New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio made it clear Thursday that he is not afraid to use the power of his office to coerce his subjects and get them to bend to his will.
In the city that has had some of the country's strictest COVID-19 mandates, Hizzoner has taken to dangling the possibility of giving New Yorkers some of their freedoms back if they get vaccinated.
Gotham's stringent pandemic restrictions has led to restaurant closures, empty offices, a devastated economy, and multiple protests.
The city's restrictions that have resulted in lost freedoms and lost jobs have been imposed by de Blasio. Now the mayor is teasing that he might deign to allow city-dwellers to have some of their normal life back — but only if they behave just as they are ordered.
Specifically, the mayor wants them to get their vaccinations.
During a City Hall news conference Thursday, de Blasio told reporters that it might be possible for citizens to lose the masks outdoors by the beginning of the summer as long as they get inoculated, the New York Post said.
The city has set a goal of 5 million New Yorkers vaccinated by June.
"Let's start with the assumption that we're going to hold the line through June," de Blasio said. "June's the date we set to hit our vaccination goal. June is one of those times of the year that we're used to sort of a reset moment every year.
"So we'll keep the masks on, and we'll do all the things we need to do," he continued. "After that we'll be able to reassess."
Then he made it clear to denizens that they had to get their act together if they wanted their freedoms back.
"One of things we can say to people is if you want to get rid of masks, if you want to get rid of the social distancing, if you want to get rid of the restrictions — go get vaccinated," de Blasio said.
“We're going to have to keep masks and restrictions in place until we're 100% sure we're out of the woods," he added. “And the best way to know we're out of the woods is to see those vaccination numbers go up and up and up."