NYC Mayor to Brooklyn Nets’ Kyrie Irving: Get Vaccinated
(Bloomberg) -- New York Mayor Bill de Blasio made an appeal to Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving to get vaccinated after the basketball player dodged questions about whether he'd be able to comply with the city's vaccine mandates at sports arenas.
“His fans are going to say 'come on, join us, help us,'” de Blasio said on a Wednesday appearance on CNN.
De Blasio said he didn't believe the Nets should make any exceptions for Irving, who must be vaccinated to play at the Nets home arena. He said the reason why the city was pushing so hard on widespread vaccine mandates for sports and other cultural venues, health-care workers and teachers is because the requirements are working to boost vaccine rates. He said 45% more doses have been administered since the first mandates were issued in July.
"We all respond to deadlines, we all respond to rules," he said. "Now is time for mandates, we have to end the Covid era."
Nearly two thirds of New Yorkers are vaccinated, making the city and the state one of the highest vaccinated places in the U.S. The highest-vaccinated state is Vermont with 69% of residents fully vaccinated, according to the Bloomberg Vaccine Tracker.
“The mandates have worked,” de Blasio said. “In the end, are you going to do the right thing, keep that paycheck, the vast majority choose to get vaccinated.”
On Monday, Irving failed to show up at the Brooklyn Nets media day at the Barclays Center. Speaking on Zoom, he declined to disclose whether he's vaccinated or would be able to play in the Nets’ first home preseason game on Oct. 8.
“I just would love to just keep that private, and handle it the right way with my team, and go forward together with a plan,” Irving said. “Obviously, I’m not able to be present there today. But that doesn’t mean that I’m putting any limits on the future of me being able to join the team.”
Players who do not comply with local vaccine mandates won’t be compensated for games they miss, said NBA Spokesman Mike Bass.
De Blasio also lauded teachers who were getting vaccinated ahead of a Friday deadline to get Covid shots or get placed on unpaid leave. By Monday morning, 100% of staff will be vaccinated, de Blasio said. He said 92% of healthcare workers were vaccinated after a statewide mandate went into effect this week.
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