NYC Mayor de Blasio: Focus on Reopening on July 1, Not Cuomo

NYC Mayor de Blasio: Focus on Reopening on July 1, Not Cuomo bill de blasio speaks on coney island NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks during a Coney Island parks reopening event in the Coney Island neighborhood of Brooklyn borough on April 09, 2021 in New York City. (Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

By Sandy Fitzgerald | Friday, 30 April 2021 11:49 AM

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Friday that while he continues to think Gov. Andrew Cuomo shouldn't remain in office, he's focused more now on his city's goal of being fully reopened on July 1.

"New York City is coming back right this minute and getting ready for this full reopening," the mayor told CNN's "New Day." "What we've seen in the last weeks has been stunning progress in terms of reducing the levels of COVID, greatly increasing the numbers of vaccinations. It's not about different leaders and their views, it's really about what the people are doing."

New Yorkers, he added, are getting vaccinated and fighting back against COVID, and "they are ready for a comeback."

"The Daily News has it right. This is going to be the summer for New York City," the mayor continued. "People want to come back. They want to do it safely for sure. But New Yorkers have actually been doing the right thing. They've been wearing the mask, they've been practicing the social distancing. We need a goal to work toward and that goal is July 1."

As far as Cuomo is concerned, de Blasio said he does disagree with him on "some very important matters" and he's been clear that "he should not remain in office after the things that he has done."

But all that does not change the mission to get the city reopened, said de Blasio.

"We're on track to get 5 million New Yorkers vaccinated by July 1," he said. "It's the right moment to make this move, and you have to set a goal in life. As the leader in New York City, it's my job to say this is where we need to be."

Cuomo, however, has said that he thinks the city should reopen even sooner.

"I think they're irresponsible," Cuomo said, reports WNBC in New York. "July 1 – you have May, June, what happens in May, what happens in June? I'd like to get the hopeful reopening date before that. I don't want to wait that long. I think if we do what we have to do we can reopen earlier."

De Blasio made his announcement about plans to reopen the city before Cuomo's scheduled briefing Thursday and said he did not speak to the governor about the announcement before he made it.

On Friday, the mayor said the most important aspect going on now is the push for vaccinations.

"What's been amazing is creating a grassroots vaccination effort that's really becoming more and more convenient, walk-in vaccinations all over the city," he said.

He added that the decision to reopen is based on data and science, just as decisions have been made concerning COVID have been all along.

"The data over the last weeks has been extraordinarily clear," de Blasio said. "There has been constant downward pressure on COVID, less and less COVID in New York City. It's fantastic. And it directly correlates to the numbers of vaccinations in terms of actual shots, actual doses, over 6 million given in New York City since this began."

The city will continue to monitor the situation for adjustments, but as for now, the "vaccinations are winning the race" against coronavirus variants.

Meanwhile, where Cuomo is concerned, de Blasio said that a full formal investigation into whether nursing home death numbers were covered up, because "everybody is admitting" it.

"There has been one after another piece of evidence that there was a full-fledged cover-up, that it was explicitly to help the governor sell his book," said de Blasio. "This was one of the motivating factors, a book he used state employees to help write. This is separate from the many, many allegations of sexual assault, harassment that so many women have come forward within tremendous detail. It's almost like you can't believe this one person did all these things and is still in office, and that's why I don't think he should be in office any longer."