New York’s Finest aren’t famous enough to get a COVID-19 vaccine exemption in New York City.
The NYPD’s biggest union slammed Mayor Adams’ plan to lift the city’s private-sector vaccine mandate so benched sports stars will be able to play at home on Thursday, claiming the city is operating with a double standard.
“If the mandate isn’t necessary for famous people, then it’s not necessary for the cops who are protecting our city in the middle of a crime crisis,” Police Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch fumed in a statement.
By lifting the private-sector mandate, Adams will allow Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving to play at home as well as key members of the Yankees and Mets when baseball season starts in the next few weeks.
Lynch and other police unions have repeatedly sued the city over the public employee vaccination mandate that went into effect on Oct. 29 requiring all NYPD officers to get the life-saving jab or be sent home without pay. Some 6,500 cops requested exemptions for either medical or religious reasons but many faced termination when their accommodation requests were denied.
As of last week at least nine NYPD employees have been terminated for refusing to get the vaccine, police sources said.
Lynch called the vaccine mandate “arbitrary and capricious” — something he says Adams is proving by rolling back the private sector mandate for sports stars.
“This is exactly what we are talking about,” he said. “While celebrities were in lockdown, New York City police officers were on the street throughout the pandemic, working without adequate PPE and in many cases contracting and recovering from Covid themselves. They don’t deserve to be treated like second-class citizens now.”
Adams is expected to announce his rollback of the private-sector vaccine mandate during a press conference at Citi Field in Queens Thursday afternoon. Only city-based pro athletes and performers are exempt with the private sector mandate remaining in effect for other businesses, sources told the Daily News.
Restrictions for performers and athletes in local venues will be rescinded in time for Opening Day at Yankee Stadium and Citi Field, a move which will keep the Big Apple’s unvaccinated baseball players from missing home games like Irving did for not getting the shot.
The decision comes on the heels of Adams’ announcement Tuesday that he plans to lift the mask mandate for toddlers in city daycare centers on April 4.