Mayor Adams defends vaccine policy change

New York City Mayor Eric Adams is defending his decision to only lift the vaccine mandate for pro-athletes and performers despite backlash from critics who call it a double standard.

The Mayor discussed the issue on Friday during an interview with Lori Stokes on "The Six O’clock news" here on Fox 5 NY.

"This was not unfair this was the right way as we do this holistic approach of opening up the economy," Adams said.

When asked about the possibility of future lawsuits, Adams did not change his position.

"If someone believes something was done unfairly they can go to court," Adams said. "We believe we are on solid ground, that's what my attorney's stated. I would not have done it without speaking to the attorneys first."

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Adams' decision means famous anti-vaxxer Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving will again get to play in home games.

However, the decision has some crying foul since nearly 1500 city workers lost their jobs for refusing to get the vaccine.

One of them was Citi Field restaurant waitress Elissa Embree.

"I was effectively told that my season was ending early because the mandate had taken effect and I was not vaccinated," Embree said.

Embree told FOX 5 NY that she thinks if unvaccinated pro-athletes can play she should be able to work.

"I would love to get my job back. I never would have left that job. I had 10 city years left in me. I wasn't going anywhere. It gave me joy to be in this space, the spirited environment. I've been a Mets fan since ninety. I wanted none of this. All I want is to work," Embree said.

Rachel Maniscalco, a teacher at Staten Island’s Concord High School, has been on unpaid leave since October. She too thinks it's unfair.

"I worked through the Pandemic. I worked pregnant through the Pandemic!" Maniscalco said. 

So when will the vaccine mandate be lifted for all New Yorkers? Mayor Adams says it will happen layer by layer and he will review the science at each step of the process to ensure numbers are not rising.