NEW YORK — Bronx Rep. Ritchie Torres on Tuesday evening backed Mayor Bill de Blasio’s new mandate for vaccinations or weekly testing for all municipal workers, and said he believed inoculations against COVID-19 should be mandatory.

“There’s no greater threat to the physical, and mental, and economic health of our society than the persistence of COVID-19 and the risk of a new mutation that could evade the vaccine,” Torres told NY1 Political Reporter Bobby Cuza on “Inside City Hall.” “We’re never going to achieve herd immunity without mandatory vaccinations.”

New York City’s vaccine mandate applies to only its municipal workforce, although de Blasio has encouraged the private sector to adopt the same approach. The mayor has also indicated that the city is on firm legal ground in issuing the ultimatum.

Torres also spoke about his legislative efforts to expand Section 8 of the housing voucher program, and make the enhanced Child Tax Credit permanent.

“There’s no policy in America that would do more to radically reduce poverty than the expanded Child Tax Credit,” the freshman Democratic congressman said. “A progressive permanent Child Tax Credit would be to families with children what Social Security has long been to senior citizens: it would represent a permanent breakthrough against poverty in America.”


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Watch the full interview above.


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