Mayor Eric Adams tried to downplay the split between him and the City Council speaker on the COVID-19 vaccine mandate exemption for New York City-based professional athletes and performers like Nets star Kyrie Irving, telling reporters, “It’s all good.”
Queens Councilwoman Adrienne Adams, no relation, panned his decision to grant an exception to basketball and baseball players but not everyday Big Apple workers.
“We have 8.8 million people and 30 million opinions. We only have one mayor. She’s the speaker of the City Council, we’re going to agree and disagree sometimes. That’s all right. I don’t agree with myself all the time,” he told reporters in Brooklyn. “She has the right to her opinion, and I have the right to carry out what’s best for the city of New York.”
The mayor’s answer comes after Adrienne Adams last week voiced “serious concerns” over what she called “a step away from following sensible, public health-driven policies that prioritize equity.”
“I’m worried about the increasingly ambiguous messages that are being sent to New Yorkers about public health during this continuing pandemic,” the council speaker said in a statement Thursday following the mayor’s announcement at Citi Field.
“This exemption sends the wrong message that higher-paid workers and celebrities are being valued as more important than our devoted civil servants, which I reject.”
On Thursday, Adams exempted the city’s athletes and performers from the Big Apple’s COVID-19 private-sector vaccine mandate following weeks of pressure after it kept Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving from playing in home games, and was expected to bar unvaccinated professional baseball players from taking the field next month.
The backlash to the new carveout for the wealthy and famous while keeping the Big Apple private employee instituted in December by ex-Mayor Bill de Blasio and maintained by Adams was swift and severe.
Lawyers told The Post Thursday that scores of workers who got fired for refusing to comply with the city’s COVID-19 vaccine mandates are lining up to sue City Hall. Adams last month fired more than 1,400 municipal workers who refused to get vaccinated.
In addition, Elissa Embree — an unvaccinated 43-year-old Harlem resident who was sent home last week from preseason orientation for her job as a waitress at the Mets’ Citi Field — told The Post in a front-page story that Adams exempting rich athletes but not regular New Yorkers like her from the city’s vaccination rules was “major slap in the face.”