The NYPD’s largest police union claims Mayor Eric Adams’ rollback of the vaccine mandate to allow unvaxxed performers and athletes, such as Kyrie Irving, to play in NYC proves the mandate was arbitrary, new court papers say.
The amended complaint, filed in Manhattan Supreme Court Thursday, argues Adams’ carve-out undermines the basis for the mandate, which was instituted by his predecessor Bill de Blasio, and unvaxxed cops should not be fired.
“If vaccine mandates are driven by public health as [NYC officials] claim, then the same changed circumstances (high vaccination rates across the City and steadily declining COVID-19 metrics) that [city officials] relied on to lift the mandate for some, including rich and famous workers, also require that the Vaccine Mandate, Guidance and Termination Requirement be lifted for the men and women in the NYPD who have worked to protect this City throughout the pandemic. Respondents cannot rationally draw public health lines based on an individual’s perceived fame,” lawyers for the Police Benevolent Association wrote.
The PBA declined to disclose how many unvaxxed cops remained on the job as they wait for their appeal ruling.
The NYPD and City Hall did not return requests immediately for a similar tally.
Adams has faced blowback for lifting the mandate for a select few with many saying it was a double standard.
The union has used the criticism to make its case, citing NYC’s former COVID-19 senior advisor, Dr. Jay Varma, saying “Basically it sends a message that this is an arbitrary rule – that if you’re rich enough and powerful enough and high profile enough, that you don’t have to play by the same rules as everyone else.”
The move also caused a break between Adams and City Council Speaker Adrienne E. Adams, who said she had “serious concerns” over the exemption after the city fired 1,400 recently hired public workers for failing to get the jab. The city council speaker’s objections are also noted in the lawsuit.