But she did not withdraw her critique of the policies requiring proof of vaccination.
If the credentials were required to enter businesses today, she said, “that would shut out nearly 40 percent of East Boston and 60 percent of Mattapan,” neighborhoods with large Black and Latino populations. “Instead of shutting people out, shutting out our neighbors who are disproportionately poor people of color, we are knocking on their doors to build trust and to expand access to the lifesaving vaccines.”
She added that Boston has a mask mandate for its schools, and is working with labor unions toward mandating vaccination for city workers.
Her remarks on Tuesday, five weeks before Boston’s preliminary mayoral election, had already drawn fire from several directions. City Councilor Andrea Campbell, a rival candidate in the race who, like Ms. Janey, is Black, called the acting mayor’s comparison “absolutely ridiculous” and said it “put people’s health at risk, plain and simple.”
“There is already too much misinformation directed at our residents about this pandemic, particularly our Black and brown residents in Boston and in the commonwealth, and it is incumbent upon us as leaders not to give these conspiracies any oxygen,” she said at a news conference.
Ms. Campbell added, “This is not the time to be stoking fears.”
Mr. DeBlasio was scathing when asked on Thursday about Ms. Janey’s comments.