New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently announced that the State University of New York and the City University of New York will require all students to get vaccinated for COVID-19 before returning for the fall season. He adds that this will depend on the federal government’s approval of the vaccine, as well as the requirements in how they are being distributed under emergency authorizations.
“If you must have a vaccine, get it now if you have to get it anyway,. I also encourage private schools to do the same thing. Let’s make a global statement — you cannot go back to school in September unless you have a vaccine. That will be a major motivation to get the vaccine,” Gov. Cuomo said.
In the five New York City boroughs, about 394,000 undergrads and graduate students are enrolled in the state university colleges and 274,000 students in the city universities. While public institutions have yet to issue similar mandates, private schools like Cornell University and New York University have already required COVID-19 vaccinations for students returning this fall. Individuals can be exempt for medical and religious reasons.
The push to require vaccines at public colleges and universities has also spread to sports. Erie County, New York, Executive Mark Poloncarz also announced plans that require all fans and staff members to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to attend Buffalo Bills games this fall.
Rachel Bush, the wife of star safety Jordan Poyer, called the requirements ‘unconstitutional’ and said she found it alarming how many Americans think it’s perfectly okay to force an experimental vaccine on citizens.
“Here is the thing. If you can not function in society normally without getting an experimental vaccine…then there is no option, which means it’s forced. It’s their way or the highway and that is the exact opposite of freedom and a choice. We will continue to fight this,” Bush tweeted.
Gov. Cuomo has also tried to incentivize New Yorkers into getting the vaccine by offering free tickets to Mets and Yankees Major League Baseball games for those who got vaccinated at the ballparks before games. The Natural History Museum in New York is also offering free tickets to visitors who can get their shot under the iconic blue whale.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio even suggested that vaccine passports could be the “new ID” required at bars and nightclubs in the state. He brought up the idea of fully reopening the city’s restaurants and bars by July, adding that a “proof of vaccination” or a negative COVID-19 test would allow venues to increase their capacities. He suggested the vaccine passports, such as the Excelsior Pass, as a way for fully vaccinated people to hang out indoors without masks.
While New York sits under lock and key, other states have been actively fighting against vaccination requirements. Wyoming was the most recent state to join others including Arkansas, Idaho, Montana, Florida, Texas, South Dakota, and Arizona, in prohibiting the use of vaccine passports, saying that the residents’ vaccination choices are private matters.
Wyoming Gov. Mark Jordon recently issued a directive that would ban state officials from requiring people to receive a COVID-19 vaccine in order to provide full access to places and services. He said vaccine passport programs have the potential to “politicize” a decision that should not be politicized and divide citizens at a time when unity is essential. The governor said vaccines are a “personal choice, based upon personal circumstance.”
Tennessee, New Hampshire, Michigan, and New Jersey have also started reviewing similar measures related to vaccine passports.
GOP lawmakers and red states continue to protect the American people from a government that is trying to incentivize and require a vaccination that isn’t even fully approved by the Food & Drug Administration. What happened to “my body, my choice?”