Some progressive leaders have been accused of revealing authoritarian tendencies over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, and Democratic New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio appears to belong in that group.
In addressing new demands that city workers and residents receive the vaccine, de Blasio asserted on Tuesday that “the voluntary phase is over,” the Daily Caller reported.
“We tried voluntary”
The mayor made it clear that he expected to see everyone in the city inoculated against the virus in the near future, whether through incentives, mandates, or simply making normal life increasingly burdensome for the unvaccinated.
De Blasio’s declaration came during an MSNBC appearance on Tuesday in response to a question about his plan to entirely vaccinate the city’s 400,000-plus workforce.
He announced the previous day that, as of Aug. 2, all city workers must be vaccinated or remain masked at all times and receive a weekly test at their own expense. Failure to comply could result in removal from their workspace and unpaid suspension.
As for private sector entities imposing their own vaccination mandates on workers and the general public, de Blasio expressed his support. The discussion soon shifted to schools, specifically whether staff members and students should be required to get a shot.
“We’ve got to shake people at this point and say ‘come on now,'” de Blasio said. “We tried voluntary.”
“It’s the only way”
Citing the widespread availability of free vaccines across the city and nationwide, he said that Americans have had plenty of opportunities to receive their vaccinations.
“The voluntary phase is over,” the mayor added. “We can keep doing those things. I’m not saying shut it down. I’m saying voluntary alone doesn’t work. It’s time for mandates because it’s the only way to protect our people.”
NYC Mayor de Blasio on vaccines:
“We’ve got to shake people at this point and say ‘c’mon now.’ We tried voluntary. We could not have been more kind and compassionate as a country…free testing, incentives, friendly warm embrace — the voluntary phase is over.” pic.twitter.com/9Ulgs7ISjz
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) July 28, 2021
De Blasio has expressed support of socialism, but his recent remarks have led to renewed skepticism of his brand of strong-arm politics.
At least on paper, America remains a free country enhabited by free citizens — even if de Blasio and others on the far left choose to see things differently.