Yesterday, after the New York City Health Commissioner declared that everyone in 4 zip codes, 6 months or older, must be vaccinated or risk arrest and a $1000 fine, Gov. Andrew Cuomo called the move “legally questionable.”
When asked during a radio interview about the mayor’s move in response to the measles outbreak that has infected less than 300 people in NYC (and mostly in Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods) he said, “Look it’s a serious public health concern, but it’s also a serious First Amendment issue and it is going to be a constitutional, legal question. Do we have the right — does society, government have the right to say ‘you must vaccinate your child because I’m afraid your child is going to infect my child, even if you don’t want it done and even if it violates your religious beliefs?’ So that is, that’s an issue that’s going to be legally questionable and I’m sure it’s going to go down that path.”1
The mayor claims his Law Department reviewed the legality of mandating vaccinations and that if anyone sues (already in process from what we’ve been told) they are “absolutely confident” they will win.