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GOP mayoral candidate Curtis Sliwa blasted Mayor de Blasio’s vaccine mandate for indoor venues, saying the requirement is an affront to liberty.
“Today we stand in unity against these mandates, against these crackdowns. We are not France. We are not Italy. We are America where we are free,” Sliwa said at a small City Hall rally Thursday.
Sliwa added that some New Yorkers cannot get vaccinated for medical reasons or religious beliefs.
“Now all of a sudden we exclude all these people? And we say, ‘You’re evil?’” Sliwa asked.
The Guardian Angels founder said there are other ways to boost the city’s vaccination rate above its current level of 60 percent.
“You assuage them, you encourage them, but we have to consider all people and not have the crushing boot of government on everyone’s necks,” said Sliwa to about two dozen supporters.
He believes the shot should be recommended, not required, to enter the city’s restaurants, gyms, and entertainment venues.
“We’re not talking about an anti-vaxxer movement here, we’re not anti-vaxxers. We’re pragmatic, we’re common sense,” said Sliwa, who has gotten the shot.
Instead de Blasio should focus on incentives like giving people $100 to get the shot, said Sliwa.
He is running against Democratic mayoral candidate Eric Adams, who supports de Blasio’s mandate.
“I think the mayor’s going in the right direction,” Adams said Thursday at a press conference promoting the vaccine in Far Rockaway, Queens where just 38% of residents are inoculated.
A mayoral spokesman defended the requirement.
“Public health experts praised the mayor’s decision because it does exactly what this moment calls for: It gets more New Yorkers vaccinated and it saves lives. The Delta variant isn’t messing around, and neither are we. This is the right way forward and we’re moving full steam ahead,” the rep told The Post.
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