(PresidentialHill.com)- Andrew Giuliani, the son of former New York City mayor and Donald Trump personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, didn’t participate in a Republican debate earlier this week because he’s not vaccinated.
Giuliani is one of the leading Republican candidates for governor of New York, but he was barred from participating in a debate Monday night because he isn’t vaccinated against COVID-19. Giuliani participated remotely due to the restrictions on his in-person participation.
Over the weekend, Giuliani held a news conference in Manhattan, where he said:
“I’m obviously seeing consequences in what I believe is my informed decision on this.”
If he were to be elected governor of New York, Giuliani said he’d “throw all of these mandates in the dustbin of history.”
While Giuliani has said that he has “natural immunity” to the coronavirus — apparently alluding to him being infected at one point in time — he still wasn’t allowed to participate at the in-person debate. The debate was being hosted by WCBS-TV, and the company has a policy that said he wasn’t allowed into their station before first providing proof that he’s been vaccinated against COVID-19.
At the news conference, he said:
“I chose very clearly that I was not going to get the shot,” after he “looked at the data” on the available vaccinations. He continued:
“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.”
Before he held his news conference, Giuliani sent a letter to WCBS trying to argue that their policy was “arbitrary” and “serves to discriminate against a political candidate and their access to equal opportunity and religious liberty.”
WCBS responded to his letter by saying their policy has been in place since last year. It requires every visitor to the station to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Station officials also said that the policy was developed “in consultation with health care experts, government officials and the many unions representing our employees.”
The station didn’t ban Giuliani from the debate altogether, as they allowed him to participate remotely. Giuliani said he’d be happy to test for COVID-19 to prove he wasn’t infected, but the station denied that request.
The other three people who participated in the debate were Rob Astorino, Harry Wilson and Representative Lee Zeldin, who is considered one of the frontrunners in the race.
Despite having one of his biggest challengers not present at the debate, Zeldin railed against the station’s vaccination policy, writing on Twitter that the option for Giuliani to participate remotely a “nonstarter.” He expanded by saying the “reason to have him [Giuliani] virtual is ridiculous.”
He later tweeted that:
“No COVID vaccine mandate at all should exist in any way, shape or form on anyone.”
Astorino agreed, saying “all four candidates should be onstage” and saying “discriminatory and unscientific vaccine mandates” wouldn’t help to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The Republican gubernatorial primary in New York will be held on June 28.