September 10, 2021
Brian Lehrer: It's the Brian Lehrer show on WNYC. Good morning again, everyone. And now our weekly Ask the Mayor call, my questions and yours for Mayor Bill de Blasio at 6-4-6-4-3-5-7-2-8-0, or tweet your question using the hashtag, #AskTheMayor. Good morning, Mr. Mayor. Welcome back to WNYC.
Mayor Bill de Blasio: Good morning, Brian, and Brian, I'd like to break some news here. I think WNYC is a fine place to break important news for the people of this city. So, for our young people in schools, 12 years old and up, we're adding an additional requirement here for extracurricular activities that are considered high risk. We've already done this for high-risk sports, and this is consistent with CDC and state guidance – for young people who are involved in extracurricular activities, such as chorus, musical theater, dance, band and marching band, cheerleading, we're going to have a vaccination mandate for them. So, any young person who wants to participate in those activities will have to be vaccinated to be able to do so.
Lehrer: So, this is the performing arts mandate, chorus, musical theater, dance team, and dance in general, band and orchestra, with all those woodwinds – that was me in high school, this would have applied to me for playing the flute – cheerleading, step teams, flag team. So, this is really a performing arts requirement.
Mayor: It is for particularly – look, we're talking about performing arts, where folks are close together, close contact, lots of exhaling, obviously, as you said, with the woodwinds, lots of heavy exertion with some of these dance, cheerleading, et cetera. This is according, to the CDC and state guidance, where we need to focus, and I agree fully. We want to protect our young people. We want them to enjoy these activities. I mean, I can tell you, you know, my kids, the things they got involved in was a really important part of their school experience. I want young people to enjoy these activities, but I want to do it safely.
So, for every child, 12 and up, go get vaccinated. Good news, right now, Brian we're at 66.28 percent. So, basically two-thirds of all kids in the city, not just public school kids, all kids in the 12 to 17 range have now already gotten at least one dose, and this is a one dose or more requirement. And so, we're well along – you know, the vast majority of kids right now can go participate in these activities, which is great. But for the other third who have not yet gotten vaccinated - to their parents, I want to say, do us all a tremendous favor, do the right thing and get your child vaccinated. It's free. It's easy. It's everywhere. It's going to be in schools next week - 700 schools will have vaccination in school all week long, next week, so your child can participate in everything they love to do.
Lehrer: Alright, LaGuardia High School, you hear that? You're all required to get vaccinated now. What about close contact athletics, sports?
Mayor: At the high risk – the same concept, the high-risk sports we mandated that weeks ago and we've seen a tremendous response. And I think we have to be honest here that one of the things we're doing with mandates, and I absolutely applaud President Biden for what he put forward yesterday, and honestly, a lot of that was following through on what New York City had done over the last few months. So, I'm very proud that New York City led the way in terms of strong mandates. We understand the mandates encourage folks to understand what they can do, and the freedom they can have, and the security they can have. It's very much about changing mindsets. And so, with the sports we saw young people, they were not going to give up their opportunity to play those high risk or high contact sports. And there was a lot of times, Brian, the young people went to their parents and said, “I'm going to go get vaccinated. I need to get vaccinated. This is important to me.” And the parents finally saw the importance of vaccination and agreed to it.
Lehrer: But no – well, you're not going to go as far as Los Angeles, which announced yesterday a vaccine requirement for all students 12 and up?
Mayor: Yeah, my understanding is they said that would start in January. And I – you know, we will look at things as we go along, but I don't see that. It's not on the table now. I think we're making tremendous progress with the 12 to 17 group. Remember, this is the most recent group to be allowed to be vaccinated. They're already at two-thirds, even though adults have been vaccinated from months and months earlier, this group has already at two-thirds and it's growing rapidly. I think you're going to see a big increase in the next few days. So, I don't want to take the chance of a kid or a family who is not quite there yet of being excluded from being in school. I believe, Chancellor believes – Meisha Ross Porter – our Health Commissioner Dave Chokshi – we need our kids in school, and I think we keep using all these tools, you're going to see the percentage of kids in that 12 to 17 group really, really high over the next few weeks. And then Brian, we are really hoping and praying, as early as November even, the five to 11-year-olds will have an authorized vaccine. And that will be a very fast process, I am absolutely certain parents will come forward for that.
Lehrer: And for parents of kids in the categories that you just laid out, what's the deadline?
Mayor: Well, the deadline is to be able to participate. So, this is immediately, obviously. School is starting on Monday – these extracurricular activities will be starting very soon. So, again, luckily now two-thirds of kids probably already ready to go, but we want to make sure if there's any parent out there and your child would want us to be in one of these extracurricular activities, just go get them that first dose, of course get the second dose at the appropriate time. But all you have to do, anytime in the next days, is get them that first dose, get the card to prove it, and they can fully participate.
Lehrer: You know, this is the kind of thing that drove parents crazy last school year, not necessarily for the rule itself, but for the fact that you're announcing it three days before the start of school and the requirement take effect.
Mayor: Brian, I understand that – again, I was a public school parent the whole way through with my kids. I know there's lots of things that are frustrating parents. It's hard to be a parent in New York City, but I got to tell you we have been moving with the information, with what's coming down from the CDC and the state, as we're understanding where are the best places to put the focus and mandates. And also, there is a sequential reality that building these things properly takes some time and effort. But look, I don't think – I understand the frustration, but I want to emphasize the vast majority of kids it's a non-issue because they're already vaccinated. For other kids, it's going to be a really clear message: it's time to get vaccinated, and for their families. It's extracurricular by nature. If a family doesn't think it's important enough to get their child vaccinated for this, the child won't participate, but they can at any point get vaccinated and then become a part of it. And we've got to be clear that this is the kind of thing we're going to do. These mandates are necessary. I agree with President Biden, we've all been very patient, and we’ve provided incentives and encouragement and information. But now at this point, anyone unvaccinated, they have to come forward because it's making the whole community less safe.
Lehrer: What about some of those performing arts-oriented schools where things like musical theater are part of the curriculum, not extracurricular?
Mayor: Well, exactly. This is about extracurriculars, not required subjects. This is about extracurriculars only.
Lehrer: Even though they would have the same risk?
Mayor: That's something we're obviously looking at how to address that issue, and the best way to address that issue is to use every tool we have to get kids vaccinated, which is why the push we've been making for weeks on the Vax To School effort, and why in 700 schools that will be free vaccination in school all week, next week in all the schools would 12-year-old and up kids. But look, the good news is I actually think this population, our young people, are seeing the light sometimes better than our elders. And I guarantee you, there's going to be a lot of conversations today where young people say to their parents, “I need to get vaccinated, I want to participate. This is something I need to do.” And the parent's going to agree to it.
Lehrer: Stephanie, in Brooklyn, you're on WNYC with the Mayor. Hi, Stephanie.
Question: Hi, thank you very much for taking my call. I am absolutely beside myself with fear of sending my six-year-old into school. And I'm wondering why and how there's no option for remote or blended or staggered classes when the class size is double the size of last year, my son is going to have 25 unvaccinated children returning from summer vacation, all over the world and maybe Texas, Florida, and one teacher who may or may not be vaccinated until September 27th. If a vaccine is going to be available as soon as possibly October, November, or January, why don't I have an option because I'm terrified to send my son in?
Mayor: Stephanie, I – look again, as a parent, I understand loud and clear – I spent years and years being concerned about so many challenges, so many things that made me fearful for my kids when there wasn't even a pandemic. So, I totally imagine if you're a parent today, the pandemic is on your mind every minute – I don't belittle that, but I am also listening to the doctors. What the doctors are saying, intensely, is that our kids being out of school has now become its own crisis. It's not healthy. It's creating a huge number of problems for our kids, emotional health, physical health, across the board, let alone educational dynamics. We believe that a child being in a place that's literally the most highly regulated setting in the city. And it's been proven all last year and during Summer Rising, very, very low levels of COVID. Adults overwhelmingly vaccinated now, and every adult, as of September 27th, in the building, no one in the building will be unvaccinated as of September 27th. We believe this is an extraordinarily safe environment. We've proven it and the most important thing is our kids have to come back. So, that's the way we're approaching it – by throwing every conceivable health and safety measure at it. And we have very, very capable medical leadership in this city that have seen us through COVID, and they believe this is the right thing to do. I think parents should see that this has worked and engage it because our kids just need to be back together.
Lehrer: As a follow-up, I've seen some stats that indicate that enrollment in kindergarten, in particular, is down compared to previous years. And the speculation is that that's parents who want the remote option, who are declining to enroll their kids in the system. And there's fear that some of those families may not have other good options. Some can afford private school, some have moved out of the city, things like that. But there's a fear that I've read about at least that some kids will actually disappear from the system because there's no remote option. Have you acknowledged that, or can you account for that in any way if it happens?
Mayor: Yeah, I respect that you're raising a fear and a projection. That's not what we're seeing is the honest truth. What we're seeing is after a global pandemic and a lot of disruption, that we definitely think some parents are sorting out what they want to do. That's normal. We normally don't have a full take on what attendance in the school is going to be, what enrollment is going to be until the end of September, beginning of October in a normal year. So, I do think there's some sorting out going on. That notion of people left is way overstated and bluntly, in certain demographics, folks who happen to have more means. But when you look at the overall situation, as the census just affirmed, the city is actually bigger than it's ever been 8.8 million. So, some people left, a lot of them came back, but a lot of new people have come in. It's not about lack of people. What we're seeing – parents overwhelmingly want the kids back in school and are acting accordingly. I think there'll be a small number that watch and wait for a bit, that want to see how the very beginning goes. I wouldn't urge that. I would say any parents should just get their kid to school on Monday. That's what the vast, vast majority are going to do. But we are not seeing a big trend line here. And I think there's been some very loud voices on the remote issue, but they are by no means anywhere close to the majority, overwhelming majority want their kids back in school. And we're hearing that from the schools, parents are engaging and saying very clearly, they're bringing their kids back.
Lehrer: Here's a question via Twitter. It says, Mr. Mayor, we're still waiting for guidance on field trips. We have the trips booked, but we don't know if we can take the trips. We need a policy announcement. So, that's schools related too.
Mayor: That is a good question, Brian, and I'll make sure we get that out either today or Monday, obviously field trips will take a little while before they happen, but we'll get the guidance out on that. It may have gone out and I just don't know about it, but we will get that immediately.
Lehrer: All right. You will have closures, no doubt. There will be outbreaks. LA so far has had three of what they call school-wide outbreaks. So, almost certainly there will be some in New York, what will happen then?
Mayor: Well, just offering an important fact – I'm not belittling LA, they have a different reality on a lot of levels. Our level of strictness, in terms of health and safety measures, is the highest in the nation, and that has been proven and what's happening in our community with, you know, 5.6 million New Yorkers have had at least one dose. I think we're different than almost anywhere in terms of the rigor that's been brought to the equation. But that said in Summer Rising, Brian, the whole summer, a big program, well over 200,000 kids – we had two school closures the whole summer. So yes, we may have some, and in that case, the entire school would go remote and continue on for that quarantine period. I think that's going to be a rarity based on what we're seeing now. We definitely are seeing some progress on the overall situation with COVID and the Delta variant based on the high level of vaccination. That number is about to go up meaningfully because of all the mandates hitting right now. But I'd say what is more likely is some classroom quarantines for sure, but remember any adult or kid vaccinated does not quarantine unless they're symptomatic. That's the CDC rule. That's the City rule. If you're in a school and a classroom, there's a case in the classroom, but you're not symptomatic and you are vaccinated, you're staying in school to continue learning, or continue to teach and support the kids.
Lehrer: All right, one more question on this. The teachers union is more or less supportive of the vaccine mandates. I know some of the details are still being arbitrated and negotiated. But the City has, what, like 80,000 teachers and more than 100,000 teachers plus other school staff. How many do you anticipate having to fire for refusing to get vaccinated without a medical or religious exemption? And how will you have enough replacement teachers to fill all the classrooms – I'm guessing that the need will be something in the thousands, even if it's just two or three percent who have declined the vaccine?
Mayor: It's a great question. I appreciate it, Brian. Let me first tell you, there was an arbitration process going on and I want to just be very careful about what I say given that fact, but I'd say broadly to you, no one wants to fire anyone. Let's state the obvious. We want all our teachers just get vaccinated, live up to this mandate. Look, New York City set a very strong path when we did public employee mandates, the indoor dining and indoor entertainment mandate, the $100 incentive. Joe Biden has taken a lot of these ideas, and to his great credit, is making it a strong national push. This is the way things are going to go from now on in this country, more and more of these mandates so we can get people vaccinated and move forward. The reason I say that is we want to just convince those teachers to be a part of this. We don't them to leave. We want them to be a part of this. If someone is adamant that it's not because of a medical or religious exemption, they just absolutely positively will never get vaccinated, no matter what proof we show them, no matter how important it is to come and serve our kids, there'll be a process for handling them. That's what's being arbitrated. But to your question of how many, we do not expect that to be a large number, and we've been researching this carefully. What we have now in reserve is the biggest corps of very capable and experienced substitute teachers that we've ever had, because that's a lot of what we had to do last year. We have a very, very different dynamic. All of us who had substitute teachers back in the day, it was an occasional thing, this is different. We had a core of folks who came in the midst of the pandemic and served a lot of young people coming out of schools of education, a really capable group that we can bring into action, many thousands, very quickly. So, we're confident about having the staffing we need to keep going, and I don't think many of the UFT members are going to choose to leave especially at a moment where kids need them.
Lehrer: Monique in Manhattan, you’re NYC with the Mayor. Hi, Monique.
Lehrer: Hi there. You're on the air.
Question: Yes, with the return to happening in full force and parents who are City employees now, being required to return to the office, I just don't understand why remote options or flexible options of that nature can be given to those parents who are now completely overwhelmed by all the processes and all of the mandates. Why is the quality of life going back to the old norm and pushing for a new norm for your City employees who are non-public facing?
Mayor: Monique, I appreciate the question. It's important for people to understand why this is so important. We have not had a particularly stellar experience with remote employment, I've been very open about this. Different sectors have reported different things. From a government perspective, our folks not being in their offices, not being able to coordinate and work together, learn together on how to address issues, create solutions together, it's made a huge impact, unfortunately, in the wrong direction. It's imperative to get our workforce back. Unlike private companies, our workforce serves the people, and the people have a lot of needs right now. So, we need our folks back where they can be most effective, again in highly controlled environments, with huge amounts of health and safety measures. And most importantly, we have offered - and the President said that with passion last night, and I commend him – we have offered vaccination for free in more ways than we can count. Now, it's time for adults to be adults and get vaccinated and protect their kids, their family, their community. So, anyone who comes back to our workplace can do the right thing, be vaccinated, and make everyone safe. And our kids are going to be back in school, and what were you very much expect based on real experience with last year and with Summer Rising, which remember happened at the height of Delta, Delta seems to be reducing a bit now. During the height of Delta, we had two school closures the entire Summer Rising period. We believe the overwhelming majority of kids are going to be able to be in school very consistently. So, it's the right time to do these things together. It's also the right time to put every tool in play to say to people, you've got to get vaccinated. The mandate that starts Monday for a lot of city employees, vaccinated or test, it's not overly convenient. It's supposed to be a message to people. If you just get vaccinated, you're done. If you really want to go through testing each week, you can, but if you don't do it right, there's going to be consequences. We’re really trying to send a firm message, it's time for people to get this done.
Lehrer: So, many of the major private employers that had mandatory back to office dates have now postponed them because of the Delta variant, the State also put its back to work date back I think into October for the moment and may be postponed further. So, why be the odd employer out forcing this return against what seems to be a lot of employees who don't want it?
Mayor: Brian, I respect our employees greatly, but what employees want at any given moment, you know, if it's in the public interest, that's great. Employees are human beings. We're all human beings. What they want may not be what's right for all the people or even for themselves sometimes. The bottom line is New York City has to lead. We proved that you could have strong mandates and it helped lead the nation. We proved you could open schools and it helped lead the nation. We have to do this for our own good and for everyone else. The only way to defeat COVID is get people vaccinated. The only way to get people vaccinated at this point is to use both incentives and strong mandates. And you're saying, we're going to delay, delay, delay is a formula for telling people they don't need to be vaccinated and that we're not going to fight back and serve people the way we need to. I'm not doing that. We can actually fix this problem. The President's right, what Joe Biden said last night, every single person who is unvaccinated is hurting the rest of us now. It just has to be addressed. So, our workforce has gone to come back, coming back with a very clear standard, get vaccinated, or you may test it weekly, or else there's consequences. We're not playing around here, but this notion of putting off and putting off and we should be trying to kill COVID once and for all really end the COVID era. No, we're going to show it can be defeated and we'll lead the way here in New York City.
Lehrer: Is that a back of your hand to the many major companies in the finance sector, in the tech sector elsewhere who are delaying their return to mandatory office work?
Mayor: I respect each company's choice. I wouldn't make that choice. I wouldn't make that choice. I would - I think the President has said a very clear message last night that private companies need to step up too, and they need to use their power. Look, a lot of folks in the private sector said to me last year New York City, the city government has to lead the way so we can bring back the entire economy of the city, and jobs for everyone, and people's livelihoods, and I agree. I wanted to bring back everything because I thought it was right to bring it back onto itself, but I also believe fundamentally that New York City could send a message to the entire private sector. And there are parts of the private sector, look at the private universities, they've been exemplary. They've said, if you want to go here, you're, you know, you're all adults, the kids, the students are all adults. You got to be vaccinated. That's been great, some companies that lead the way, it's time for every company to step up, require vaccination, call your employees back, we need to be aggressive here.
Lehrer: Brianna in Manhattan. You're on WNYC with the Mayor. Hello, Brianna.
Question: Hi. Hello. Thank you very much, Brian, for taking my call. Hello, Mr. Mayor. I'm a city employee. I am one of the people who is required to go back to the office on Monday, and I have very many concerns about that. I also just want to refer to something you said earlier that we have not been very effective remotely, I really have to object to that, and I don't think I'm an outlier. I think many of us we've done our being working remotely since March of last year have actually done very good job and have not in any way, you know, failed, you know, the city or our clients. So, my concern is that yes, absolutely, we want this to be over, we want to go back to normal, but you talk about vaccination, but you haven't mandated the vaccination and the testing, the once a weekly testing, we hear everywhere, it's actually inadequate. It's insufficient for Delta. Delta needs way less time. Not to mention that checking the status of the employees, logistically, for every agency is probably going to be a nightmare once we start streaming in on Monday and you know, at the entrance, how is someone going to check all that? I don't think the logistics have been worked out. I'm not going to blame any particular agency because this is not their decision. This is your decision. So, I think that this is actually a gamble and I honestly feel like a Guinea pig, and I don't appreciate that because it's not necessary. And again, you know, the schools, if they are likely to close what happens with the parents then who have to be at work when their kids are at school. So, these are, these are the points – I think this is premature. I mean the State employees are not asked to go back until mid-October. Why are we pushed already without the vaccination mandate? And without it really clearly set up, how is this? Because only 60 percent of city employees are fully vaccinated. So, there are 50 people in my office, 50 percent of people who are, you know, no social distancing necessary. How am I safe? How is this helping anybody? And Delta isn't going anywhere. Thank you very much.
Lehrer: Thank you very much.
Mayor: Brianna, respect you, a lot of what you said, just wasn't accurate with all due respect. First of all, I'm sure you and others did your damnedest to provide a fine service remotely. My comment was not about the individual effort of our city workers. Anyone who wants to say that and take it out of context, have fun with that. But that's not what I'm saying. I'm saying what employers all over the country have experienced, that we have lost a lot of what we are able to achieve when people are in-person. This is well understood in many, many workplaces, it’s particularly crucial in public service, we're not getting the same product that we get when people can work together in person and deal with the public directly. So no, our job is to serve people. We will serve them better by resuming the work we did the way we did it. Second of all, to me, I think you're honestly forgetting the 80 percent – 80 percent of city workforce who is at their post, at the frontline, in the middle of COVID, in harm's way while office workers often didn't have to be. So respectfully as someone myself who was here the whole time, I don't buy people saying a year and a half into the crisis, oh we want more and more exemptions for ourselves. No, everyone needs to serve, and we are making these workplaces extremely safe. We're not going to have lines of people waiting to go in, the process is if you show your vaccination to your supervisor, then you're done. If you haven't been vaccinated, you have to prove every week that you've gotten the test that will be handled by the supervisory process, not people standing outside the door. So, this can be done. We don't follow other people's leads. We do what we think is right from New York City.
Lehrer: Let me get you to answer two specific things that she raised. One – and the previous caller raised it too – about parents who are going to need to scramble for childcare and school quarantine situations. And also, the fact that the vaccinations are not mandatory. Only the testing is mandatory. So, since we know testing doesn't protect people as much as vaccinations because of the lag time that – that they're put – they're being put in a risky situation without enough protection, because it's not a full vaccine mandate.
Mayor: So, Brian, we are working with a lot of information, everything's based on the data and the science. The reality that we see right now, as we expect, our schools to be open very consistently, just based on everything we're seeing, we expect them to be open very consistently. It is not last year. I don't blame anyone who was living in last year in their mind, but it's just not last year, almost 5.6 million people vaccinated in the city. It's an entirely different reality, and the schools where we had ridiculous success, I mean, at the end of the school year, you realize the last days of school, 0.03 percent positivity in New York City public schools. So, I just need people to hear the facts. What I think you're going to see is a lot more continuity this year than last. We'll see some quarantines of some classrooms, true, but a lot of those kids and adults will be able to stay in if they are vaccinated. So now you say, okay, what about there's a quarantine and a student has to go home? Obviously for members of our city workforce, I'm going to encourage flexibility supervisors working with people if they have that situation, that's a week. It's not forever, it's a week, but we want to work with our employees always, of course, but I don't think – the way people are doing this, Brian, is okay, I'm a parent, I'm a city employee, I shouldn't have to come to work like everyone else because maybe my child might be sent home at some point in the school year. I don't accept that. I don't accept that. 80 percent of the workforce has been at the frontline fighting their way through –
Lehrer: Promising –
Mayor: And it’s time for everyone to be a part of it.
Lehrer: You're promising and accommodation in those instances?
Mayor: No, I'm not promising anything. I'm saying they should talk to their supervisors in that situation, and we'll be – we'll send a message to everyone to try and work out arrangements whenever possible, but I'm not – Brian, there's a thing that I understand people do, which is to take the exception within the exception and then act like that's how we make policy. No, we're making policy based on one, how do we serve the people in the city who are coming out of a horrible crisis? And two, how do we get the maximum number of people vaccinated? Our vaccine mandate and people coming back to work is going to get a lot more people vaccinated. That is how we end the crisis. We're not doing piecemeal. We're actually trying to end the crisis once and for all.
Lehrer: Let me – I know we're over time. Let me throw in one more category of children in the city who are not protected by the vaccine mandate for public school teachers. As I understand it, it's the kids in daycare and non-city preschools, like for two-year-olds, who fall under the Department of Health guidance rather than the Department of Education guidelines. How does the Health Department not have a stringent mandate for people who take care of babies and really small toddlers as the city does for those who work with older kids? Are you familiar with this discrepancy?
Mayor: Yeah, sure. It's a real issue, and I think what – I don't blame anyone who looked at the situation and says, why couldn't you guys have figured out everything upfront in perfect calibration and just announced everything months ago? Well, it's just not the way the world works. We have constantly evolving information. We have to make sure that each one of these mandates will work in every way. We have to make sure it will be sustainable. We've been announcing them as they are ready, and we've – I’ve been using the phrase, climbing the ladder, and I think I've shown it through action. We have been adding more and more mandates once it's the right time to do it. But we're looking to that next. We've covered thousands and thousands of kids, tens of thousands of kids with a mandate, this week on childcare continued mandates are being worked on as we speak.
Lehrer: And I'm going to do – I'm going to take advantage of your Goodwill and ask you one other thing on a completely different topic just to help people who were flooded out or otherwise left in difficult situations from Hurricane Ida. We know somebody who is in that situation and doesn't speak English very well. What services is the city offering right now for people who need help getting their lives back together?
Mayor: Okay. So, Brian, real quick, and I'm glad you asked it. It's really important. I've been out in communities all over the city, particularly Queens, where people have been hard hit. We are now doing canvasing door to door – I think everyone want you to hear this real quick – canvassing door to door any household that needs help. We're sending city officials to them to figure out everything they need. If someone needs food, which so far, we haven't seen too much of, but if anyone needs food, we'll get them free food right away. Anyone who needs a hotel room, we will get them that right away. We're going to – we are providing in multiple languages, help filling out the FEMA forms, you can get up to $36,000 if you're a homeowner to pay on your level of damage. There's a host of things for businesses and homeowners and renters. We're going to stop any eviction. We have legal assistance. Anyone that needs help in any language, you can go to nyc.gov/Ida, I-D-A, or call 3-1-1.
Lehrer: Mr. Mayor, complicated week, so much going on that feels urgent at the same time. Thank you for all your time today, thanks as always, talk to you next week.
Mayor: And thank you, Brian, and everyone had not, withstanding all the challenges, Monday morning, a million kids go back to school. It's going to be a very, very good day for the city and the step forward for all of us.
Lehrer: Thanks again.
Mayor: Thank you, Brian.