On Tuesday, De Blasio took to Twitter to inform New Yorkers that it was up to him; no one would be able to ride the subway without giving evidence of their vaccination status. He may have an ally in Governor Kathy Hochul, who is also an enthusiast of forced vaccination.
"We know vaccines mandates work," de Blasio proclaimed, "New York City is proof of that. Now let's go even further. I'm urging @GovKathyHochul to institute an MTA vaccine mandate. Let's do what we can to keep our city, our residents, and our workforce safe."
Per President Joe Biden's order that passengers of all public transit conveyances must mask up, the subways are already subject to a mask mandate. But if de Blasio were to have his way, only those vaccinated and willing to show evidence of it would be permitted on the subway system.
Public transit in New York has long been a great equalizer. Whether in the days of tokens or MetroCards or the new app-based ride system, New Yorkers of all stripes have ridden the subway together. One of the world's richest men, mayor Michael Bloomberg famously rode the subway to work daily. The only requirement to ride was to pay the fare, and even that hasn't always been strictly enforced.
When de Blasio says "vaccine mandates work," he actually means that his administration has successfully ordered people to get vaccinated. More than 7.1 million of nearly 8.5 million (less since the exodus) New Yorkers have been vaccinated, with more and more getting the jab now that nervous parents are taking advantage of the new eligibility for children.
There have been numerous protests opposing vaccine mandates. New Yorkers have spoken out against both the forced vaccine and plenty of vaccinated people who simply do not want to show paperwork and identification to freely move about the city.
Police officers, firefighters, and teachers are among those who have been substantially vocal about not wanting to be forced to undergo vaccination. Many of these people were on the front lines of the pandemic. They were praised and lauded for their efforts, their work, diligence, and now their concerns are being ignored in the face of an authoritarian dictate.
De Blasio will likely find a willing collaborator in Hochul, who was Andrew Cuomo's Lieutenant Governor before he resigned in disgrace. Hochul pushed through a mandate for all health care workers in New York State's employ, threatening them with termination and going so far as to fire those who had served the state during the pandemic after they were unwilling to undergo the jab.