Democrats in Philadelphia will begin punishing city employees who are not vaccinated against the coronavirus next month by forcing them to wear two masks when they are indoors.
The city will begin the campaign of punishment agency the unvaccinated on Sept. 1, KYW-TV reported Thursday. An uptick in reported COVID cases is blamed for the double mask mandate.
Dr. Cheryl Bettigole, acting Philadelphia health commissioner, challenged the rights of city workers to make their own health choices in a statement.
“Getting vaccinated isn’t just a personal decision,” Bettigole told KYW. “It’s a decision that affects all of us.”
The health commissioner made the comments after Democratic Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney announced other new restrictions and mandates over the reported surge in coronavirus cases in the city and elsewhere.
“Things don’t look good right now, especially in light of what we’re seeing in other states,” Bettigole said.
Kenney said the new restrictions on individual liberty are necessary and that he is “upset” at the reported rise in cases.
“We know we need to take stronger steps to protect our residents,” the mayor said, according to KYW.
Kenney blamed the 30 percent of Philadelphians who have not been vaccinated for the case surge.
“This amazes me that this is the most simple thing to do to keep yourself safe and your family safe and your community safe and people still refuse to do it,” he said.
Beginning on Friday morning, Kenney placed a halt on civil liberties in some circumstances in the city. He bragged about the sweeping mandates on Twitter.
Yesterday, we announced a new mask mandate for Philadelphians. While we are all tired of this pandemic, we must continue to do what is right to keep our loved ones—especially our children—safe from serious illness or death. Let’s do this together, Philly. https://t.co/Pha5wdqbKD
— Jim #VaxUpPhilly Kenney (@PhillyMayor) August 12, 2021
KYW reported that all businesses in Philadelphia are now required to force masks on employees and customers. The mask mandate does not apply to those who can prove they have been vaccinated.
Philadelphia additionally requires masks to be worn indoors everywhere that vaccines are not required for everyone. Also, the city will attempt to force anyone attending an outdoor gathering with more than 1,000 people to wear a mask unless he or she is seated.
All Philadelphia restaurants must require masks for indoor dining unless the business has its own vaccine mandate.
WOW! Every time I think it can’t get stupider, it does!
— 19_mo_86 (@19_mo_86) August 13, 2021
Kenney welcomed lawsuits from those who are opposed to his new restrictions on liberty by portraying himself as a reluctant hero.
“If somebody wants to sue us for trying to keep them alive, then we’ll see what the judge has to say,” he said.
Philadelphia has reported one COVID death within the last seven days, according to the nonprofit data tracker USAFacts. From Aug. 5 to Thursday, two people in the city were murdered by gun violence, according to statistics provided by the city.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.