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Morning Spew

It’s Wednesday and Anti-Vaxxers Are Trying to Dump Ketchup on Bill de Blasio’s House

The anti-vaxxers are protesting, even as the lawmakers are bowing to their demands.

6:49 AM EDT on August 17, 2022

(Pamela Drew / Flickr)

Yesterday, anti-vaxxers reportedly appeared at the former mayor’s house to chant the sole rallying cry every New Yorker can agree with, no matter how tenuous their grasp of medical science: “Fuck de Blasio.” According to Talia Jane, an independent reporter, the protestors TP’d the mayors fence and surrounding cars; they also dumped ketchup on the street and tossed fake money around. The motive, for the time being, remains somewhat murky: As Jane summarized, “Y’all need better hobbies, lol.” 

The protest was doubly odd considering that around the time the dozen or so anti-vaccine activists descended on the former mayor’s house to perform their improv routine, the City announced a change to its policies around COVID-19 safety in schools—changes that, bolstered by recently relaxed CDC guidance and informed by longstanding fear of revolt from just the kinds of people who were trying to dump ketchup on the former mayor’s lawn, significantly limited public health policies that had been in effect since the pandemic began. When school starts on September 8, in-school PCR testing and daily health screening will be gone. The New York City Department of Education no longer recommends that people stay six feet away from others or quarantine at home if they’re exposed to the virus; vaccines will be mandated for teachers and for some extracurricular activities but won't be required for students. Masks are strongly recommended but not required. 

“I think we are all expecting to see a lot more cases moving forward,” a Queens pediatrician told the New York Times. As the paper previously reported, while both Eric Adams and Kathy Hochul have signaled support for required COVID-19 vaccines for public school students, broader support for such a policy just isn’t there, in part because of the risk-to-reward ratio, given how euphemistically controversial such a policy might be. Earlier this year, the state's Democratic lawmakers introduced bills in the assembly and the senate to add COVID-19 vaccines to the 12 other vaccinations required for public schools attendance. But many legislators feared backlash: When the same body passed a 2019 law removing religious exemptions for childhood vaccines, anti-vaxxers protested at the capitol and outside lawmakers’ homes. “I think there is still PTSD on behalf of some of my colleagues,” Senator Brad Hoylman said by way of explanation for why a COVID-19 vaccine mandate wouldn’t pass. 

Anyway, I texted my mom recently to make sure I had been vaccinated for polio. How about you? 

Here’s some other shit that’s happening in the Big Oyster:

  • The Post reports a “secret billionaire” has swept in to save the Central Park Boathouse. 
  • Conrad Tillard, the pastor and Democratic state senate candidate recently endorsed by Eric Adams, has a history of hateful remarks: According to the New York Daily News, Tillard once referred to Jews as “bloodsuckers,” said he did not “believe in” abortion, and opposed same-sex marriage. Despite all this, Adams believes the pastor has changed. 
  • Another day, another City employee who loves to party: Gary Jenkins, the City’s social services chief under investigation for mishandling a series of homeless shelter crisis, reportedly took a nice little trip on a yacht the day after the City declared overcrowding in the system an emergency. “Thinking of a master plan,” Jenkins captioned one Instagram photo in which he gazed out into the harbor at sunset. “I’m both the Lion and Goat at the door of his office,” wrote Karen St. Hilaire, his top aide, who was also present. “Being a Chief of Staff is not for the faint of heart. Got his left and right.” Their accounts have since been made private. 
  • According to the CITY, 4,703 New Yorkers filed claims against the City for flooding related to Hurricane Ida, alleging that municipal negligence in sewer maintenance led to significant damage. Comptroller Brad Lander denied all 4,703 claims.  
  • It’s crime time: Two federal indictments unsealed in federal court Tuesday allege nine members of two of New York’s biggest crime families ran illegal poker games and gambling rings out of several businesses, including one called Sal’s Shoe Repair. A detective who allegedly conducted police raids on rivals in exchange for cash was also charged. 

How to slide through the rest of your week: 

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