Thousands of emergency personnel and other outraged New Yorkers took to the streets in a massive protest over the weekend.
According to reports, demonstrators including New York City police officers and firefighters marched in opposition to the city’s strict COVID-19 vaccine mandates, which have been heralded by local Democratic leaders as well as President Joe Biden.
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Such a clear repudiation by residents of the progressive stronghold likely comes as unwelcomed news to Democratic leaders nationwide. The New York protest is just the latest sign that many Americans are fed up with the prevailing effort to force vaccines on private citizens.
Demonstrators gathered at the New York Fire Department headquarters in Brooklyn before marching across the Brooklyn Bridge to city hall.
Upon arriving at their destination, protesters sought to deliver the message to city leaders that they do not plan to comply with the mandates currently in place.
Many of those involved in the demonstration have just one week to receive a vaccine or face unpaid leave or even termination.
According to Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio, the mandate is “for all city agencies, all city workers” and represents his belief that it is “time for everyone to get vaccinated.”
“We’ll treat you better here”
Of course, mounting opposition in recent months suggests the mandate could lead to a devastating shortage of emergency workers across the city.
For his part, Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has invited personnel seeking to escape the New York mandates to relocate to his state, asserting: “NYPD, Minneapolis, Seattle … if you’re not being treated well, we’ll treat you better here.”
He indicated that Florida is “looking to actively recruit” law enforcement officers and other individuals who “can fill important needs for us.”
In addition to providing a more hospitable environment, DeSantis has also advocated for a bill that would provide a $5,000 bonus to those who decide to relocate to his state.
Not only has the governor staked out a clear position against vaccine mandates, but he also described such efforts as largely meaningless since “most of those first responders have had COVID and have recovered.”