Boston Mayor Kim Janey unloaded on COVID vaccine passports following New York City’s decree on Monday that private businesses would need to check for vaccination status to enter their establishments.
Janey was asked about implementing COVID vaccination passports in the city of Boston. She retorted with an analogy the reporter was definitely not expecting.
“There’s a long history in this country of people needing to show their papers,” Janey said.
“The Mayor then references slavery, former President Trump and birtherism,” the WCVB reporter says.
“During slavery, post-slavery, as recent as, you know, what immigrant population has to go through here, we heard Trump with the birth certificate nonsense,” she went on. “Here we want to make sure that we are not doing anything that would further create a barrier for residents.”
Mayoral candidate Andrea Campbell retorted: ‘This kind of rhetoric is dangerous. Showing proof of vaccination is not slavery or birtherism.”
And candidate Michelle Wu said: “Anyone in a position of leadership should be using that position to build trust in vaccines.’ Tonight, Mayor Janey putting out a statement clarifying there will be no mandates when it comes to certain business sectors,” the report concluded.
Brava. Of course, despite the knee-jerk rebuttals, she is absolutely right. Vaccine passport mandates will create a two-tier system that will disproportionately impact Black Americans.
On Tuesday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki was asked about New York City’s new COVID vaccine passport regime. Specifically, Shelby Talcott of the Daily Caller wanted to know how it wasn’t ‘racist.’ Watch:
“So, I wanted to ask about New York City,” Talcott began. “COVID vaccinations. So, New York City data shows that the rate for black New Yorkers… is sitting at 31%, which is a lot lower than some of the other percentages. And this is similar to the national level, according to CDC data.”
“Is the White House concerned at all that the burdens of imposed by governments and businesses like the New York City proof of vaccination is going to fall heaviest on these minority communities?” she asked.
“It’s our objective to continue to close that equity gap,” Psaki responded. “And to make sure we are, as a federal government working in partnership with city or states like New York, cities like New York City, to make sure we are making the vaccine accessible, available, we are meeting people where they are, we are partnering with the right public health officials, and we will continue to do exactly that.”
“Because we certainly don’t want this to be a barrier of entry for communities,” she added. “We also believe that at a time where the Delta variant is spreading like wildfire across the country, especially to the unvaccinated communities, that it’s important for… cities and communities should be able to take steps to incentivize getting more people vaccinated.”
It is ironic that the White House expresses its desire that COVID vaccines don’t become a barrier for communities of color, when in fact, the Democratic mayor of New York City is imposing more of a barrier on communinties of color than any voter ID requirement deemed “racist” ever would.
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OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion.