STATEN ISLAND, NY – A Staten Island business group filed a lawsuit in the State Supreme Court on Tuesday night against the New York City Executive Order signed by Mayor Bill de Blasio that requires vaccination for indoor entertainment, recreation, dining and fitness.
The lawsuit, brought in part by a collection of owners primarily located in Staten Island and Brooklyn, dubbed the Independent Restaurant Owners Association Rescue (IROAR), calls the latest term “arbitrary, irrational, unscientific and illegal.”
The lawsuit argues that the warrant “would have a serious impact on the business, economy and livelihood of the plaintiff-petitioner” and seeks a permanent injunction against the order.
The decree, which came into effect on August 16, requires all customers and employees of bars, restaurants, cinemas, performance halls, gymnasiums and other indoor entertainment venues to show proof that they have received at least one dose of the drug. coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine to enter.
“We look forward to resuming this fight against government excesses,” said lawyers Mark Fonte and Lou Gelormino, who represent the companies, in a written statement. “Vito Fossella asked us to get involved and we had strong support from [Rep.] Nicole Malliotakis.
“Together, we will push back on behalf of the people of Staten Island and the businesses we all care about. We are looking to put an end to these mandates, ”they said.
The lawsuit argues that, unlike previous executive orders created during the COVID-19 pandemic, people do not have the option of providing a negative test result or wearing a mask instead of vaccination, as well as no accommodations for people who cannot get vaccinated or who have had an infection in the past.
As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) explains, “the evidence indicates that the development of antibodies after infection likely confers some degree of immunity against subsequent infection for at least 6 months.” The agency adds: “It is not known to what extent emerging viral variants may impact immunity against subsequent infection.”
Court documents raise statistics from Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office late last year which showed the majority of coronavirus transmissions at the time – around 74% – were occurring at home when it is low likely that social distancing and masking measures will be followed.
Meanwhile, some establishments are targeted by the ordinance while others are left out, the lawsuit says, noting that grocery stores, pharmacies, hair salons, churches and other facilities fall outside the jurisdiction. of the mandate.
And studies that indicate that vaccinated and unvaccinated people could contract the delta variant further illustrate “the arbitrariness of this decree,” the lawsuit said.
A federal study in Massachusetts found that an outbreak of the delta variant was primarily among those vaccinated, suggesting that those who received the vaccine could still carry a viral load high enough to transmit the virus. No deaths were reported in the study, and vaccines currently approved for emergency use by the Food and Drug Administration remain very effective in preventing serious illness and death, according to several studies and health experts. .
The highly virulent delta variant now makes up the majority of coronavirus cases in the United States, and local hospitals have said the vast majority of hospital patients are not vaccinated.
“Although the government is fully empowered to take emergency action against deadly dangers, it is the basic law of this country that constitutional rights and prohibitions do not change in an emergency,” the report read. trial.
Two weeks ago, a group of Staten Island officials including Malliotakis, Fossella, State Senator Andrew Lanza, Assembly Member Michael Reilly, Assembly Member Michael Tannousis and City Councilor Joe Borelli rallied in pursuit.
In addition to IROAR, the personal trainer of Staten Island Evolve 33, Staten Island Judo-Jujitsu in Annadale, DeLuca’s Italian Restaurant in Tottenville, Project Visual Inc. in Suffolk, NY, Max’s Es-ca in Dongan Hills, Rocco’s Brooklyn Bakery and Pasticceria Rocco are listed as plaintiffs in the case.
In a press conference on Wednesday, de Blasio said his office had “very great confidence that we were in a very strong legal position” regarding the mandate.
“We are still in a global pandemic. The decisions that were made were made with the leadership of our health officials who have been fighting this battle from the start, ”said de Blasio, adding,“ This is about public health and safety.
“We know we need to get more people vaccinated and to strategically focus on ways to get more people vaccinated, especially young people where there has been a real gap so that we can stop the spread of the delta variant,” is mission critical, ”said de Blasio.