In a protest against the unvaccinated people, Mayor Bill de Blasio has publicly told President Jair Bolsonaro not to come to New York City for the United Nations General Assembly meeting. Still, the Brazilian leader is expected to defy the mayor’s demand.
During his daily briefing in Queens on Monday, Sept. 20, De Blasio sent a futile message to the world leaders who had not been vaccinated against COVID-19 before attending the indoor meeting, New York Post reported.
“We need to send a message to all the world leaders, including most notably Bolsonaro from Brazil, that if you intend to come here, you need to be vaccinated,” de Blasio said.
“If you don’t want to be vaccinated, don’t bother coming because everyone should be safe together,” the mayor said.
But Bolsonaro is highly likely to resist the directive from de Blasio, who in August announced the ”Key to NYC” vaccination mandate for indoor dining, entertainment, and fitness.
New York City officials sent a letter to General Assembly President Abdulla Shahid of the Maldives on Sept. 9, making clear that “Indoor entertainment also includes ‘convention centers,’ and the UN General Assembly Hall qualifies as a convention center,” CBS News reported.
De Blasio contends that the Big Apple’s immunization rules cover UNGA Hall in Manhattan.
The General Assembly will begin its 76th annual meeting on Tuesday. Under UN tradition, as president of Brazil, Bolsonaro will be the first speaker at the event.
Bolsonaro has refused to get vaccinated, arguing that he survived a bout of COVID-19 last year.
“Why take the vaccine? To have antibodies, isn’t that right? My antibody levels are way up high,” he said Thursday. “After everybody in Brazil is vaccinated, I’ll decide.”
The City Hall told New York Post that the mayor’s directive to Bolsonaro was bluster.
“UNGA isn’t indoor entertainment, indoor fitness, or indoor dining—it’s not subject to Key to NYC,” deputy press secretary Mitch Schwartz said, noting that the city would station a “vax bus with Johnson n Johnson right outside the building.”