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New Vaccine Rules for Workers? Unions Voice Exasperation.

Weather: Partly sunny, with a high in the low 80s.

Alternate-side parking: In effect until Aug. 15 (Feast of the Assumption).


The frustration began to erupt immediately after the announcement.

Mayor Bill de Blasio said this week that more than 300,000 municipal workers in New York City would be required to be vaccinated against the coronavirus or tested weekly. The declaration quickly led to exasperation among many of the city’s municipal unions.

Many said their labor leaders had not been consulted, and some responded with demands, including exemptions for workers who have antibodies after recovering from Covid-19, and workplace testing paid for by the city.

“We didn’t even have a heads-up that this was coming out,” said Oren Barzilay, the president of a union of emergency medical workers that opposes the mandate.

[Read more about the reaction from municipal unions.]

The rate of vaccination in New York has fallen since the spring, and significant pockets of people in Brooklyn and the Bronx remain unvaccinated.

With cases rising as the highly contagious Delta variant spreads, and with schools set to fully reopen next month, Mr. de Blasio said it was necessary to introduce the new rules, which go into effect on Sept. 13, the first day of classes.

Several union leaders took umbrage at the mayor’s threat that those who did not comply would be put on leave without pay. Some said logistics and specific questions — like what to do if workers are allergic to ingredients in the vaccines — should have been addressed before the announcement.

And others said some of their members remained concerned about potential side effects or complications from the vaccine and about the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s not yet giving full approval to any coronavirus vaccine.

“People have a variety of experiences with this, and it’s very personal for them,” said Michael Skelly, a spokesman for ​a union representing New York City correction officers.

The mayor expressed confidence that the new rules were legally sound and that his administration would sort out their implementation with union leaders.

In another sign of rising concerns about the virus nationally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Tuesday that vaccinated people should resume wearing masks in public indoor spaces in areas where the virus is surging.

The C.D.C. director, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, said that officials were persuaded by new scientific evidence showing that even vaccinated people may be infected and may carry the virus in amounts that may be similar to those in unvaccinated people.



The Times’s Jonah E. Bromwich writes:

A one-of-a-kind album recorded by the Wu-Tang Clan and sold at auction to the disgraced pharmaceutical executive and hedge fund manager Martin Shkreli has been purchased by an anonymous buyer for an undisclosed sum of money, the federal prosecutors who seized the album three years ago said.

Jacquelyn M. Kasulis, the acting United States attorney for the Eastern District of New York, announced the sale of the one known copy of the album, “Once Upon a Time in Shaolin,” on Tuesday. The terms of the sale required the government to keep the purchase price and the buyer secret, but the sale satisfied the balance that Mr. Shkreli had owed the government, according to the news release.

The unique album — more akin to a piece of fine art than a standard record — was seized by the government in 2018 after a judge said that it could be used to pay part of the $7.36 million that Mr. Shkreli owed. In 2017, Mr. Shkreli was convicted of fraud in connection with two hedge funds he ran, as well as conspiracy to commit securities fraud.

Mr. Shkreli’s lawyer, Brianne E. Murphy, said that she had no information about the buyer, but that she was happy Mr. Shkreli had satisfied his forfeiture balance and was “closing this chapter.”

In April, a federal prosecutor in Brooklyn said in a court filing that Mr. Shkreli still owed the government $2.2 million. Ms. Murphy said Tuesday that information suggested the album had sold for that amount or more, but added she had no actual knowledge of the actual sale price.

In purchasing the album, the buyer gained control over who would be allowed to listen to a record by one of the most well-regarded rap groups in the history of the genre.

It’s Wednesday — will the real buyer please stand up?


Dear Diary:

I was waiting for the G train at the Bergen Street stop. I sat down on a bench and took out my copy of “Tender Is the Night,” a perennial favorite that I like to reread each year when the weather turns warm.

Next to me on the bench, a stranger pulled out the same book — the very same version and cover.

We grinned at the coincidence, acknowledged it and then turned back to our solitary reading.

I unfolded my copy, and he noticed we were both at the beginning.

He unfolded his copy, and noticed we were both on Page 16.

— Kayleigh Butera

Illustrated by Agnes Lee. Read more Metropolitan Diary here.


New York Today is published weekdays around 6 a.m. Sign up here to get it by email. You can also find it at nytoday.com.

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