The Democrats appear intent on failing to read the room, especially when it comes to the COVID vaccine. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on Friday stepped as close to the vaccine mandate line as possible without actually putting his toe on the other side. Others on the left have been testing the proverbial waters on the issue of compulsory inoculation to ascertain what level of backlash might result. But at this point, it seems clear that the American public might not be so amenable to the idea as the left would like.
To Mandate or Not to Mandate?
De Blasio recently indicated during a radio interview that it may be necessary to make vaccines mandatory to convince holdouts to take the jab. This measure would especially include indoor dining as well as other situations. Concerns over the Delta variant, which has reportedly resulted in increased outbreaks among unvaccinated individuals, have prompted some to call for government to compel people to receive the injection.
The New York Times reported:
“Mayor Bill de Blasio said that he wanted to consider requiring vaccination for people to participate in some indoor activities, like dining in restaurants; mandating more city employees get vaccinated or regularly tested; and he also encouraged private employers to require their workers to get vaccinated.”
De Blasio acknowledged that the city’s efforts to persuade residents to take the vaccine on their own have fallen woefully short. At this point, about 41% of the city’s population has not yet become acquainted with the syringe. “I’m calling upon all New York City employers, including our private hospitals, to move immediately to some form of mandate,” the mayor pleaded. Earlier in the week, he stated that the city’s public hospitals would require its employees to either get the vaccination or be tested weekly. His remarks come as several private entities in the city have decided to require vaccines.
The Start of a New Trend?
While de Blasio has not quite crossed the vaccine Rubicon, it seems probable that he is headed in that direction. If the outgoing NYC mayor were to make such a move, he would enjoy the support of the Biden administration, which indicated that it would back vaccine mandates at the local level. While discussing the matter during a press conference earlier this month, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said: “That’s not a decision that we’re making … that is not our intention from the federal government … should they decide that is how to keep their community safe.”
Dr. Anthony Fauci also stated that he believes local mandates are appropriate. “I have been of this opinion and I remain of that opinion that I do believe at the local level … there should be more mandates, there really should be,” he insisted. “We’re talking about life and death [sic] situation.”
However, it is critical to realize that while de Blasio and other city officials thinking about taking this step might get cheers from the Biden administration, such a move will likely not get support from those who actually matter: The American people. The Trafalgar Group recently released the results of a poll showing that the vast majority of Americans (71.4%) stated that vaccines should be a matter of “personal choice” instead of being mandatory.
Perhaps this is the reason Democrats have been hesitant to go further than just talking about vaccine mandates. They likely know that pushing such an initiative might not be in their best political interests. Nevertheless, this raises a question: How long will they be able to resist the temptation to enact even more invasive measures under the guise of “saving lives”?