NYC mayoral candidates clash on vaccine mandate ahead of first debate and early voting

New York Elections

NEW YORK — The race for mayor heating up this week ahead of the first debate and early voting.

Candidates Eric Adams and Curtis Sliwa are presenting vastly different visions on COVID vaccine mandates— especially in schools.

“We must have real science in order to determine the outcome so our babies and families are protected,” said Brooklyn Borough President and Democratic nominee for Mayor Eric Adams.

Adams stood firm in his pledge to enact a vaccine mandate for school children should there be full FDA approval and a recommendation from city health professionals. He was pressed on the topic multiple times during a forum with ethnic and community media.

“This new delta variant, the South African variant, and other variants, COVID is going to be with us for a long time,” Adams said. “I want my children in school. I don’t want them home because we have a mass outbreak.”

But Republican Curtis Sliwa has said a mandate in fact would lead to children staying home with parents perhaps refusing to vaccinate. Mayor Bill de Blasio has cited that exact reason for not implementing a mandate under his authority.

“I agree with Mayor de Blasio at this point,” he said. “There should not be a mandated vaccine on children, they should not be kicked out of school.”

Sliwa also went on to attack current mandates on teachers and health care workers. He has generally said he oppose his mandates, but when PIX11 News pressed him, he said he was open to a vaccine or test requirement, which is currently the case with the NYPD and FDNY.

Sliwa said he is worried vaccine-only mandates would lead to mass firings of civil servants.

“You want to deplete the ranks of the police even more, of health care workers of teachers?” Sliwa said. “We finally have children back in the classroom and you want to eliminate some of them and put them on the outside? Test them, mandate testing if they will not be vaccinated, that’s the fair thing to do.”

Adams was also pushed on if he would expand the city’s current vaccine mandate to the likes of police and firefighters. He said if elected he would make that decision in conjunction with health experts. Sliwa and Adams debate for the first time Wednesday night.

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