June 23, 2021
Video available at: https://youtu.be/dC-eBwy_rJA
Mayor Bill de Blasio: Good morning, everyone. I want to thank all New Yorkers who went out and voted yesterday. I want to thank the poll site workers, the campaign volunteers, everyone who was part of Election Day yesterday. We marked a powerful moment, an election as we are coming out of COVID, an election in the aftermath of the greatest crisis New York City has ever faced. And talk about proof of the strength in New York City. I keep saying, there's no stopping New York, and yesterday was further proof of it. New Yorkers came out in strong numbers to vote, to make an imprint on the future of this city, and that makes me really happy. You know, given the fact that COVID was such a presence during this campaign – in fact, for so much the campaign, campaigns couldn't go out into communities the way we historically have, couldn't connect with people. And yet, we saw a very healthy turnout. That's really encouraging. So, thank you to everyone who was a part of it. The latest information we have – total turnout, 944,000 voters. That, again, especially against the backdrop of everything that happened in the course of last year and this year, that's encouraging.
And the voting's over, but now the counting begins. So, obviously, three candidates in particular – Eric Adams, Maya Wiley, Kathryn Garcia – in strong positions. The count now will go on. Now, let's be clear, absentee ballots have to be counted; ranked vote tabulation next week; full certification, July 12th. So, we’ve got a ways to go here. I think it's really important to note, even with the new system, Election Day went pretty smoothly, and that's good news. And to all the candidates, congratulations on your races. We are going to be watching to make sure that we get the word out to all New Yorkers, exactly how this process is unfolding, because it's brand new. We educated folks on how rank choice voting worked originally. We were going to keep educating people on how the count goes. But, as of this morning, certainly, you know, New Yorkers can be proud – a good, strong turnout. Election Day, it went very smoothly in the scheme of things – a lot to be proud of, everyone.
Okay. Now, while we're waiting for the results of the primary, we keep moving forward with the number-one thing we have to do, which is get COVID out of our town once and for all. Vaccinations continue, and we will deepen them. As of this morning, a total number of doses from day-one, 9,046,573. We are going to keep innovating new ways to get people the vaccine, new ways to make it work for them. We are now embarking on the Summer of New York City. We know that the more people get vaccinated, the better we are, the more freedom we have. More vaccinations equals more freedom.
So, starting today, a brand-new approach – we're expanding, in-home vaccinations. In-home vaccinations for anyone who wants one – this is really important for folks who are ready, have not been vaccinated, but for whom it's been a challenge to get to a vaccination site or they haven't been sure. That vaccine, that lifesaving vaccine is now available right at your doorstep. So, we know from the effort we made to reach homebound New Yorkers how successful the approach was. We reached over 15,000 New Yorkers with the homebound campaign. And thanks again to the Department for the Aging, to the FDNY, to everyone who was a part of that very successful effort. We're going to take the same kind of approach and now apply it to a bigger in-home vaccine effort. Anyone who's sitting out there and thinking, wow, I'm ready, but I'd rather the vaccine be done right here in my home, go to nyc.gov/homevaccine, fill out the request, and we'll send the vaccinators to your door.
Now, crucial to our vaccination effort has been Health + Hospitals. The hospitals and clinics of Health + Hospitals have been stellar. That is the word for it – stellar in addressing this crisis. This has been Health + Hospitals’ finest hour, unquestionably, in their whole history. Amazing achievements in the fight against COVID. And today, a milestone – a wonderful milestone, Health + Hospitals will be given its 1 millionth dose of the COVID vaccine. This really shows the reach and the impact of Health + Hospitals. Thank you to everyone who works for Health + Hospitals for what you do for this city. It is making an extraordinary impact.
And, look, our public hospitals and clinics overwhelmingly are where the biggest COVID challenges were. They were at the frontline. They persevered. Their communities rallied around them. This is a heroic story. When people talk about the fight against COVID and where it was toughest, that's where Health + Hospitals was. When we talk about fighting disparity and the inequalities in our society, that's what Health + Hospitals has been doing for generations, and it became clearer than ever in the vaccination effort. Our efforts to bring more and more vaccination equity into play are led by Health + Hospitals. And they are vaccinating significantly more people of color than other hospitals, because of who they are, where they are, the approach they take to the community. So, this is a moment to celebrate the incredible impact of Health + Hospitals. I'm looking forward to honoring so many H + H employees during our Hometown Heroes parade next month.
But now, we have a little moment of history that we can all join in together – the 1 millionth dose. So, we're going to go live right now to Coney Island Hospital and to the CEO of Coney Island, Svetlana Lipyanskaya. And she is there with Kira McAvoy, who will be the recipient of the 1 millionth dose. Kira is 12 years old – [inaudible]. We had a little feedback there. Okay, Kira is 12 years old, the daughter of a Coney Island Hospital employee, excited to get the vaccine, and get her life back to normal. She's going into eighth grade in September and looking forward to going back to school. And among her favorite activities are drama and dance, and we want her to have a great school year, and that begins with getting vaccinated. So, I'm going to turn it over now to Svetlana, to tell us what's going on out there at Coney Island and to honor this big moment.
Mayor: Is Svetlana going to narrate? I will. We see now the Health + Hospitals workers starting to give the vaccines and some good history being made out there in Coney Island. And we're really happy. I want to thank everyone that works at Coney Island Hospital. It is great to see the 1 millionth dose given by Health + Hospitals. And to remember that not so long ago we were just hoping and praying we would have a vaccine, and now we have over 9 million doses given the city, 1 million given at Health + Hospitals alone. Absolutely amazing and an example of getting our youngest New Yorkers vaccinated to help them get back to school and live full lives. And finally, as we said, really being clear about the fact that this is how we fight disparity through our public hospitals and clinics that are doing more and more to reach communities with innovative approaches. This is really making a huge difference.
We're going to hear from Dr. Mitch Katz, who's going to talk to us about this overall effort. And I want to emphasize, Dr. Katz has really focused on the question of equity and how Health + Hospitals can be part of the solution. He's going to go over the facts that are quite striking about the role Health + Hospitals has played as an agent of equity in the vaccination effort. Dr. Katz?
President and CEO Mitchell Katz, Health + Hospitals: Thank you so much, Mr. Mayor. And I know that you love New York City and Brooklyn history. So, I have to tell you before we talk about the amazing history that my great, great grandmother – not my grandmother, but my great, great grandmother was treated at Coney Island Hospital when she broke her hip about 80 years ago. And the treatment at that time was immobilization, which they did by putting – I see the clapping, the 1,000,001 dose – that's great. So, the treatment at that time was sand baths on the leg to prevent movement so that the fracture would heal. And I always wondered if they got the sand from the beach itself at Coney Island. But talking about today's history that you just saw and made, Mr. Mayor, thank you so much for how you have led us throughout this crisis. Thank you to Svetlana and Coney Island for all their hard work. We are so proud not only that we're at a 1 million vaccinations, but, even more importantly, sir, you've talked throughout about our need to address in New York City the terrible disparities that we've seen under COVID. And I'm so proud that in the graph you put up there before, you can see that Health + Hospitals vaccinated 76 percent of the people that we vaccinated were people of color. That compares to the independent hospitals at 73 percent. They also did a great job. But compared to the hospital systems overall in New York City, they're at 56 percent. So, hugely, higher rates of vaccinating people of color for Health + Hospitals and the independent hospitals. And I think this proves what you've said all along that public systems are critical to achieving equity. And we're just so proud to be part of it. Thank you so much, sir.
Mayor: Thank you very much, Mitch. Listen, Mitch, you have a lot to be proud of – 1 million doses just in Health + Hospitals’ hospitals and clinics, really amazing, but also leading the way on equity. This is another example to the people that city, Health + Hospitals went through tough times and now has made a stunning comeback, a comeback that really will be the model for the comeback in New York City. In so many ways, Health + Hospitals is literally stronger than it's ever been at a point in their history, doing amazing work, doing the work of equity, also guaranteeing health care to all New Yorkers. And this is something Mitch and I worked on a lot of years ago. NYC Care – I want to keep telling everyone, available to all New Yorkers, regardless of the ability to pay, regardless of documentation status. If you're a New Yorker who doesn't have health insurance, doesn't know what to do, or doesn't qualify for health insurance, call 3-1-1 – just call 3-1-1, and we'll sign you up right away for NYC Care through Health + Hospitals. You'll have a primary care doctor. You'll have all the specialty support you need. Only New York City is doing this in the entire United States of America. And that's because of the leadership of Dr. Katz and the whole team at Health + Hospitals. So, thank you very, very much.
All right. Now, let's talk about recovery. My favorite topic, a recovery for all of us. And recovery for all of us means reaching every community, not just replacing the status quo, but coming back better, addressing the challenges we faced in COVID, learning from them, acting on them and also giving people opportunity, because people need jobs and opportunity right now. So, we borrowed from one of the most powerful examples in the history of New York, the history of the United States – the Civilian Conservation Corps, Franklin Delano Roosevelt's New Deal. We created the City Cleanup Corps. We're going to be hiring 10,000 workers total, thousands of whom have already been hired. The remainder will be hired in the next month or so. These are good-paying jobs. They give people an opportunity, they give people a chance to give back to New York City, do something great in our moment of need. Anyone interested – if you want to help New York City right now, if you're looking for a good job, if you're looking for opportunity, go to nyc.gov/ccc. Join this extraordinary group of New Yorkers, we're making a difference. I was with one of the CCC teams in Brooklyn last month. It was wonderful. The pride they took on the work, the thank you’s they were getting from community members, the impact they were making.
We have a new approach now – I love this name. These are Neighborhood Cleanup Swarms – cleanup swarms, this is a new part of our language now. I'm going to show you the impact of a cleanup swarm. When we send a lot of CCC workers together to the Lower East Side in this case, and you can see from the before and after that, a real impact made to beautify the community to clean up from COVID to move us forward. Lower East Side was a recipient of this great work to begin. Bed-Stuy, starting on Monday, moving all over the five boroughs would cleanup efforts. You're going to see a lot of before and after. You're going to feel another example of New York City coming back. Leaders all over the city are saying, hey, send us the City Cleanup Corps. We want it. We need it. Someone who has reached out and told us how important it will be for his community in the Bronx, and he's fighting to make sure his district always gets their fair share. And we want to make sure the City Cleanup Corps. has a big impact for him and his district. My pleasure introduced Council Member Eric Dinowitz.
Mayor: Thank you so much, Council Member. And congratulations to you. You had a really strong showing last night. I know with ranked choice voting, counts continue, but I think it's still okay to say congratulations. You did a hell of a good job and thank you for being a real believer in the City Cleanup Corps. And we look forward to a good and positive impact on your district. Thank you very much.
Okay. Let's go over indicators, everyone. Again, continued progress. We’ve got to keep at it though, more and more vaccinations – that's the key. So, number one, daily number of people admitted to New York City hospitals for suspected COVID-19. Today's report, 74 patients, confirmed positivity level 15.58 percent. Hospitalization rate per 100,000, 0.31. That is good news. Now, number two, new reported cases on a seven-day average, today's report, 171 cases. And the percentage of people testing positive citywide for COVID-19 on a seven-day rolling average, today's report, 0.54 percent.
A few words now in Spanish, and the topic is on Health + Hospitals, the impact it's making on the vaccination effort and why it is a good time for everyone to get vaccinated, who has not yet.
[Mayor de Blasio speaks in Spanish]
With that, let's turn to our colleagues in the media. Please let me know the name and outlet of each journalist.
Moderator: We'll now begin our Q-and-A. As a reminder we're joined today by Chief Democracy Officer Laura Wood, by Dr. Mitchell Katz, and by Dr. Dave Chokshi. First question today goes to Steve Burns from WCBS 880.
Question: Hey, good morning, Mr. Mayor, have you been?
Mayor: I'm doing well, Steve, how are you?
Question: I'm good. Got to catch up on some sleep after last night [inaudible] –
Mayor: Yes, we all need a little more today.
Question: Yes, exactly. I know it's probably too early to prognosticate on any of the results out of last night, given ranked choice voting, but I wanted to take kind of a different tack to start – ask about turnout. I know in recent context it looks pretty robust, pretty good. But you know, we look back at the past civic life of New York City. I look back at 1977, we had a 56, 57 percent Democratic turnout in that colorful primary. What do you think has changed about New York civic life over these past few decades where we've gone from that turnout to saying about a 25 percent turnout is robust and how can we improve that going forward?
Mayor: A wonderful, powerful question. Thank you, Steve. First of all, to be just a bit of a political junkie here, I don't think any primary ever has quite matched 1977 in terms of just sheer drama. And I do think that's part of it. I think that was a year where just a range of candidates and circumstances that really, really brought out people's full energy and attention. Sometimes it's as simple as that, but I really think there are examples in recent years, Obama's victory in 2008, Joe Biden in 2020, that there were massive turnout surges around that proved the ability of New Yorkers and Americans to re-engage and really feel the importance of voting. So, we know it's possible. That's the good news. We know things like early voting help. Absolutely. We got to go farther. We need same-day registration and other reforms. It should be much easier to get an absentee ballot. We need online registration. There's so many things we're still not doing that would clearly increase turnout. But I think the big point here is we have to keep making the reforms and constantly pushing candidates to provide, you know, vivid, strong visions that people can latch onto because people have to be inspired. Voting is very emotional. And I think we can do better. I really do. I think we can bring all these pieces together and make turnout stronger and stronger, but the good news here, give early voting its due, it definitely contributed to better turnout. And despite COVID people still kept engaged and came out. So, I do think this is ultimately a good sign, but let's do all the next things we need to do to make it better. Go ahead, Steve.
Question: I appreciate that, and agreed on the colorfulness of ‘77. I don't know if we'll ever get there again. On a different topic. I wanted to ask about a recent ruling regarding what became known as the diaphragm law, a suit brought by several police unions about the law that was passed last year. I wanted to see if you had any reaction to that ruling of it being unconstitutional. And if you thought that lawsuit was brought in good faith by those police unions.
Mayor: I’m not going to get into motivation. I want to get into next steps. I mean, the court has spoken. We have to address the court's concerns. The best way to do that is to pass legislation clarifying the law. The underlying concept of law is to protect the lives of people, to create fairness and justice. We have to do that in the context, obviously, of also protecting public safety and making it clear that our officers need clear rules to do their jobs well. I think the way to solve all that is to pass an updated version of the law quickly. Go ahead.
Moderator: The next is Katie from the Wall Street Journal.
Question: Hey, good morning, Mayor de Blasio, how are you doing?
Mayor: I’m good. Are you related to DJ Katie Honan who was at the Queens Night Market? Are you like cousins or something?
Question: I can't – you know, no comment. I can't confirm or deny –
Mayor: But I saw someone who looked really like you.
Question: It's true. It's true. And did you look up “Queens Get the Money” or not yet?
Mayor: I think I've learned enough to not quote it.
Question: But my question is related to Steve's, you know, looking at turnout, you know, the City invested a lot of money in ranked choice voter outreach and things like that, but the turnout, as nice as it is to say that it is higher, I mean, it is still really low compared to how many registered voters we have compared to other elections. So, is it an issue of the City investing more money or is it an issue of candidates or excitement or what do you think that that problem is?
Mayor: I think the number one problem was COVID unquestionably. You've had the vast majority of the campaign time where people couldn't be out in communities, couldn't be generating energy and interest. You didn't have it dominating the headlines the way it would have except for a global pandemic. I think that's objective. I think if you took COVID out of the equation, ran the same exact play, this ranked choice voting, June primary, these candidates, I think you would have seen a higher turnout. But really the solutions to me, I – look, we will find out how well people use ranked choice voting. I'm hopeful that people really got it after a lot of effort, ranked lots of candidates and that it is starting to catch on with people. We're going to find out as we see the full results, but I am really accenting the positive because I think, given that COVID knocked out so much of the energy and focus and people were really left preoccupied, that says to me it's still pretty amazing we saw the turnout we did. The future is about just more and more efforts to reach people, to energize them. Campaigns have a responsibility for that too, but ultimately this is more of a good sign than not. Go ahead, Katie.
Question: Thanks. And I know you had not formally endorsed. You, obviously, [inaudible] reporting that you were supportive behind the scenes of Eric Adams. Looking at the results from last night, obviously they are not finalized, but how are you feeling with the results last night? I guess the top three, it's someone who you're aligned with and then two of your former staffers. So, how do you feel looking at these results?
Mayor: I feel satisfied. I mean, I'm not going to go into a lot of detail. I want to respect the fact there's still a lot of process to play out. But now it really appears to come down to three people. They're all good people. They're all people that I've had close working relationships with. I think one way or another New York City will be in good hands. But we really need to recognize – I mean, I want to absolutely give Eric Adams real respect for a very strong showing, but we also have to recognize there's a lot more to play out with a system we've never gone through before. And we have to see the whole process play out.
Moderator: The next is James Ford from PIX11.
Question: And good morning, Mr. Mayor, and everyone on the call. It is another beautiful day in New York City.
Mayor: James, you and I both like to celebrate the blessings of nature. It's an incredibly beautiful day in New York City.
Question: Yes, it is, that it is. A question for you regarding education. So, on the PIX11 Morning News this morning, Michael Mulgrew of the UFT said that there could be, in fact – I have his quote here – “We might have a shortage for the first time in a while of teachers coming this fall.” I'd like for you, please, to respond to that statement and let parents know what the situation might be as we look to a school year where you want everyone back in person and possibly because of a teacher shortage might not have enough teachers to have smaller classes.
Mayor: Yeah, I do not believe – first of all, the smaller classes is a separate question, James. I'll be a little careful on that. We'd all love smaller class size. There's lots of work being done to keep, everywhere we can, reducing class size. But that's not the same question as a teacher shortage. I do not see a teacher shortage. In the country, there's absolutely a teacher shortage. In New York City we have not had a teacher shortage. In fact, we had a huge number of people who want to be New York City teachers. I, literally, regularly have folks come up to me, working for private schools, religious schools who want to get into New York City public schools. It's a very popular destination. If folks – absolute respect for Michael Mulgrew, we work with them regularly, but I'm saying this to the bigger public debate. Two jobs that lots and lots and lots of people want, teacher in the New York City public schools and officer in the NYPD. There is a long, long line of people who want those jobs. So, I do not see any danger of a shortage. We're bringing back all of our personnel after COVID. We've augmented because we had to bring in some extra folks in this year and we want to welcome them back as well. I think we're in good shape. If we see anything developing of concern, we'll take steps to address it quickly. But as of this hour in June, I feel very good about where we're going to be in September. Go ahead, James.
Question: Thank you, Mr. Mayor. And a question for my colleague Kala Rama – we've gotten a variety of complaints from people regarding Summer Rising saying that for students with disabilities, many of them have been placed on a waiting list for Summer Rising. Please respond to that. Thank you.
Mayor: Yeah. I want to know more about that. And James, you and Kala would do us a favor to please pass on some details so we can follow up with parents. Summer Rising is for everyone and it's an opportunity for kids to have a safe, positive summer with learning, culture, recreation for free. We wanted this to be something unlike anything you've seen before, and it's going to be the permanent model going forward. Of course, we want kids with disabilities to be able to participate. So, please get us information. We'll work to resolve those specific cases, but no, the goal here is to give every parent a positive option.
Moderator: The next is Arthur Chi’en from FOX5.
Question: Good morning, Mayor. How are you?
Mayor: I'm doing great, Arthur, how are you?
Question: Great, sir. I've been sitting along the 59th Street Bridge this morning for a few hours, looking at the number of small motorcycles. I'll use that term to include vespa-like scooters. And even though the City's DOT confirms, they're not allowed on the shared pedestrian and cyclist path, in about an hour we spotted about 40 of them. We even talked to someone who rode one. He says he knows the rules, but everybody's doing it, it's okay. We talked to pedestrians and cyclists and every one of them told us they think it's dangerous to have motorized vehicles on this narrow path. Does the City need to send a message to let people know that not only is this not allowed, but that the City will dissuade them from putting other New Yorkers at risk?
Mayor: Yeah. Arthur, thank you for raising this. And I always try to remember to say thank you to any journalist that raises an important question that we need to address. And thank you to James before you on the issue around Summer Rising. We are constantly working to address the issues of this huge complexity. And sometimes it is a journalist who says, hey, here's something you guys need to focus on that helps us to do things better. So, if we need to put more enforcement on the bridge to address that, that's a very straightforward strategy. I'll talk to our Transportation Commissioner right away and we will come up with a plan and activate it quickly. Go ahead, Arthur.
Question: Thank you. That was my only question. And to offer too, if anybody wants to take a walk from the City or – including yourself, sir – wants to take a walk. We'll show you what we see we've been doing – this the first time we talked about this was during the pandemic and we haven't seen any enforcement or at the very least any impact from any enforcement for this particular problem, especially given the actor, Lisa Banes, who lost her life on the Upper West Side from exactly this kind of a vehicle.
Mayor: I appreciate what you're doing on this issue. And I'd like to follow up with you and see for myself, absolutely. Thank you, Arthur.
Moderator: Next is Michael Gartland from the Daily News.
Question: Good morning, Mr. Mayor, how are you doing?
Mayor: I'm doing well, Michael. Late night, but other than that, I'm doing well. How are you?
Question: I'm good. Very late night for me as well. I want to ask you about matching funds in the City's public financing system. You know, there's a sizable Democratic field for the mayor's race, a lot of money poured in, you know, for matching funds in that race. And also, you had PACs pouring a lot of money into that race. So, my question is given all of that and given the fact that, you know, you had many of these candidates finishing in the, as of now, single digits, do you think that needs to be rethought at all? You know, is there a better way to do this moving forward? Do you think the system is good as is? What are your thoughts on that?
Mayor: It’s a good – it’s a good question. Look, Michael, I think anytime we do anything, in this case it was a referendum my administration sponsored, and the people voted for. I think it worked overwhelmingly, and I'll tell you why. But I think anytime you do anything, you should keep assessing, keep watching, look for consequences intended and otherwise. I think this worked. I'll tell you why. We had the most diverse mayoral field in the history of New York City. That's a really good thing. One of the best ways to engage people and get them voting and get them involved is if they can see people who share values with them, people from their community, you know, their borough, people who look like them. It's part of refreshing democracy to show multiple options and give people engagement. And then we'll see how ranked choice voting worked. But if it works right, folks learning that their vote has power, even if their first-choice candidate doesn't win, I think that combination of making it easy for people to run, including people who don't have a lot of money, don't have a lot of power. Working class people can run now because our campaign finance law allows you to run even if you don't have any big donors at all. And I love that, and this is something that's very meaningful to me. We literally made it possible for someone to run for mayor in New York City and never talk to a big donor. They could do it all with grassroots donations and matching funds. I think that's a victory. I think it was a victory up and down the ballot that people had that opportunity. So, my hope is that that in combination with ranked choice really gives us the most representative government we've ever had going forward and more and more engagement, more and more participation, but we won't really know that until we see some more election cycles and see how it plays out. But so far, I feel good about it. Go ahead, Michael.
Question: Thanks, Mr. Mayor. I also wanted to ask you, I kind of doubt you saw this, but Patrick Gaspard tweeted out last night – he basically complaining about the media coverage of this mayor's race. And I think that the basic gist of his – what he was saying is that Andrew Yang sucked a lot of the oxygen of this race out early on. And basically, I think what he was trying to say is there wasn't enough scrutiny applied to some of the other candidates. And I was wondering if – what your thoughts were on that, you know as far as the coverage of this race and whether you agree with that assessment that not enough scrutiny was placed on some of the other candidates because of Yang's candidacy?
Mayor: I have not seen the tweets so I don't want to refer to that specifically. I want to make a broader point, Michael. I appreciate the question. I think the big reality here is COVID took up so much of the space, all of us, emotionally, intellectually, coverage, you know, column inches, airtime. I think COVID made it harder to have the deeper kind of examination of candidates. I do think it's really valuable when the public gets to examine candidates. I think when the media goes out there and does its job and vets candidates, it helps us all. And that was just harder this year. There's no question. I think it's sort of started later and it was less intense than what I've seen in other years. But that was a universal challenge that we were all dealing with. And look, I think going forward, we want to make sure, we have longer election cycles than we've ever had. We do want the media to really make sure people understand everything they need to know about a candidate. And that's what we depend on the media for.
Moderator: The next is Jeff Mays from the New York Times.
Question: Hey, good morning, Mr. Mayor. How are you doing?
Mayor: Good, Jeff. How have you been?
Question: Good. Good. I wanted to ask you know, in 2013 you had – when you won, you assembled this sort of coalition of, you know, Black voters, progressive whites. I'm wondering, you know, maybe you can give us a little preview of life after City Hall? Put on your political operative hat and what do you think happened to that coalition last night? Did you see that coalition going to any particular candidate or yeah?
Mayor: Yeah. Look, I'd say, first of all, we don't know enough. I'm going to state the obvious. Until we see the whole playout of ranked choice, we don't know enough. What was striking to me early on, I was watching NY1 and they did the borough by borough breakdown. And I did have a sort of immediate reminiscence of 2013 on one piece of the equation. And I give credit to Eric Adams, the strength he created in Brooklyn, in Queens, and the Bronx. Eric, obviously had an outer borough focused, working class focused strategy. That's a lot of what we did in 2013. We wanted a multi-racial, working class coalition with a heavy focus on the outer boroughs. It worked in 2013. It appears to have worked for him here. It's not exactly the same coalition. Obviously, I came out of brownstone Brooklyn. I had a lot of strength in brownstone Brooklyn. I had some strength in some other places. But I think what I saw at least preliminarily last night from Eric Adams’s achievement, is that it did mirror a lot of what we did in 2013. Go ahead, Jeff.
Question: Oh, thank you. I appreciate the answer. I'm wondering over the course of the next couple of weeks you know, how do you expect the candidates to handle themselves? Yeah, you know, you talked about –
Mayor: Very, very carefully. That would be my advice, but go ahead, Jeff.
Question: No, you said that, you know, there are still votes to be counted. You know, are you, do you have any advice for them? Should people avoid claiming victory? I mean, what, you know, what do you expect from the candidates?
Mayor: Look, it's a new model that we all have to experience. Clearly last night again, Eric had a strong number. He had every right to go out there and talk about it. But from this point on, I think everyone has to recognize that there's a lot more to play out in this process. Let's let the process fully be unfold, fully unfold, and see the final results formally. I think every candidate, and then I think three objectively are still in the running, should be mindful that we don't know the final result until we get it. And we're going to respect the process. We want to make it very transparent. And then we got to get to work bringing the whole Democratic party together and starting to work on the future of this city. So, when I say very carefully, I think it's for two reasons. One, we've never used this system before. Let's be careful not to judge too much. Let's let the system play out. And two, we all have to work together when this is over. It will be over in a few weeks. Then we have to get back to the work of bringing the city back and creating a recovery for all of us. And I think everyone has to be mindful of that.
Moderator: We have time for two more for today. The next is Henry from Bloomberg.
Question: Hello, Mr. Mayor. Long time, no talk to.
Mayor: Yeah, Henry. How you been?
Question: I've been excellent. And I hope you have too.
Mayor: Thank you for that. I have been.
Question: Good. Well, I had a bunch of questions and I just got stuck on your answer to Jeff Mays, that Eric Adams reflected the same coalition that you did, because if there was one candidate who said that stop-and-frisk could be done correctly and should be actually expanded with better training, et cetera, it was Eric Adams. And this was a signature part of your platform along with universal pre-K. And I got to tell you as an observer of this campaign, I do not see Eric Adams as the inheritor of your coalition. Perhaps Maya Wiley, but certainly not Eric Adams. So, I was hoping you might expand on that a little bit, or at least consider my observation of this?
Mayor: It's a good question. And I'm happy to have an opportunity to speak to it, because I think there's been a certain amount of misunderstanding, honestly. My coalition began in Brooklyn, obviously Eric's as well. And my coalition focused on the outer boroughs. That's what Eric did. My coalition had a very strong African American element. That's what Eric had. Obviously, a strong Latino element. That's what Eric had. I agree if you say, you know, with Maya Wiley is someone I have a lot of respect for, worked very closely with, that there's elements of her approach in her coalition that are also very reminiscent of what we did. Absolutely. But I'm just saying the sheer reach and the numbers, what Eric did was closest to what we did. I ended up with 41 percent in the 2013 primary. We kind of flipped the script of what was done historically. For too many years in the city everything was Manhattan outward. We said, we're doing outer borough inward. We're going to focus on the votes of the seven million of us that live in the outer boroughs, with Brooklyn as the starting point. So, I think that's where there's some real similarity. But on the substance, it's really important to have the conversation Henry, because I got to know Eric decades ago, when he was fighting against police brutality and challenging the orthodoxy of the NYPD. Fighting constantly against a broken status quo. He clearly spoke out against the unconstitutional use of stop-and-frisk. He's someone who was a charter member of those movements for police reform. I found it quizzical over these last, this last year or so how some of that history got airbrushed out too often. I think it was front and center for years and years and years, and very well covered. I think there's a few times he could have said it more clearly. I believe very fundamentally, what he has been saying is there is an appropriate and limited way to use stop-and-frisk, if you do it constitutionally, if you do it for very specific reasons, of course, it's still a tool to be used, but used sparingly and correctly. That's what I've said plenty of times publicly too. So, I don't feel he said anything but that, and I remember he was one of the people that fought against the overuse of stop-and-frisk. So, that that's where I see actual consistency throughout. Go ahead, Henry.
Question: Okay. We’ll have to save this discussion for a later day, but it's interesting to hear your response. The New York City budget, it's getting late in the month, got to get that budget up to Albany. You got to get it printed. What are the issues that are outstanding? And you know, why hasn't it been resolved at this point? What still needs to be done?
Mayor: We made a lot of progress. There's been constant negotiation with the City Council. Of course, Henry you know, we're all realists here. A lot of Council members understandably had to focus on the election right in front of them. It was hard for people to put quite as much time as they normally would into a budget, but what's happened is a lot of work has gone on from the executive budget in April until now, constant negotiations. I think we're agreeing on a number of areas, but we still have some things to work through. And we have more information coming in still, about the different options. We're going to get done. I'm very confident we'll get done in the next week. And you know, I think we had something very unusual. Remember we never had a June primary for City Council before. We always used to be able to do the budget without anyone having to worry about electoral dynamics right in front of their face. This is the first time we had to overlap the two. So, we’ve built a foundation to get it done. And now there'll be a very intensive effort in the next few days, but I feel good about the outcome.
Moderator: Last question for today. It goes to Yoav from The City.
Question: Hi, Mr. Mayor. I wanted to ask you about vaccine tourism. My understanding is, and correct me if I'm wrong, that it currently only applies to residents of other states? Would you support expanding that to international tourists or does that bring concerns about potential variants into play?
Mayor: I would say it this way and I'll turn to Dr. Chokshi and Dr. Katz who know a lot more than me. I believe if people come here for whatever reason, we should vaccinate anyone who needs to get vaccinated. That's just in our interest. That's in the City's interest, the country's interest, the globe's interest. I don't imagine a scenario and maybe I'm missing something where people travel all the way here from far away to get vaccinated. I believe people who have the resources to do that probably are able to get vaccinated in their home countries. But maybe that's a debatable point. I would start with, if people come here and need vaccine, we should give them vaccine. I think that's just good common sense. Dr. Chokshi then Dr. Katz, speak to this.
Commissioner Dave Chokshi, Department of Health and Mental Hygiene: Thank you, Mr. Mayor. And I agree with you. The key point is that vaccination is critically important to keeping New York City safe but also is critically important anytime anyone is embarking upon travel. Particularly because we know that travel is a risk factor for spread of the virus. So, if there are ways that New York City can further support, ensuring that people who are traveling are vaccinated, that means that all of us will be safer.
Mayor: And Dr. Katz, you want to add?
President Katz: I agree with what both of you have said. Thank you so much.
Mayor: Thank you. Go ahead, Yoav.
Question: Well, I guess I wanted to ask the doctors because you mentioned that you haven't heard of it. We do believe it's happening and just want to see if either doctor has an idea to what extent international folks are traveling here primarily to get the vaccine? And again, if you could just confirm, do you know whether the rules – I guess, do you need to be a U.S. resident currently to get the vaccine or not?
Mayor: So, I'm going to turn to the doctors. Though Yoav, I want to ask you a clarifying question. You said we believe it's happening, or we – I'm not hearing the why you believe it's happening. Do you have something specific we should know about?
Question: Just anecdotally.
Mayor: Anecdotally documented?
Question: Anecdotally speaking to folks primarily from South America who have done it. The vaccine is incredibly hard to get in some of those countries.
Mayor: Right, I’m just, I'm staying with you one more second. People who say they came here, they traveled all the way here just to get vaccinated? Is that what you're saying you've experienced?
Mayor: Okay. That's a new – I have not heard that report before. I don't want to miss the meaning of it. Dr. Chokshi, Dr. Katz answer as best you can now. Have you seen evidence of this? And how do we handle someone who's not from the United States, but would like to get vaccinated here?
Commissioner Chokshi: Certainly. So, what I will say is that we have heard about this more in cities like Miami, where there are more reports of people who are traveling to get vaccinated. We haven't, at least quantitatively, you know, heard about that happening at any scale for New York City. It is complicated by the fact that New York City, as we all know, is a global metropolis. We have many people living in New York City who spend some months of the year you know, sometime living between the city and other places, particularly in South and Central America. And for them, you know, the clear message is if you're a New Yorker, you know, we want you to get vaccinated. And we will do everything in our power to extend, you know, access to vaccination for you as well. For someone who is truly living outside of the United States, I think that is a different case. And our priority is for people who are U.S. residents.
Mayor: Dr. Katz, anything you would like to add?
President Katz: Nothing. You guys have covered it very well. Thank you.
Mayor: That's what we're here for. Okay, everyone. Thank you, everyone. Again, I'm going to close where I began, I really appreciate that despite all the challenges New Yorkers came out to vote. They came out to vote, came out to make their voices heard. Again, a little patience, not our strongest suit as New Yorkers. It's going to take a few weeks to get the final results of this election, but thank you to everyone who participated keeping democracy strong, no matter what's been thrown at us. And this is going to be a good beginning to a recovery for all of us. Thank you, everyone.