Noisy NYC Anti-Vaccine Protests Are Hiding a Simple Fact

The mandates are working.

More than 26,000 of New York City's municipal workers remained unvaccinated after Friday's deadline. But the rates have surged in recent days.Seth Wenig/AP

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Rowdy protests. Trash thrown at the mayor’s mansion. Suspensions following threats to state Senate staffers. With the pushback against New York City’s vaccine mandate among a relatively small number of government employees grabbing headlines all week, it might have been easy to miss one simple fact: The mandates are working.

While 26,000 people missed Friday’s 5 p.m. deadline (and its accompanying $500 cash bonus), thousands more across city agencies were inspired to get the shot, according to data provided to Gothamist by Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office:

… the NYPD’s vaccination rate rose to 84% on Friday, up from 79% the day prior. FDNY’s rate increased to 77% from 69%. The Sanitation Department went from 67% to 77% .

Last night, the mayor announced that 91 percent of city workers now had one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, after a Saturday surge saw an additional 2,300 shots. In all, according to Gothamist, 19,000 employees joined the ranks of the vaccinated since the city did away with weekly testing as an alternative.

Still, there are holdouts—and apparent “sick outs,” especially among protesting firefighters, which have curtailed services within some firehouses in the city. “Irresponsible bogus sick leave by some of our members is creating a danger for New Yorkers and their fellow firefighters,” FDNY Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro said in a statement. “They need to return to work or risk the consequences of their actions.”

And there has been an uptick in complaints about uncollected trash in the famously trash-strewn metropolis, according to local press.

Unpaid leave for the remaining vaccine-resistant kicks in on Monday.

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We have a considerable $390,000 gap in our online fundraising budget that we have to close by June 30. There is no wiggle room, we've already cut everything we can, and we urgently need more readers to pitch in—especially from this specific blurb you're reading right now.

We'll also be quite transparent and level-headed with you about this.

In "News Never Pays," our fearless CEO, Monika Bauerlein, connects the dots on several concerning media trends that, taken together, expose the fallacy behind the tragic state of journalism right now: That the marketplace will take care of providing the free and independent press citizens in a democracy need, and the Next New Thing to invest millions in will fix the problem. Bottom line: Journalism that serves the people needs the support of the people. That's the Next New Thing.

And it's what MoJo and our community of readers have been doing for 47 years now.

But staying afloat is harder than ever.

In "This Is Not a Crisis. It's The New Normal," we explain, as matter-of-factly as we can, what exactly our finances look like, why this moment is particularly urgent, and how we can best communicate that without screaming OMG PLEASE HELP over and over. We also touch on our history and how our nonprofit model makes Mother Jones different than most of the news out there: Letting us go deep, focus on underreported beats, and bring unique perspectives to the day's news.

You're here for reporting like that, not fundraising, but one cannot exist without the other, and it's vitally important that we hit our intimidating $390,000 number in online donations by June 30.

And we hope you might consider pitching in before moving on to whatever it is you're about to do next. It's going to be a nail-biter, and we really need to see donations from this specific ask coming in strong if we're going to get there.

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