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Backlash continues after Mayor Eric Adams lifts vaccine mandate for professional athletes and performers

Adams defends decision to exempt pro athletes and peformers 01:58

NEW YORK - There's new backlash against Mayor Eric Adams' decision to lift the vaccine mandate for professional athletes and performers

CBS2's John Dias has more on why the mayor says it must be done, and what critics are saying. 

For every action, there is a reaction, and New Yorkers have plenty of them when it comes to Adams' new COVID vaccine exemption for professional athletes and performers. It appears most are angry.

"It's not a good look for New York," said Upper West Side resident Eddie Morrison. 

"It's a no-win situation for him," said Kevin Hogan. "I kind of think it's a double standard." 

Some point out with a new Omicron variant spreading, now isn't a good time to drop the rule. 

"I don't think it's healthy at all," said Kathleen Shimeta. 

Shimeta fears it will expose more people to the coronavirus that has already impacted so many. 

Mayor Adams discusses COVID vaccine mandate exemptions for performers and pro athletes 27:27

"I lost seven friends to COVID, and I know 76 people who have had COVID and suffered terribly," Shimeta said. 

Adams said Thursday he's allowing the specific group to go unvaccinated to help the city function and bring in money. 

"Tough choice. Difficult choice," Adams said. "But that's what I was elected to do." 

Most of the major municipal unions, representing teachers, sanitation workers, and the police, are against it. 

Sources say the NYPD has dismissed nine cops and 34 civilians for not getting the vaccine, and thousands more could soon be dismissed, since exemptions were denied, and they're not hopeful their appeals will be granted. 

"There will be an uptick in crime. There will be less arrests," said Paul DiGiacamo, president of the Detectives Endowment Association. 

More than 1,400 other city workers lost their jobs because they didn't get the vaccine. Many say the mayor should hire them back. 

"It's not fair, and these people are not working. They're losing money," said Upper West Side resident Lottie Ward. 

"These are our public servants who work really hard," said Sass Darwish. 

Legal expert weighs in on NYC's vaccine mandate rollback for athletes, performers 04:01

 Many critics of the exemption says it opens a door to legal challenges the city may not  be able to withstand. The mayor says he ran it by his legal team, and it passes muster. 

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