New York City Mayor Bill de BlasioBill de BlasioNew York to start weekly COVID-19 testing in schools Three arrested for allegedly assaulting NYC hostess who asked for COVID-19 vaccine proof Letitia James holding private talks on running for New York governor: report MORE (D) is pushing businesses to require that their employees be vaccinated as the delta variant of COVID-19 drives up cases around the country.
"I’m calling upon all New York City employers, including our private hospitals, to move immediately to some form of mandate," the mayor said Friday while appearing on "The Brian Lehrer Show." "Whatever the maximum you feel you can do."
The Democratic mayor said the vaccination system that was in place for over half a year has been effective enough to restore some sense of normalcy, but that New York City has "reached the limits of a purely voluntary system." Mandates, he argued, are the next step.
"Any type of mandate helps," he said. "It will move the ball, it will get more people vaccinated."
De Blasio said that every employer is different and he wants to "respect the individuality" of each business, "but if anyone is asking my advice, particularly the larger employers, move to mandates now."
The mayor's comments come days after he announced a new COVID-19 policy for city hospital workers. Public health employees in New York City are now required to either get vaccinated or take weekly COVID-19 tests.
De Blasio said he expects that over time the weekly testing will become "tiresome," and employees will opt to get vaccinated. He is now pushing for the private health care industry to impose a similar mandate.
"We need to get serious more than ever about vaccination," he said Friday. "If everyone was vaccinated right now we would not be having a conversation about the delta variant. This is a pandemic of the unvaccinated."
A number of New York City businesses have already initiated a vaccine mandate, including some Wall Street corporations. BlackRock Inc. is only allowing fully vaccinated employees to return, and Morgan Stanley is requiring employees and visitors of their New York City offices to be vaccinated against COVID-19.