House Republicans are blasting a new COVID-19 safety requirement implemented by New York City, including several who don't represent districts anywhere near the city.
"Mayor de Blasio will impose a first-in-the-nation vaccine mandate for all PRIVATE sector workers in NYC," Arizona Rep. Andy Biggs tweeted on Monday. "Bill de Blasio isn't a mayor, he is a tyrant."
Michigan Rep. Lisa McClain wrote, "Mayor de Blasio is placing vaccine mandates on the NYC private sector. Maybe he doesn't understand what the word private means."
"Just because Bill de Blasio lost his job doesn't mean he has to make New Yorkers lose their jobs," complained Texas Rep. Lance Gooden.
Rep. Lee Zeldin, whose New York district does not include any of the city, also added, "No one wants to live through this de Blasio gone wild power kick anymore. This new COVID vax mandate isn't just wrong & disastrous for NYC, but it's also illegal. If courts don't intervene, many NYC residents are about to lose their job which they don't deserve & can't afford."
They were upset that Mayor Bill de Blasio, who is term-limited and serving out the final weeks of his time leading New York City, announced a private sector vaccine mandate earlier in the day.
Under the order, which de Blasio calls a "pre-emptive strike" to prevent another wave of COVID-19 cases, nearly all in-person workers will be required to get vaccinated by the end of the month. Everyone above age 5 will also be required to get vaccinated before entering dining or entertainment venues.
The new order comes as coronavirus cases are trending back up nationally and the first domestic omicron variant cases are being reported.
It also comes as new data shows that areas with high rates of vaccination are faring noticeably better than those with lower rates. A Washington Post analysis on Saturday found that death rates were far below the national average in counties with the highest rates of vaccination.
And in large part due to high vaccination rates in Democratic-leaning areas, an NPR report on Sunday noted, the COVID-19 death rates in counties that voted heavily for ex-President Donald Trump in the 2020 election were nearly three times as high as in counties that favored President Joe Biden.
Despite significant data indicating that vaccine requirements work, congressional Republicans have fought to block them.
More than 200 House Republicans last month signed on to an effort to overturn Biden's requirements that workers at businesses with 100 employees or more either get vaccinated or get tested for COVID-19 weekly. Biggs, Gooden, McClain, and Zeldin all are co-sponsors of that effort.
Now, in addition to opposing a national policy, these lawmakers are trying to dictate what elected officials in localities far from their own districts can do to combat the pandemic and keep their constituents safe.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.