The Mayor of Boston condemned New York City’s decision to impose vaccine passports on most private businesses, comparing the move to slavery and “birtherism,” the New York Post reports.
Acting Mayor Kim Janey (D-Mass.), said that the United States has “a long history” of people being asked to “show their papers.” Janey was responding to a question from local news outlet WCVB regarding her thoughts on New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D-N.Y.) ordering all restaurants, gyms, and entertainment venues to request proof of vaccination before any potential customers may enter.
Inexplicably likening the mandate to “what the immigrant population has to go through here,” and “the birth certificate nonsense” from President Donald Trump, Janey said that “here, we want to make sure that we are not doing anything that would further create a barrier for residents of Boston or disproportionately affect BIPOC communities.”
Nevertheless, Janey reiterated her support for getting as many people vaccinated as possible, saying that she wants to see businesses that “encourage their workforce to get vaccinated.” Currently, approximately 63 percent of Boston residents have received at least one shot of the vaccine, which Janey referred to as “good progress,” while adding that “we have much more work to do to make sure that everyone can get the vaccine, and we will continue to focus on that.”
Janey’s comments were criticized by some in her own party, with Boston City Councilmember Andrea Campbell (D-Mass.) tweeting that “this kind of rhetoric is dangerous. Showing proof of vaccination is not slavery or birtherism.” Janey responded with a follow-up statement clarifying that she had simply “pointed out several hurdles facing communities of color with lower vaccination rates. These hurdles should not be excuses, but we must consider our shared history as we work to ensure an equitable public health and economic recovery.”