New York Republican gubernatorial candidate Andrew Giuliani has been banned from appearing in-person at a GOP primary debate on Monday for refusing to provide proof of receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.
Giuliani revealed the ban from the event to be held at WCBS-TV in a letter to the station’s general manager, Johnny Green, Jr.
“While [your rules] will disrupt Monday’s debate, the true injustice is that policies such as these have deprived front-line heroes such as firefighters, police and healthcare workers of employment and benefits,” the letter read.
Below is my letter to CBS regarding their decision to exclude me from debating in person.
I will be hosting a press conference today at 11am in front of WCBS studios to discuss further. pic.twitter.com/hUICeHHqW0
— Andrew H. Giuliani (@AndrewHGiuliani) June 12, 2022
Giuliani said he offered to provide a negative COVID-19 test, but the offer was reportedly turned down.
“I have offered to go above and beyond your requirement of producing a photo containing the results of a home antigen test in favor of taking a higher-quality PCR in order to face my primary opponents,” he shared in his letter to the station.
On Sunday, Giuliani held a press conference to address the controversy, claiming debate officials initially told him that he only needed to take a test on the day of the debate. He was then told he had to provide proof of vaccination, Giuliani said.
“I told them I would not do that,” he said. “I don’t think that’s something that even someone who has chosen to get the shot should have to do, from a constitutional standpoint.”
Giuliani will be required to participate remotely instead of appearing in person.
Giuliani is the son of former New York Republican Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who was also a former White House aide under former President Donald Trump. He has ranked near the lead in his bid for the GOP nomination. He faces strong competition from Long Island Republican Rep. Lee Zeldin.
“Republican Lee Zeldin was expected to win the Republican primary pretty easily, but so far the polling has been closer than expected,” according to a recent forecast.
New York’s early voting begins June 18, with the primary held on June 28.
Giuliani first announced his run for governor when Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo was in office in March 2021.
“I know we can defeat Andrew Cuomo in 2022,” the confident Giuliani said, noting that he’s “unfazed” by any Republican primary competitors. “I am going to be the 57th governor of New York.”
“I believe we have the best chance to win if I’m the Republican candidate in November. It’s not even close,” he said, adding, “You’re going to have more enthusiasm in the race.”
Democrat Kathy Hochul became governor following Cuomo’s resignation, a change that would pit Giuliani against a leader who has continued the left’s strict COVID-19 restrictions, as well as pro-choice support.
Hochul also announced this month that all 64 SUNY college campuses are being directed to update policies to ensure that a person’s chosen gender identity and pronouns are used.
The policy will include chosen names to appear on diplomas and campus profiles, along with the ability to select “X” as a gender option by the fall 2023 semester.
“Every person, regardless of their gender identity or the name they choose to go by, deserves to have identity documentation that reflects who they are,” Hochul said in a statement.
“This historic change by the SUNY system is a victory in our ongoing fight to ensure that New York is a place of love and belonging. My administration remains committed to taking the steps necessary to ensure equality and respect for the LGBTQIA+ community,” she added.
In addition, Hochul signed a package of gun control legislation laws in June that raised the age of purchasing semiautomatic rifles in the state from 18 to 21.