COVID New York City Update: Super-Spreader Concern As United Nations General Assembly Meets In-Person
The biggest concern, however, appears to be preventing the reunion from becoming a COVID super-spreader event.
New York City officials have asked leaders to show proof that they are fully vaccinated before entering the United Nations Hall for the opening ceremonies.
“We are concerned that the UN event is a mass-market event,” said US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield. “We need to take all measures to ensure that it does not become a major event.”
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The President of the General Assembly supports the vaccination requirement, but there has been opposition from Russia, with that country’s ambassador to the UN calling it a discriminatory measure.
The United Nations says it will operate on an “honor system” and trust those who claim to be vaccinated.
Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city will open a contextual testing and vaccination site outside of UN headquarters.
At least 37 protests are expected to take place in the streets outside the UN, with protesters claiming the richest countries in the world must help end the pandemic.
“We know that many high-income countries have accumulated vaccines,” protester Dr Oni Blackstop said. “We have about 1.5 billion doses, excess doses, right now in many high-income countries. And those doses can go immediately to low-income countries that don’t currently have that level of access.”
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who claims he is unvaccinated, plans to speak in person this week, and no one should stop him.
The mayor of Blasio, however, would like it.
“We have to send a message to all world leaders, including, in particular, Bolsonaro from Brazil, that if you are going to come here you have to be vaccinated,” he said. “If you don’t want to get the shot, don’t bother coming.”
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