San Sebastián mayor to defy latest COVID executive order
By John McPhaul
In response to the latest executive order against COVID-19 signed by Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia, the San Sebastián Mayor Javier Jiménez Pérez said Tuesday that he anticipates that he will not abide by it.
“We respect the right to medical privacy and the dignity of every human being, so we will NOT request evidence of vaccination against COVID-19, or negative COVID-19 test in ANY of our municipal facilities,” the mayor said in a written statement. “The entry and service we provide to our people will not be conditioned on their vaccination status or negative COVID-19 test. Likewise, any person or concessionaire who rents any of our municipal facilities may not discriminate by requiring evidence of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test for the enjoyment of the facility.”
Jiménez Pérez said neither will vaccination against COVID-19 be required from children participating in the Head Start program. It is a parent’s decision whether or not to vaccinate their children, he said.
“Impositions through mandates violate the most basic principles of a democracy where the dignity of the human being is inviolable and unbreakable,” the mayor said. “Each individual must have the freedom to choose what treatment and health protection measures he accepts in favor of his physical and mental health. Once again, the government of Puerto Rico violates the rights and dignity of our citizens through dictatorial and irrational mandates to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. They have sown a seed of division in our people and have insistently promoted the segregation, stigmatization, marginalization and deterioration of the physical and mental health of thousands of people who, for whatever reasons, have made the decision not to be vaccinated.”
“On the part of the Municipal Government of San Sebastián, we will continue to implement sanitary measures to guarantee the safety of all those who visit our facilities; among them, the maximum occupancy of 50 percent of capacity in all municipal facilities, constant disinfection, air filtration systems, contact-free doors, among others,” he added.
The other island town that does not require vaccination for its employees is Naguabo, whose mayor, Miraidaliz Rosario Pagán, has publicly said that she is not vaccinated.