I’ve written a comment piece for Mail+ taking to talk Bill de Blasio, the Mayor of New York, for announcing that private employers would have to enforce a ‘no jab, no job’ policy. This goes beyond almost anywhere else in the United States – and, indeed, the rest of the world – where vaccine mandates are limited to the public sector and health care. Here is an extract:
Not only is this a grotesque interference in the freedom of association of private companies, but it will force New York City’s three-and-a-half million private sector employees to get vaccinated if they want to keep their jobs. Some will already be double-jabbed, but those who aren’t have been told they need to either work from home or have at least one dose by December 27th.
Why should the vaccine hesitant be strong-armed into injecting a substance into their bodies against their will?
The left-wing mayor justified this draconian policy by appealing to… you guessed it, the new variant.
“Omicron is here, and it looks like it’s very transmissible,” he said in an interview on MSNBC.
“The timing is horrible with the winter months [looming].”
But everything we know about Omicron so far indicates it is milder than previous variants of COVID-19, resulting in fewer hospitalisations.
Even if Omicron has a nasty surprise in store, forcing people to get jabbed won’t make much difference since cutting transmission is so far unproven for it. Indeed, they aren’t great at preventing people catching the old variant – they reduce the risk of infection from Delta, but don’t come close to eliminating it. So why deploy them as your main weapon against Omicron?
If Mayor De Blasio was concerned about New York City’s hospitals being overwhelmed in December, January and February, he would offer to re-employ those healthcare workers who’ve been fired because they refuse to be double-jabbed.
As in England, labour shortages are contributing to winter pressure on New York’s health system – and not just because hospitals are short-staffed. Elderly patients who are well enough to be discharged have to remain in their beds because there aren’t enough care-home employees to look after them. This is a crisis of Bill de Blasio’s own making.
Worth reading in full.