Albany, NY – On Wednesday January 5th, 2022, The Capitol of New York State became the center of hundreds of demonstrators chanting the slogan, “My Body, My Choice”, as legislators begin the 2022 Session. Various Bill looks to target and force children to be inoculated against COVID as part of a child’s immunization schedule that spans from 0 to 18 years of age. Protestors and advocates eventually march the streets of Albany culminating in front of the Governor’s Mansion where they called out for Gov. Kathy Hochul to end COVID restrictions and requirements.
Among the Bills is A8378 that will prohibit any child from attending “school”, which as defined in its context, include daycares and nurseries without a COVID shot and require school officials to report parents that refuse to local health authorities. The sponsor of this Bill is (D) Bill is Jeffrey Dinowitz and Co-Sponsor (D) Phillip Steck who are both members of the New York State Assembly. See below for more Bills related to COVID regulations.
Pro-Choice demonstrators flooded the West Capitol Park which the Legislative Office Building faces and is near many other prominent buildings such as the NYS Senate and the NYS Department of Education. They oppose COVID-19 vaccine mandates and legislation they consider are unnecessary and that violate personal freedoms.
This event was called NYS Freedom of Choice Rally and was organized with the help of Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s nonprofit Children’s Health Defense. The group attempts to promote improvements in the FDA approval process of vaccines, their safety for children and the elimination of the use of harmful compounds such as mercury. Dozens of other organizations join, including individual New Yorkers that have no general opposition to vaccines and are mostly from the working class who simply oppose COVID inspired regulations. They intend to make their voices heard on a number of issues that law makers are looking to implement as part of the 2022 Legislative Session that began Wednesday.
“This is about individual choice, people should be free to decide what to put in their bodies and not the government,” said Jose Nieves, “besides everyone around me that got the shot is now getting COVID, how can they say it’s doing anything. Even people with boosters are getting sick.”
Addressing the New York State Legislature is the newest efforts from New Yorkers on their fight against COVID mandates since the beginning of the pandemic, largely imposed by the governor’s office via executive order. In contrast to other states, many New York judges don’t seem to share in the opinion that individuals have constitutional rights that protect their freedom of choice, although not all, and prefer to side along the executive branch in rulings, most particularly when it comes to imposing COVID vaccine mandates on workers.
New York State Bills pertaining to COVID regulations:
- A8378 – Mandating that kids get the COVID-19 vaccine, once “approved by the United States public health service,” as a condition of attending any public, private, parochial or other school, and conditioning school aid on the execution of such an immunization program.
- A8398 – Further limiting exemptions from any kind of immunization and repealing the current law granting an exemption to “a person who holds genuine and sincere religious beliefs which are contrary to” the vaccination requirement.
- S75A – Requiring any vaccinator to report to the government all immunizations of people at least 19 years old, unless the person objects; currently, the law requires affirmative consent.
- S3041– Allowing minors who are at least 14 years old to consent to vaccination “regardless of parental consent.”
- S1653 – Ordering that the government start keeping records to track health-care providers who grant exemptions to vaccines in school. The aim is to develop “sufficient information to investigate suspicious patterns of vaccine medical exemptions and take appropriate actions.”
Many in the rally opposing COVID restrictions were New York City workers from teachers to healthcare workers that have been working in the frontlines since the beginning of the pandemic. Some voicing their disappointment of Mayor Eric Adams who appears to be a continuation of Bill De Blasio’s politics.
“Bill De Blasio who knows that the majority of unvaccinated people in New York City are black and brown people, his married to a black woman, and yet he decided to put up a mandate making a person like myself lose my job and career,” said activist Jo Rose, “then we have Eric Adams who is a black man that is now in office and texted me that he would not share a room with unvaccinated people. Discrimination all over again. Now is not done by race, now it is done by vaccination status. Jim Crow Law has return. But I don’t call it Jim Crow Law, I call it Jim Covid Law and Jim Covid Law needs to be destroy.”