On Friday, The Epoch Times reported that New York City Mayor Eric Adams has announced that the vaccine passport system and school mask mandates will expire on March 7th. That is good news for New Yorkers. However, don’t get too comfortable–once a system of passports to enter restaurants and entertainment venues is set up for any reason, it can be resurrected for any other reason.
The article reports:
The mayor’s decision comes as a number of other Democrat-led cities, municipalities, and states have dropped COVID-19-related rules in recent weeks. They have cited a drop in the number of COVID-19 cases nationwide.
“This is about giving people the flexibility that is needed to continue allow not only safety, but we have to get our economy back on track,” Adams told reporters during an announcement at Times Square. “It’s time to open our city and get the economy back up and operating.”
New York City, under the de Blasio administration, became one of the first places in the United States last year to impose a vaccine passport system, impacting restaurants, gyms, sports venues, concerts, and similar businesses.
Critics say that the mandate created a two-tier society of vaccinated and unvaccinated people and also led to the unfair demonization of people who haven’t received the shot. A number of protests erupted across the city with thousands of demonstrators walking across the Brooklyn Bridge and other bridges in protest of the rules.
Starting in late 2021, New York City also has laid off thousands of workers, including police officers and firemen, who did not comply with the city’s vaccine mandate.
The mandates were probably illegal in the first place, and some have been struck down by the Supreme Court. However, I suspect the larger issue here is the approaching mid-term election. The Democrat party is associated with the mandates. States like Florida and North Dakota, run by Republicans, have abandoned mask and shutdown requirements very early in the epidemic and have fared as well or better than the states with strict lockdowns and mandates. States with Republican governors have recovered economically more quickly because they have loosed many of their Covid restrictions that were put in place nationally early in the pandemic. The elections are approaching, and even Democrat-run states are trying to recover their economies before November (even though President Biden’s economic and energy policies are going to make that very difficult).
Just remember, the freedom Americans gave up during the Coronavirus has not yet been won back. Mandates and shutdowns are still possible. What we need is a Supreme Court case that will make it clear that mandated masks and shutdowns are a violation of individual liberty and are thus unconstitutional.