NYC Officials and Small Businesses Object to Proof of Vaccination Mandate

August 7, 2021 Updated: August 7, 2021

Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-N.Y.) and other NYC officials are protesting against the recent proof of vaccination mandate issued by NYC mayor Bill de Blasio.

In expression of their disagreement, they sent a letter to de Blasio, a Democrat, demanding a reversal of “this unfair directive immediately.”

“This ‘vaccine passport’ directive not only forces small businesses to deny service to their customers, but it prohibits large swaths of our communities from participating in regular society,” reads the letter led by Malliotakis, the only Republican member representing NYC in Congress.

The mayor announced on Tuesday that indoor dining, gyms, and entertainment venues will require attendees to show proof of vaccination, including staff members, becoming the first city in the country to adopt such a measure.

The mandate is scheduled to be enforced on Sept. 13.

“It is clear to us and our constituents—most of whom have received the COVID-19 vaccine—that this directive represents an extraordinary level of government overreach,” further states the letter, which is co-signed by New York City Council Minority Leader Steven Matteo, Councilman Joseph Borelli, New York state Senator Andrew Lanza, and Assemblymen Michael Reilly and Michael Tannousis.

“Further, it attempts to turn our city’s small businesses into ‘COVID police’ by forcing them to require employees and patrons to show proof of vaccination,” the letter reads.

“Our businesses are already short staffed, and to place the burden on them to check vaccine cards and ensure their authenticity is unreasonable. Coercing anyone into taking any form of treatment violates every principle of medical ethics and informed consent. No one—no New Yorker—should be forced out of society on such a basis. We ask that you reverse this mandate.”

Malliotakis and the other NYC officials held a live conference in Staten Island on Friday, reiterating some of the main points in the letter.

The congresswoman also co-sponsored H.R. 3868, the “No Vaccine Passports for Americans Act,” which would apply a 5-year ban on any vaccine mandate issued by the government.

The Epoch Times reached out to de Blasio’s office for comment.

Businesses Respond

Mike Chiu, supervisor for Luke’s Lobster in Manhattan told The Epoch Times that the owners of the seafood restaurant chain might need to find a way to let both vaccinated and unvaccinated people come in, but that so far they haven’t found a solution.

“It definitely will affect all the restaurant businesses,” Chiu said, referring to the vaccine mandate.

“I’m not sure how they are going to set [the verification system] upon us,” he said, “it’s definitely going to be an obstacle.”

It’s not yet clear how the mandate will be specifically enforced.

The manager of “The Counter,” a burger shop located in Times Square, said that the mandate will create an economic crisis in New York and that they won’t have enough employees if they are all required to be vaccinated.

Epoch Times Photo
“The Counter” custom burger shop in Times Square, New York, on Aug. 7, 2021. (Enrico Trigoso/The Epoch Times)

“Everybody is suffering,” said the manager, who preferred not to give their name. “If only vaccinated people can come in the store in September, I will have to close the store in 60 days.”

Enrico Trigoso
Enrico Trigoso
Reporter
Enrico Trigoso is an Epoch Times reporter focusing on the NYC area.