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‘Live Callers And Door Knocks’: New York Official Suggests Door-To-Door Campaign To Get People Boosted
A woman receives the COVID-19 vaccine in this file photo. (Amy Beth Bennett/Sun Sentinel/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)
Amy Beth Bennett/Sun Sentinel/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine has called on officials to mount a door-knocking campaign to get New Yorkers to follow through on getting their booster shots for COVID-19.

Levine began by pointing out that the percentage of New York City residents who had gotten their booster shots already was not really increasing over time – and argued that a “citywide campaign to reach them” was the next logical step.

“Booster rate in NYC: * Feb 22: 35% * Mar 22: 36% * Apr 22: 37%,” Levine tweeted. “We’re barely moving the needle on this. And it’s not about vax deniers. There are 3.4m NYers who completed their primary vax series but never got their booster. We need a major citywide campaign to reach them.”

Noting that the city had access to personal information about anyone who had at least begun the vaccine process, Levine went on to argue that the proposed campaign could include anything from making appointments for people, calling them at home, and even sending people out to knock on doors.

“We have name, address, email etc for all 3.4M NYers who got their first vax but not their booster. Steps NYC should be taking NOW to reach them: * Send them a pre-made appt at vax site in their neighb * Contact them through live callers & door knocks * Reinstate $100 incentive,” he suggested.

Twitter user @Dr_Bry_So_Fly dubbed Levine “The NYC Fauci,” saying that the underlying threat was clear: “‘To all you govt defiers, we know where you live.'”

Twitchy Editor Greg Pollowitz was quick to note that Levine had made headlines earlier in the pandemic when he argued that anyone who did not want to visit Chinatown out of fear of COVID-19 was racist.

“Never forget that the same people in NYC who told you to party in Chinatown at the beginning of the pandemic are still in charge today,” he tweeted. “We should stop listening to them.”

Levine was not the only public official encouraging people to visit Chinatown in the early days of the pandemic — largely as pushback to former President Donald Trump’s focus on the fact that the novel coronavirus had originated in China, and amid rising fears that Americans might blame Asian Americans for its continued spread.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and others also issued similar statements.

“That shouldn’t be carried over to Chinatown in San Francisco,” Pelosi said during a visit there in late February of 2020. “I hope that it’s not that. But all I can say is, ‘I’m here.’ We feel safe and sound, so many of us coming here.”

Today our city is celebrating the #LunarNewYear parade in Chinatown, a beautiful cultural tradition with a rich history in our city,” NYC Health Commissioner Ashwin Vasan tweeted on February 9, 2020. “I want to remind everyone to enjoy the parade and not change any plans due to misinformation spreading about #coronavirus.”

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