New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio's new vaccine mandate for private business employees is facing a wave of backlash from local politicians, including council members and members of Congress representing the city.

Rep. Lee Zeldin, a Republican representing New York's 1st Congressional District, rebuked de Blasio in response to the new mandate.

"Worst Mayor in America is the dangerous combo of far-left, on the way out the door, 'de Blasio always knows best' attitude, anti-business, one-dimensional, unaccountable, and not bright," the congressman tweeted. "Also, no way this is legal!"

The new mandate requires the staff of private businesses in New York City to be vaccinated by Dec. 27, just four days before de Blasio leaves office. De Blasio called the new mandate a "preemptive strike" against the omicron variant ahead of the winter season. So far, only seven cases have been confirmed in New York City, according to the New York Post.


Zeldin also criticized another mandate from de Blasio that requires children ages 5-11 to show proof of vaccination when going to movies and dining out.

"The power trip continues! The Worst Mayor in America is requiring KIDS AGES 5-11 to show proof of COVID vaccination at indoor venues," Zeldin said. "This is about de Blasio’s ego (not science) and wanting to impose as much government control over the economy and people’s lives as possible."

Rep. Nicole Malliotakis, also a Republican, said she hopes incoming mayor Eric Adams will roll back the vaccine mandates de Blasio is leaving behind.

"Mayor de Blasio can’t leave fast enough," Malliotakis tweeted. "He has crushed small business, the economy & quality of life. How many more New Yorkers does he want to see move to the free state of Florida? I’m hopeful the incoming mayor will roll back these arbitrary mandates."

The new order comes at the end of de Blasio's eight years as New York City's mayor. De Blasio has not announced a run for governor of New York, though he did file the paperwork to create a fundraising committee last month.

Inna Vernikov, a New York City councilwoman, called the mayor a lame duck and claimed he does not know what the word "private" means in response to the latest mandate.

“Bill de Blasio has decided to spend his last few weeks as a lame duck by trampling all over New Yorkers’ bodily autonomy," Vernikov tweeted. "It was private schools last week, and now it’s private businesses. Our mayor doesn’t seem to understand what the word private means.”

Private business employees also criticized the new mandate.

“It’s too much to force private employees to get the vaccine — for city workers, you can technically say the mayor is your boss and if he says you must be vaccinated, then you must be vaccinated," Miguel Munoz, a midtown office building custodian, told the New York Post. "But I don’t see how the mayor has the right to force private workers to get vaccinated."

Kathryn Wylde, president of a business group called Partnership for New York City, said her organization had no warning of the new mandates.

“We were blindsided,” Wylde told The New York Times. “There’s no forewarning, no discussion, no idea about whether it’s legal or who he expects to enforce it.”

But not every response to the mandates has been negative. Democratic Council Member Mark Levine said there is a need for restrictions considering the emergence of new COVID-19 variants.

"BREAKING: NYC is strengthening vax screening at indoor public establishments like restaurants & theaters," Levine tweeted. "*Will include 5-11 yr olds (as of 12/14) *Will require a 2nd shot, not just single shot (as of 12/27) These are much needed measures in the face of our delta/omicron wave."

Another Democrat, Council Member Robert Holden, told the New York Post that de Blasio is hurting businesses at a time when they are trying to rebound roughly two years into the pandemic.

“The mandates will further burden the private sector at a time when the government should be doing everything possible to help businesses grow," Holden said through a spokesperson. "Making it harder for families to go out to eat and harder for businesses to hire is the exact opposite of what we should be doing.”


De Blasio also announced Monday that two doses of the vaccine will be needed to enter businesses in New York City instead of one. The new mandates, including the requirement for children 5-11 to be vaccinated, will also go into effect Dec. 27. More details on how the new mandates will be enforced are expected Dec. 15.