New York, NY – “I’m worried about the increasingly ambiguous messages that are being sent to New Yorkers about public health during this continuing pandemic. I have serious concerns about the process, rationale and inequity in today’s decision to exempt professional athletes and performers from the City’s private employee vaccine requirement when over 1,400 city government workers, many of whom served bravely on the frontlines during this pandemic, were fired from their jobs for not getting vaccinated. This exemption sends the wrong message that higher-paid workers and celebrities are being valued as more important than our devoted civil servants, which I reject. This is a step away from following sensible public health-driven policies that prioritize equity.

“We are still in the midst of a pandemic that has thankfully subsided due to New Yorkers’ commitments to our city and each other by following public health guidance. Recent indications of rising cases should be closely monitored to ensure we are prepared. Nonetheless, serious inequities remain across our neighborhoods and schools that must be a priority of our government to address, whether it’s disparities in vaccination rates and other preventive measures, or the impact of the COVID pandemic on certain communities. I encourage New Yorkers to get vaccinated, boosted, and continue taking the necessary precautions to protect themselves, their families and communities while enjoying our city.”