As New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s vaccine mandate for city workers went into effect on Monday morning, roughly 9,000 workers were placed on unpaid leave for their failure to comply with the municipal requirement.
“Nine thousand people [were] placed on leave without pay today,” Mitch Schwartz, a spokesperson for the mayor’s office, told reporters on Monday as The Epoch Times reports. “The rest are in various stages of having their accommodation requests reviewed. They can be at work.”
De Blasio’s office said on Sunday night that 22,800 city workers have yet to be vaccinated, while the mayor himself tweeted that “more than half of the workers who haven’t been vaccinated yet have submitted exemption requests and those requests are being processed.”
That thousands of city workers would be placed on leave Monday has caused concern of interruptions in vital city services like police and fire response.
On Monday, de Blasio insisted that this will not be the case.
“We have every reason to believe there’s a lot of people out there claiming to be sick who are not and it’s not acceptable. So the thing to do is to do the right thing. Come to work, protect people as you took an oath to do,” he said on Monday.
However, New York Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R) who represents parts of New York City, said in a statement on Saturday that 26 firehouses had already stopped operations due to shortages caused by the city’s vaccine mandate.
“As of 7:30 this morning, 26 FDNY stations, including five in my district, have closed due to Mayor de Blasio’s decision to lock unvaccinated firefighters out of work,” she said.
In Chicago, as many as half of the city’s police force may end up on unpaid leave over their refusal to disclose their vaccination status, while in Los Angeles, over 1,300 police officers have yet to report their vaccination status and could ultimately face disciplinary action.
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