Report: NYC prepares for worker shortages as a result of its coronavirus vaccine mandate

Reports indicate that New York City is preparing for municipal worker shortages as the city’s coronavirus vaccine mandate deadline has passed. 

The deadline for municipal employees to prove that they have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine was Friday at 5 p.m. What this means is that, come Monday, those who failed to do so will be put on unpaid leave.

The numbers

Heading into Friday, about 20 percent of New York City’s employees that are subject to the mandate had still not received a dose of a coronavirus vaccine. In real numbers, that’s about 33,400 employees.

Looking specifically at different city jobs, 16 percent of New York City police officers, 29 percent of firefighters and EMS workers, and 33 percent of sanitation workers have yet to get vaccinated.

It is unclear what the final percentages and numbers are following the deadline. Reports indicate that the city was trying to coax some municipal workers into getting vaccinated with a cash reward and that some did go for that.

On Friday, though, thousands of New York City employees took to the streets to protest the mandate. They gathered out of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s house, shouting such things as “USA!,” “We will not consent,” “My Body, My Choice,” Coercion Is Not Consent,” and even “Let’s go Brandon!”

A serious concern

For the people of New York City, it has to be concerning that a large number of the city’s emergency response employees could be out of jobs. The city’s fire department, for example, said that it is getting ready to close up to 20 percent of its fire companies and to have 20 percent fewer ambulances in service.

Andrew Ansbro, the president of the city’s Firefighters Association, put the situation into real terms.

He explained:

I looked over the statistics from last year and based on last year’s numbers, everyday in New York City there are 65 serious fires on average, there’s 1400 life threatening medical emergencies everyday on average and 80 heart attacks every single day in New York City on average. If you increase response times in any of these responses, there are heart attack victims that are going to be out of the window of survivability if a normal response would have been eight to six minutes goes and becomes 15 to 20 minutes. You just can’t survive. If it’s a serious heart attack, you are not going to survive.

“My job”

This reality, though, doesn’t seem to bother de Blasio. Despite the perspective of losing thousands of emergency personnel, de Blasio continues to defend his mandate, which he has made clear he intends to enforce.

“My job is to keep people safe — my employees, and 8.8 million people,” de Blasio said. “And, until we defeat COVID, people are not safe. If we don’t stop COVID, New Yorkers will die.”

What de Blasio probably hasn’t considered is how many people will die as a result of worker shortages. And, all this is over a vaccine that neither stops one from getting the coronavirus nor from spreading it.

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