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NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio 'blindsided' business leaders by announcing his private employer vaccine mandate on MSNBC's 'Morning Joe'

Business Insider logo Business Insider 12/6/2021 jlahut@insider.com (Jake Lahut)
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. Aaron J. Thornton/WireImage © Aaron J. Thornton/WireImage New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. Aaron J. Thornton/WireImage
  • New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio made a major vaccine mandate announcement Monday morning.
  • de Blasio will require all in-person private sector workers to be vaccinated.
  • The only way to catch the announcment was on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," which drew criticism from City Hall observers.

Early Monday morning, outgoing New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio declared on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" that all private sector employees who work in-person will need to be vaccinated by Dec. 27.

Mayor de Blasio described the move as a "preemptive strike" against the Omicron variant and a "first-in-the-nation measure," but the only place to catch his announcement was on the cable news talk show, not at a public event or on a local TV outlet.

The move raised eyebrows and drew swift backlash among some business leaders and City Hall observers.

"We were blindsided," Kathryn Wilde, the president and CEO of The Partnership for New York City, an influential business group, told a New York Times reporter. "There's no forewarning, no discussion, no idea about whether it's legal or who he expects to enforce it."

 

Video: NYC Mayor de Blasio to mandate vaccine for all private sector workers (FOX News)

After his term expires at the end of the year, de Blasio is reportedly thinking about joining the 2022 New York governor's race.

With his private employer vaccine mandate taking effect just five days before Mayor-elect Eric Adams takes over, some in the City Hall press corps wondered aloud online if de Blasio's MSNBC announcement was more about building his political brand for the statewide contest than it was about informing the public across the five boroughs.

Politico City Hall Bureau Chief called out the mayor for making "a major announcement that impacts all NYers on morning cable, which is too expensive & inaccessible for many [people]." 

"Makes you wonder if it's really about improving the health and safety of New Yorkers or more about burnishing a political legacy," replied Julia Marsh, the New York Post's City Hall bureau chief.

The mayor's press office did not return Insider's request for comment.

Adams, for his part, has not committed to enforcing the de Blasio mandate.

"The Mayor-elect will evaluate this mandate and other COVID strategies when he is in office and make determinations based on science, efficacy and the advice of health professionals," Evan Thies, Adams' spokesperson, said in a statement following de Blasio's announcement.

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