De Blasio proclaims ‘voluntary phase is over’ on COVID-19 vaccines

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Mayor Bill de Blasio said Tuesday that the “voluntary phase is over” in the effort to administer COVID-19 vaccinations to city workers — hinting that mandatory jabs for the Big Apple’s workforce could come soon.

Asked if the city will soon require all city workers to be inculcated, de Blasio said he’s heading in that direction.

“Yes, we are climbing a ladder. I’m not answering yes to your question yet,” he said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” in response to a question from host Joe Scarborough.

“But if that’s not enough, I think we got to be ready to climb the ladder more,” he added. “We’ve got to put pressure on this situation.”

On Monday, de Blasio announced that the entire city workforce will soon need to submit to weekly testing if they are not inoculated against the coronavirus. Additionally, city officials said the city will beginning Aug. 2 require unvaccinated city workers to wear a mask at their workplaces — or face removal from them and suspension without pay.

Those new rules came after on Wednesday de Blasio outlined a weekly test-or-COVID-19 vaccine requirement for the city’s public health system workers, amid mounting concern about the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant of the bug in the five boroughs.

On Tuesday, de Blasio said enticing New Yorkers with goodies isn’t sufficient to meet the city’s goal of getting more workers inoculated against COVID-19.

“We’ve got to shake people at this point and say, ‘Come on now.’ We tried voluntary. We could not have been more kind and compassionate. Free testing, everywhere you turn, incentives, friendly, warm embrace. The voluntary phase is over,” de Blasio said on MSNBC.

“We can keep doing those things. I’m not saying shut it down. I’m saying voluntary alone doesn’t work,” he added. “It’s time for mandates, because it’s the only way to protect our people.”

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