Incoming NY Mayor Eric Adams Targeted by Vaccine Mandate Protesters

Protesters have targeted incoming New York City Mayor Eric Adams with a plea to end COVID-19 vaccine mandates, just as those edicts ordered by the outgoing mayor have taken effect.

A video published Monday afternoon showed a small anti-mandate demonstration outside of Adams' offices.

In the video—posted on Twitter by independent photographer Leeroy Johnson—a group of protesters chant, "Eric Adams, end all the mandates," as a drum beats and a tambourine jingles in the background. It featured numerous protesters recording with their cell phones and at least one man wearing camouflage and carrying a U.S. flag.

Adams will become the city's mayor at midnight January 1, 2022. On that night, he will inherit the newly instated vaccine mandates put into place by the city's outgoing mayor, Bill de Blasio. The new mandates began Monday, just four days before Adams takes office.

Earlier this month, de Blasio announced that employees of private businesses would need to provide proof of at least partial COVID-19 vaccination. Businesses that fail to maintain such employee vaccination records could face fines beginning at $1,000. The order applies to approximately 184,000 businesses citywide.

Additionally, de Blasio said that New Yorkers ages 12 and older will need to show proof of complete vaccination—not including boosters—to enter indoor venues such as restaurants, gyms, and movie and music spaces.

New York Mayor Adams vaccine mandates protests
Protesters call for incoming New York City Mayor Eric Adams to end COVID-19 vaccine mandates imposed by outgoing Mayor Bill de Blasio. Above, a small group of anti-vaccination activists gather outside New York-Presbyterian Hospital on Sept. 1, 2021, in New York City. Spencer Platt/Getty

In a Monday news interview, de Blasio said, "We knew with [the Omicron variant] coming, with cold weather, it was time to do more, and thank God we did because these mandates have been absolutely necessary to keep this city going."

Adams hasn't publicly stated whether he would continue de Blasio's mandates. In an early November interview, however, Adams said he expected city agency commissioners to have a "mandate" to keep businesses open and thriving.

"My agency heads are going to get a new mandate," Adams told WNYW. "Instead of going into a business figuring out how to close it down, darn it, you're going to figure out how to keep the doors open."

Adams also said he would sit down with union leaders to examine an earlier vaccine mandate that de Blasio put in place for all municipal employees.

Fire department and sanitation service workers began calling in sick in a planned slowdown to show opposition to de Blasio's mandates, Politico reported. Protests elsewhere in the city have asked New York state Governor Kathy Hochul to overturn the mandates as well.

Adams has reportedly met with public health experts to determine whether to keep the mandates. He is also considering whether to require vaccination boosters for any current city COVID-19 policies, Spectrum News reported.

The new mayor is expected to announce his approach to mandates, as well as the reopening of the city's public schools, in early January.