NYC businesses, including Brooklyn bakery, sue de Blasio over vaccine mandate

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NEW YORK (1010 WINS) — The Independent Restaurant Owners Association is suing New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio seeking an injunction over the city-wide order that requires anyone to show proof of vaccination to enter restaurants, gyms, bars and other indoor venues — which went into effect this week.

"Faced with arbitrary, irrational, unscientific and unlawful vaccine mandates in the [executive order] enacted by Mayor Bill de Blasio putatively to curb the spread of COVID-10 and the so called "delta variant" — mandates that would severely impact Plaintiff-Petitioner's business, life savings and livelihood," the lawsuit says.

The complaint filed in state court in Staten Island Tuesday includes Pasticceria Rocco, DeLuca’s Italian Restaurant and Staten Island Judo Jujitsu, according to Bloomberg.

Pasticceria Rocco manager Mary Josephine Generoso, argued her reluctance toward the mandate was "not political," but rather to emphasize a push for "civil liberties and freedoms."

She placed a sign in the Bay Ridge, Brooklyn bakery and diner that read: "We do not discriminate against any customer based on sex, gender, race, creed, age, vaccinated or unvaccinated. All customers who wish to patronize are welcome."

De Blasio said during a press conference Tuesday that he disagreed with Generoso's belief that the “Key to NYC” program is discriminatory pointing to the need to promote public health and public safety — alluding to the use of driver's licenses.

"It's not discrimination, this is about protecting people," he said. "In our society for generations, we've done all sorts of things to protect people. We have driver's licenses. As you heard from [Council Member] Steve Levin, we've had vaccinations of all kinds. There’s so many things we do to protect people. This is a way of protecting people."

Bloomberg reports de Blasio declined to comment on the lawsuit that argues COVID-19 restrictions have have “severely and irreparably damaged” businesses throughout the city.

De Blasio said Wednesday the city had the legal authority to implement these restrictions, according to the outlet.

Full enforcement of the program is set to begin on Sept. 13.

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