgan Grenz