Mayoral Opponents Criticize Janey Over Objection to Requiring Proof of Vaccination

Remarks Boston Mayor Kim Janey made in opposition to requiring proof of vaccination for city employees are being criticized by fellow mayoral candidates Andrea Campbell and Michelle Wu

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Boston mayoral candidate Andrea Campbell is taking aim at Mayor Kim Janey for not requiring proof of vaccination for city employees and for invoking slavery and birtherism to make her point.

"The acting mayor's comments yesterday put people's health at risk, plain and simple," Campbell said.

Janey was asked if she went too far as her critics have said.

"What I said was there is a long history of asking people to show their papers," Janey said. "I think it's important that we stay focused on the life-saving vaccine."

At an event at a West Roxbury park Wednesday morning, Janey turned all questions about her comments back to her first priority of getting people vaccinated. But Campbell is not letting it go.

"I heard those remarks and I was shocked," she said.

Campbell says there's already too much misinformation about the pandemic, particularly for Black and brown residents.

"It is incumbent on us as leaders not to give these conspiracies any oxygen," she said.

Candidate Michelle Wu said the city needs to be responsive to the needs of all of our communities.

"But this is about a deadly pandemic and a moment of crisis," Wu said.

She also disagreeing with Janey, saying as mayor, she would require proof of vaccination in crowded public spaces, much like New York City's new policy.

"Anyone in a position of leadership right now should be using that platform to build trust in the vaccines," Wu said.

New York is the first major U.S. city to require proof of vaccination for certain indoor activities. The TEN looks at the logistics and ethics of vaccine mandates.

Janey was asked if her comments were misinterpreted.

"Well, there is a long history in this country of showing proof. And it's dangerous and it disproportionately impacts poor communities of color," she said.

Campbell says in addition to requiring proof of vaccination, she would offer $100 cash incentives for getting vaccinated and require masks in public schools.

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