Despite a New Wave of Infections, No Mask or Vaccine Mandates

Credit: Office of New York City Mayor

NEW YORK, May 22 2022 (IPS) - A fifth wave of a new Covid 19 variant BA.2, followed by a surge in infections, is threatening to undermine the safety of New York city (NYC) which was gradually returning to normal after a prolonged pandemic shutdown. As a result, the City went on “high Covid alert.”

But NYC Mayor Eric Adams has assured New Yorkers he will not bring back mask and vaccine mandates in work places, shopping malls, restaurants and Broadway theaters. Instead, he said he will focus on anti-virus treatment and home-testing.

Briefing reporters at a press conference, he said “I think the reason we are here—and not seeing drastic actions – is because we’ve done an amazing job of telling people—vaccines, boosters”.

“When I was hit with Covid, it was just a tickle in my throat. I was still able to exercise, didn’t have any breathing issues, no pain,” he added.

“We are staying prepared and not panicking. When I look at the hospitalizations and deaths, the numbers are stable”, Adams assured.

Back in March, the Mayor released a new color-coded system that tracks COVID-19, alerts and keeps New York City residents apprised of the risks they face.

This new system will better help New Yorkers understand the current level of COVID-19 risk and how they can best protect themselves and others based on the current risk.

The system consists of four alert levels that outline precautions, and recommends actions for individuals and government—and is based on the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Community Burden Indicator.

Meanwhile, there was a rising wave of celebrity infections in the US last month, including Attorney General Merrick Garland, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and several members of Congress, including Joaquin Castro, Susan Collins and Adam Schiff, along with Broadway stars Sarah Jessica Parker, Matthew Broderick and Daniel Craig.

The United States also reached a milestone: one million deaths from the coronavirus infection.

According to the New York Times, more Americans have died from Covid-19 than in two decades of car crashes or on battlefields in all of the country’s wars combined. The U.S. toll is higher than that of any other country in the world.

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