By Jefferey Jaxen

On the heels of arguably America’s largest vaccine mandate protest on Monday seeing New York City’s essential workers march across the Brooklyn Bridge, the story is coming to a head rapidly. 

Renewed protests hit NYC again Thursday as police, fire, and municipal city workers gathered by the thousands outside Mayor de Blasio’s Gracie Mansion. The city’s vaccine mandate, which takes effect this Friday at 5 p.m., covers 160,000 municipal employees, including cops and firefighters. According to the order, which went into effect only nine days earlier for all City workers, a first shot of the COVID vaccine by 5 p.m. Friday is mandated if they want to come to work the morning of November 1. Any city workers who do not comply with the mandate will be placed on unpaid leave.

Many are concerned that the city’s safety will be threatened by de Blasio’s ‘suspension without pay’ edict for those refusing to take the shot. 

The situation is fluid and playing out by the minute. Bloomberg is reporting the NYPD Has 10,000, or about one-third of uniformed officers, are unvaccinated as the mandate deadline approaches. NY Daily News is reporting The NYC Correction Department is faring the worst, with only 52% of its members vaccinated while only 68% of the FDNY has received at least one dose of the vaccine.

On Wednesday, October 20, De Blasio extended vaccine mandates to all public employees eliminating test out options.

Speaking at the protest, 16-year veteran NYC firefighter and president of the United Women’s Firefighters, Jackie Michelle-Martinez stated, “Nine days is not enough time for people who have mortgages, who have family, who have sick children, to make a life-changing decision.”

New York Uniformed Firefighters Association president Andrew Ansbro said, “On November 1st there’s gonna be a crisis in this city if thirty to forty percent of firefighters are sent home, we will have to close houses.”

New York Uniformed Firefighters Association president Andrew Ansbro speaks to crowd of protestors at Thursday’s rally in NYC

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