Commentary

De Blasio Now Offering New Yorkers Free Fast Food After Trying to Ban 'Unhealthy' Sodas

Politicians are sanctimonious hypocrites. It is known. That being said, I’m not sure there’s a living American politician as sanctimonious and as hypocritical as New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.

One of de Blasio’s earliest initiatives as mayor— which, according to the Wall Street Journal, was ripped right out of his predecessor Michael Bloomberg’s playbook — was a ban on large, sugary drinks to help fight obesity.

Bloomberg’s ban was ruled as unlawful by the courts in 2012. But de Blasio has never been deterred by morals, a coherent political philosophy or the rule of law. He pushed through it anyway, though the effort thankfully never panned out.

Now, de Blasio is helping promote a new initiative to encourage COVID vaccination — if you’ve received your COVID vaccine, you can go claim some free french fries at Shake Shack!

The announcement was accompanied by the most uncomfortable 50 seconds of a news conference I have ever seen. De Blasio made strange proclamations while chewing his burger and fries in a way I hope I never have to see again.

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“Is it too early in the day to eat a burger?” de Blasio inquired. “This can be breakfast?”

“If this is appealing to you,” he said, pointing to his burger, “just think of this when you think of vaccination.”

Would you get a vaccine for free french fries?

“Mmmmmmmm, vaccination,” de Blasio followed, as he made very loud chewing noises that almost certainly made everyone in the room with him, and watching the news conference virtually, very uncomfortable.

It seems someone needs a reminder that fries are literally just fried starch. According to Shake Shack’s website, a serving of their crinkle-cut fries contains 470 calories and over 20 grams of fat. Meanwhile, the large, sugary Coke de Blasio once tried to ban from the city has 210 calories.

The nutritional content of either product isn’t the point. This is America, and we can eat whatever we want here, no matter how unhealthy it is.

The point is de Blasio once sought to ban “large, sugary drinks” he deemed unhealthy in the name of fighting obesity, only to push something even more unhealthy to incentivize people to get vaccinated just a few years later.

In all honesty, de Blasio’s current plan is actually a decent idea. Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine is doing something similar with a vaccine lottery, in which vaccinated citizens can enter to win millions of dollars, and Buffalo, New York has used a “shot-for-a-shot” strategy in bars to great effect.

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But de Blasio has “shot” his credibility over and over again, and his latest stunt reeks of that hypocrisy. The man will do or say anything that he perceives to be in his self-interest, but he runs into trouble because he’s not as smart or personable as he thinks he is.

People like him damage the credibility of American vaccination efforts. The vaccines are safe and effective, but how can somebody take these political sycophants seriously.

I, for one, am glad his days as mayor are numbered.

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Garion Frankel is the senior policy advisor for the Texas Federation of College Republicans. He enjoys and has published articles and academic works on public policy, philosophy and political theory.
Garion Frankel is the senior policy advisor for the Texas Federation of College Republicans. He enjoys and has published articles and academic works on public policy, philosophy and political theory.
Languages Spoken
English, some Spanish




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