Los Angeles, the second-largest city in the United States, took a significant step toward the goal of requiring residents to be vaccinated in order to visit local business establishments.
The Los Angeles City Council voted Wednesday to instruct the city attorney to draft an ordinance that would require at least one coronavirus vaccination dose in order to visit restaurants, gyms, spas, stadiums and other public spaces.
The motion, introduced by Council President Nury Martinez and Councilman Mitch O’Farrell last week, passed by a margin of 13-0 and will be sent to L.A. City Attorney Mike Feuer, who will write up the ordinance before sending it back to the city council for approval.
"We need to stop fighting the science and start fighting the virus," O’Farrell said while insisting the move is not a vaccine mandate.
"This is not a vaccine mandate," he explained. "We’re not going to tell someone, anyone, that they have to get vaccinated. We’re also not going to deny anyone the ability to access essential food, medicine… regardless of vaccination. That wouldn’t be legal, that wouldn’t be moral, but what is immoral is choosing not to get vaccinated, choosing to listen to some delusional rant on Twitter."
The move comes after the nation’s largest city, New York City, enacted similar legislation into law earlier this month that requires residents to show proof of vaccination in order to enter bars, restaurants and other places.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio referred to the law as a "Key to NYC Pass."
"This is a miraculous place, literally filled with wonders," de Blasio said. "If you’re vaccinated, that’s gonna open up to you, you can open the door. If you’re unvaccinated you will not be able to participate in many things. It’s time for people to see vaccination as necessary to living a good, full and healthy life."
President Biden announced at the end of July that federal workers must be vaccinated or face rigorous testing, masking and social distancing requirements.
By mid-September, all military personnel must be vaccinated against the coronavirus except for those who claim a religious objection, which will require them to undergo further counseling.