New York Metropolis’s Division of Investigation says it’s conscious of allegations involving bogus COVID vaccination playing cards issued to staff in at the very least two businesses amid mounting strain to adjust to Mayor Invoice de Blasio’s citywide vaccine mandate.
DOI, which is tasked with unbiased oversight of metropolis authorities, declined additional remark in an e-mail late Sunday because the investigation continues.
The 2 departments on the heart of the allegations — hearth and sanitation, according to The New York Post, which first reported the probe — make use of staff that had been among the many most vocally against the mandate within the days earlier than and after its Nov. 1 launch. Anybody who would not comply should go on unpaid go away.
A serious firefighters union, the Uniformed Hearth Officers Affiliation, was notably absent from the vaccine mandate deal town has inked with now at the very least 15 labor unions, whereas some sanitation staff allegedly staged a trash pick-up slowdown in components of town the week earlier than the mandate took impact.
Requests for remark to the FDNY and UFOA weren’t instantly returned. Not less than 87% of the FDNY is at the very least partially vaccinated, in accordance with town’s newest knowledge. That quantity is up dramatically from the 60% dosed on Oct. 19, the day earlier than the mayor introduced his deliberate vaccine mandate enlargement.
Charges considerably fluctuate by unit, although, with civilian FDNY staff reporting the very best vaccination fee (94%), adopted by EMS (92%) and firefighters (85%). Observe the newest numbers throughout town’s workforce by company right here.
A sanitation division spokesman, Joshua Goodman, informed Information 4 it was actively investigating the allegations in coordination with DOI.
“These are very concerning allegations and we take them very seriously – getting vaccinated is important to public health, and we do not tolerate anyone faking something that is a requirement of city employment,” Goodman stated.
“Thousands of DSNY employees have stepped up to get vaccinated in the last several weeks, and over 87% of the department is either fully or partially vaccinated,” he added. Anybody discovered to have faked their vaccination shall be suspended with out pay.”
In keeping with the Publish, a few of the pretend vaccination playing cards allegedly getting used had been taken once they had been clean after which reappropriated. Others allegedly concerned folks affiliated with pharmacy retailers, the paper stated.
It is not instantly clear what number of potential fraudulent circumstances are below investigation by DOI. Beneath the mayor’s mandate, any metropolis worker who didn’t present proof of at the very least one vaccine dose by Nov. 1 needed to go on unpaid go away.
As of final week, about 2,600 remained on unpaid go away, down from 9,000 the day the mandate went into impact, however at the very least 12,400 medical and exemption claims are nonetheless pending selections by respective businesses, de Blasio stated final week.
Practically half of these searching for exemption are NYPD officers.