Republican NYC councilwoman barred from chamber floor over vaccination status
Severino: SCOTUS concerned with ‘who decides’ vaccine mandate policy
Judicial Crisis Network President Carrie Severino on the Supreme Court holding a hearing on the vaccine mandate.
Queens Councilwoman Vickie Paladino was barred from City Hall chambers during her first day on the job after she refused to submit her COVID-19 vaccination status.
In a series of tweets shared on her first day in office Wednesday, Paladino said she was “barred from the chamber floor due to my refusal to submit vax status to the city.”
In this March 2, 2021, file photo, pharmacy technician Hollie Maloney loads a syringe with Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine at the Portland Expo in Portland, Maine.
((AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, File))
“Our government is now interfering with a duly elected representative’s right to access the mechanisms of office,” Paladino wrote.
“Upon my arrival at City Hall, I was informed by Council officials that several progressive members had expressed ‘serious’ concern over me being in the building, and was told that I’d be removed from chambers if I attempted to enter,” she added.
Paladino, a Republican who represents District 19, said she did not want to “force a spectacle on the council floor” and instead discussed things with the GOP conference and Adrienne Adams, the first black woman to be elected speaker in the council’s history.
“I met with my GOP conference as well as Adrienne Adams and explained that out of respect for her nomination to Speaker, I would not cause an issue today,” Paladino wrote in another tweet. “She and I had a great conversation and I look forward to working with her.”
In addition, Paladino said she “made it clear that this courtesy would only be for today, and that I will fight the mandates with every resource available.”
“Not just the council mandates, but throughout the city,” Paladino said. “Going forward, if anyone has a problem with me in the chamber, they will have to remove me.”
New York, New York
In a statement, GOP members said they “support City Council Member Vickie Paladino’s right to make her own, personal medical decisions, and feel strongly that her decisions should not restrict her from performing any of her duties as a duly elected member of this legislative body, including attending public meetings in person.”
“There is no evidence to suggest Council Member Paladino, as long as she regularly tests negative for COVID, poses any real threat by entering the Council Chambers, where all attendees are fully masked and socially distanced,” the GOP members added.
Regarding the situation, the New York Post reported: “All City Council members must be vaccinated against coronavirus to enter chambers, according to council rules. Paladino, 67, has refused to submit her medical information. Sources close to her say she remains unvaccinated.”
In this Dec. 24, 2020, file photo, a COVID-19 vaccination record card is shown at Seton Medical Center in Daly City, Calif. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)
“She’s making history today and I look forward to working with Adrienne in the future,” Paladino told the Post. “And I see a very bright future because we understand each other.”
Council spokesman Walter Chi told The Post: “There will be no exceptions absent a valid request for a medical or religious accommodation. The protection of the health and safety of our staff and Council Members is of the highest priority to the Council.”
Fox News reached out to Paladino’s office, but did not receive an immediate response.
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