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Fears Grow of Coronavirus Superspreader Event at U.N. General Assembly

HeadlineSep 21, 2021

Here in New York, world leaders have gathered for the United Nations General Assembly, with COVID-19 and the climate emergency set to dominate talks. On Monday, President Biden flew to New York ahead of his first address to the U.N. assembly today. Biden met with U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres, who warned the U.S. against provoking a new Cold War with China.

Last year’s General Assembly was a mostly virtual affair due to the pandemic, but this year thousands of people from around the world are converging on Manhattan, raising fears of a superspreader event.

On Sunday evening, Brazil’s far-right President Jair Bolsonaro — who has bragged about not being vaccinated — was spotted eating pizza with his entourage on the sidewalk outside a Manhattan pizzeria. New York restaurants require proof of vaccination against COVID-19 for entry. This comes after a member of Bolsonaro’s U.N. delegation tested positive for coronavirus after arriving in New York. On Monday, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio had this response.

Mayor Bill de Blasio: “We need to send a message to all the world leaders, including, most notably, Bolsonaro from Brazil, that if you intend to come here, you need to be vaccinated. If you don’t want to be vaccinated, don’t bother coming.”

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