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Transcript: Mayor de Blasio Holds Media Availability

November 4, 2020

Mayor Bill de Blasio: Well, good morning, everyone. So, long night last night for a lot of people, and, obviously, a truly historic moment for our city, for our country. What we saw in this election – we don't know the result yet, obviously, in terms of the presidential election. But what we do know – extraordinary turnout all over this country, incredible enthusiasm across the spectrum. People got engaged and people voted early in record numbers. A lot of really important things happened. Even before you know the final results, what we do know is people participated, and owned it, and that is a very, very good and important sign for the future. So, obviously, ballots are still being counted. This is the greatest understatement you'll hear today – ballots are still being counted. They’ll be counted for days, maybe even weeks – the election clearly still too close to call on the presidential level and in many other places as well. But what is clear is we had both a huge amount of participation and a clean and fair election all over this city, all over this nation. That is a fact. Thank God Election Day came off very smoothly in the scheme of things, and certainly attribute that in part to the power of early voting. But also, a lot of things we worried about around the city around this country, whether it was interference from foreign nations and hacking, or voter suppression efforts, violence, we didn't see any of those things, thank God. We saw a fair clean election with a huge amount of participation. That's a good thing.  

Now, we all knew this would be an unprecedented election, because it was happening during a pandemic. We knew that there could be lots of reasons people didn't vote, but, in fact, they did in the end. People voted in so many ways. And as you saw during the counting last night, we've never really dealt with this kind of count before where there's votes the day of the election – that's what we're used to – plus absentee on an unprecedented level. We're not used to that. We're certainly not used to early voting on this kind of level. That's why it's going to take a while to make sense of all this. But the bottom line is to stay calm, to trust that this count can and will be done fairly and cleanly and transparently, to, in fact, believe that the people really have spoken here. Let this process play out. And I urge everyone, if you have something you want to say, say it peacefully, say it calmly because we got a lot more to go here before we know the absolute final results.  

Now, New Yorkers showed up and the votes are just, in many ways, beginning to be counted in the city, because of so many absentee ballots. But we do know New Yorkers showed up. Already, we know that between the 1.1 million who voted in early voting and then the 1.2 million who showed up in-person yesterday, 2.3 million already, and then hundreds of thousands of absentee ballots, more to be counted. So, tremendous showing here in the city. And I want to turn now to our Deputy Mayor, Phil Thompson. He and his team, everyone at DemocracyNYC, all the Election Day voting observers, a great effort was made to get people engaged, turn them out to vote, make sure the vote went safely. I want you to get an update now from the man who led this effort on behalf of the people of this city, Deputy Mayor Phil Thompson. 

Deputy Mayor Phillip J. Thompson, Strategic Policy Initiatives: Thank you, Mr. Mayor. And, as you said, yesterday was a great day in New York City and 1.1 million people voted early, 1.2 million people turned out yesterday, and 1.1 million people requested absentee ballots, and we're waiting to see how many of those are returned. But yesterday could equal or surpass the highest turnout we've ever had in a presidential election in New York City. And this is during the pandemic, which meant that people, you know, had to take extra precautions and folks turned out. It shows how much New Yorkers care about our democracy, as you said, sir. Overall, yesterday was an incredibly smooth day. There were a few lines [inaudible] because of early voting, high spirits everywhere. I had the chance to visit several polling sites and folks – there really wasn't a sense of comradery and civic pride yesterday. Our 500 election observers served as our eyes and ears throughout the city. There were about 150 interpreters who provided language assistance at poll sites. And there were many thousands of poll workers, all of whom did a great job for making sure everyone was able to cast their ballot safely and make their voices heard.  

So, this is what democracy is all about and New Yorkers, you know, have a lot to be proud for today. Thank you.  

Mayor: Thank you so much, Deputy Mayor. And I really want to give a special thank you to our Election Observer Corps, over 500 volunteers who are out there. I saw them everywhere I went. I was up in Washington Heights, I was in South Ozone Park, I was in crown Heights, our observers were out there really reassuring people that there would be nothing done that would interfere with the vote. Thank you to all the election observers. Thank you to all the poll workers, such good people who worked a really, really long day, kept their spirits high. A lot of enthusiasm among the poll workers, because they knew they were helping to make history by facilitating everyone's right to vote. So, to everyone who was out there, to NYPD School Safety who were out there protecting people's rights to vote, the interpreters who are out there, helping people get the language services they needed – a lot of people really made this a great day for democracy and for the city. So, thank you to all. And thank you, Deputy Mayor, and your team for the great effort – a very smooth election day in this city.  

Now, I want to say a couple of the results locally. Obviously, a lot is still being looked at, but I want to offer my congratulations to the Working Families Party – an organization I've worked closely with for decades now – a very clear vote of confidence in the Working Families Party in results yesterday and they will continue to be a major progressive presence in the state. Also, across the river, I want to thank our neighbors and congratulate our neighbors in New Jersey. They did something really important and something New York State needs to do, they legalized marijuana. Now, this is something I believe in, it has to be done the right way in New York, it has to be done in a way that's safe and that empowers communities who often have suffered from the wrong kind of laws in the past. But here's an opportunity to do the right thing. We see it in New Jersey. Now, it's time for New York State to do it – legalize marijuana the right way. Also, by the way, at a point where we need resources so we can serve people and provide such crucial services. This would be a big economic boost and bring in revenue we need. So, hopefully, that will soon be coming in this state as well.  

But, look, as we wait to see the results of this election, here's what we do know – for sure, the results are going to have a huge impact on New York either way. We don't know what's going to happen yet with the presidency. As someone who supports Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, I'm very optimistic at this moment, but we don't know yet the results. We don't know the results yet for the U.S. Senate. As a Democrat, I can say, I'm not seeing everything I hoped to see, but there is still a lot out there. We do know there's going to be a Democratic House of Representatives, and we do know more fundamentally the decisions that will be made by the next Congress, the next president will define the future in New York City. And it's really the basics – we need a strong stimulus to get us back on our feet. The whole country needs it. That's going to hang in the balance of the presidential election and the votes for Senate. We need a vaccine we can believe in and trust, that's also on the ballot, in effect, and whoever gets chosen president is going to determine whether we get that or not. We need, going forward, to take on the number-one challenge we all face – global warming. Couldn't be two more different visions between the presidential candidates. As the votes are counted, we're going to see which way this nation goes. So, so much on the line. But, to everyone who's anxious this morning, to everyone who thinks there's anything definitive here, there isn't – there's a lot more to go and we’ve got to remain calm and let this process play out. And, as one famous New Yorker once said, it ain't over ‘till it's over. So, let's let it play out and have faith in the decisions of the people.  

Okay. With that said, let's talk about what we talk about every day – our indicators. And I'm going to talk a little bit about them as we go along. Today’s indicators – although, the most important indicator, I feel some satisfaction about, I don't like what I see on the other front. 

So, I'm going to talk about this – first, number-one, daily number of people admitted the New York City hospitals for suspected COVID-19, threshold of 200 patients – today, a much higher number than we've seen typically, 114 patients, that's cause for concern. The positivity level, 25.8 percent, that's cause for concern. Now, remember the silver lining is, of that 114 patients, again, only about a quarter actually have COVID-19, and that is a level we can manage. But the fact that, that has gone up worries me. We're keeping a close eye on that. Number-two, new reported case in a seven-day average, that threshold, 550 – again, this case number is going up and that's a concern, 628 today. Some of that explained by the hotspots in Brooklyn and Queens. Some of that, explained by a greatly expanded testing, because testing is now on a much higher level. We're now up to – have the ability to do over 75,000 tests a day in New York City. That’s the highest we've been throughout this entire pandemic. So, you're going to have more positives if you do more testing. Still, that number is worrisome. And now, most importantly, percentage of people who tested citywide positive for COVID-19, threshold five percent – today's report, the daily report, 1.54 percent. That's not bad. Seven-day rolling average, 1.74 percent. Again, that's sort of been lately the new normal, that range 1.7, 1.8, 1.9 percent. Not where we want to be. We want to get lower. But to the extent we’ve stabilized around that level, that's something that we can handle for now. But, again, that's not where we want to be for the long-term. We're going to have to really buckle down to push that number back down.  

Okay. A few words about the election in Spanish – 

[Mayor de Blasio speaks in Spanish] 

With that, we turned to our colleagues in the media and please let me know the name and outlet of each journalist. 

Moderator: Hi, all. We'll now begin our Q-and-A. With us today is Deputy Mayor Phil Thompson, Senior Advisor Dr. Jay Varma, and Senior Advisor and Council for DemocracyNYC Laura Wood. With that, we'll go to Rich Lamb from WCBS.  

Question: Good morning, Mr. Mayor.  

Mayor: Hey, Rich. How are you doing? 

Question: Well, I'm doing all right. I'm just wondering, you know, given the fact that maybe the Senate is not flipped, what do you think the chances are of that a strong stimulus that you say that the city needs and – you know, given their past performance? 

Mayor: Look, Rich, it’s obviously too early to tell across the board. I believe what we're seeing is ultimately going to be a Senate that’s certainly not worse than it's been from the point of view of the Democratic party, and I would say, bluntly, from the point of view in New York City. I think we're going to have a Senate that's not worse in terms of its configuration, may be a little better. Again, I am hopeful for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. I think if you've got a Democrat president, a Democratic House, and a very closely split Senate, clearly you have the basis for a major stimulus. I think if President Trump had called for a major stimulus, he would have gotten it. Clearly, a Democratic president who can get a few Republicans who represent states in dire need to join in, I think we can get a strong stimulus. Do I think it would have been stronger if there was clearly a Democratic majority in the Senate? Absolutely. But I still think we can get the strong stimulus that we need if Joe Biden and Kamala Harris win. Go ahead. 

Question: And then I'm wondering whether you think the fears of violence about the election were overblown, or do you still foresee a chance here that, as the struggle goes on, if you will, that more, you know, protests, possible violence could show up? 

Mayor: Rich, we’ve got to be always concerned and ready. So, let me start where I think the foundation is here. So much emotion, so much passion, so much on the line. We've been through so much these last four years. Of course, we have to be ready for any situation. I think it is a good sign that the entire country went through early voting and Election Day almost without any incidents. I think it's a good sign that people are seeing a vote process take place, you know, in a very transparent fashion where there's lots of information out there about what was happening with early voting as it was happening, what yesterday looked like, the absentee ballots coming in. I think for anyone, the President or anyone else, to be suggesting fraud is absolutely illegitimate and unfair. And that's the thing that, obviously, worry about – could spark people to negative actions or to act out in some way. But if you're talking about the facts on the ground, Rich, so far, we have to be satisfied that this country has sent a message that it wants a peaceful outcome. So, I'd say, so far so good, Rich. 

Moderator: Next, we have Katie from the Wall Street Journal. 

Question: Hey. Good morning, Mr. Mayor. I’m guess, following up with Rich's first question, if what you hope happens with a Biden presidency doesn't happen, knowing the City's financial situation, what are the next steps that the city would have to do, especially if our revenue continues to stay lower than previous years? 

Mayor: Katie, look, it's an important question, but the first thing I say is, obviously, you know, I don't want to get too much into hypotheticals because we're all going to know in the coming days or weeks the results of the election, but I can say this much even if President Trump were to prevail, I think there'll be huge pressure on him to do some kind of stimulus. I don't think the country could possibly recover without it. So I think there is a question of degree here, but that said the president's been mercurial to say the least on the question of stimulus. If the federal government doesn't step up for us at some point soon it's pretty clear we're going to have to start cutting services, we're going to have to do the thing we have not wanted to do all along which is look at layoffs and other just horrible cuts that would really hurt the quality of life in the city, and this is exactly the wrong time for that. But I think the good news is we are far from that situation right now. And again, if you look at the overall numbers, I remain from my point of view hopeful about the outcome of this election. Go ahead, Katie. 

Question: And my second question is about some of the local races here in the city. It looks like, you know, Nicole Malliotakis might defeat Max Rose in Congress and Andrew Gounardes also looks like he might lose, obviously these races are not called, I'm not making a prediction, but taking a look at this, do you think that there's a sort of, especially with the Senate and the power that they could hold in the State for helping New York City, does that give you any concern?  

Mayor: Katie, I have not seen the results from all around the State. What I saw, you know, a sort of an initial summary suggested something that doesn't look a whole lot different to me. I am not clear what the ultimate number will be, but right now you have a strong Democratic majority in the State Senate. When the smoke clears, as far as I can tell from the results statewide, you'll still have that. That's what truly matters for New York City. State Senate Democrats have done a lot of important things in the last two years, so long as they have a clear majority, it's certainly a much, much better situation from New York City than what we experienced in the first part of my administration with a State Senate that bluntly consistently tried to undermine the interest in New York City. So from what I can see, I think we'll be in pretty good shape there. 

Moderator: Next is Juliet from 1010 WINS.  

Question: Yeah. Hi, good morning, Mr. Mayor. So I wanted to follow up also on the stimulus given the fact that maybe nothing comes from Washington. I know you've been working out deals with the unions, but what is the plan for cutbacks and layoffs? Would you do a percentage across the board for every agency? Is it a percentage of layoffs? How would this work? 

Mayor: Juliet, first of all, look, we got some major assistance from the unions in terms of delaying payments and not having to do them in this fiscal year. That's now over $600 million. That's a very big deal, that certainly gives us the ability to get to February. So again, presuming a Biden presidency and it's way too early to say that. But if you presume that I feel very strongly, there will be a stimulus that will help us in a big way. If there isn't a Biden presidency, I think it's an open question, but we're certainly going to fight for it again. I think they'll be a lot of pressure on President Trump if he were president again, but what we'd have to do, we'll continue to look for savings in every way we can, and then if we could not find enough again, the last resort is layoffs. I've said before, the plan we talked about in June, every agency would be effected in different ways because each agency is different, but every agency would be affected. You'd be talking about really substantial pain that would be caused to people who serve the city. I don't want to see that. I don't want to see the services lost that we need for our comeback, but Juliet, if we have to, that's always the last resort. Again, it's premature to judge because first let's find out the results of this election. Go ahead. 

Question: Okay. Well, back in the 70s, the city's real estate industry paid their taxes forward to help the city stable bankruptcy. Have you considered that kind of a tax plan as an option for the city's financial recovery? 

Mayor: The simple answer is no, I'm not saying it's an impossibility, but have not considered it. I think a lot has happened with property tax over the years and one of the things I've been clear about is of all the choices on the table, the one that I do not support, I would never support an increase in the property tax rate. I think it's absolutely wrong for this moment in New York City history. Paying forward is certainly something we could look at, again, I think we're in a different environment. I think the most important point Juliet at the comparisons to the 1970s are bad comparisons. I'm not – no disrespect to you, but a lot of people have raised them, I wanted strongly advise it's a bad, bad parallel. It's not accurate because the 1970s fiscal crisis came after New York City was already in decline for a decade two and had really handled his finances horribly. We've had the opposite now. New York City has been on the upswing for decades as recently as February, one of the great global economic powers, over multiple administrations, Democrat and Republican, much stronger fiscal discipline, much stronger reserves. It's just night and day. It's going to take a while for us to come back, no doubt, but what New York City has is strong and eternal at this point. It's not going anywhere and we're going to come back strong. I don't have a doubt in my mind, so we're going to do whatever it takes to keep the city moving forward. But again, let's not do too many hypotheticals when the number one factor is what's going to happen in Washington, and you know, there's actually a vote count that's going to tell us that soon. Go ahead 

Moderator: Next is Yoav from The City.  

Question: Hi Mr. Mayor, I wanted to ask you about disciplining of the NYPD out of the May and June protests. You said – there was a story by the New York Times that had video of 60 plus cases of police use of force during those protests, and you said in August that you wanted to NYPD to do kind of a video by video breakdown of which officers might be disciplined. That was almost three months ago. When can we expect to see that? 

Mayor: Yeah, Yoav, I’ll check with the Law Department. The hang-up there has been the court case brought by some of the police unions to try and block disciplinary records being published. Obviously something I fought for for a long time was to have transparency about police discipline. The State Law stood and the way, 50-a, that was finally overturned in the spring, that was a very good thing, but then court actions have stood in the way of some of the release of information that we want to do, and this issue is caught up in it last I checked. I'll check again, we'll get you an update, but as soon as we have the ability to do that, we have the breakout and we can put that out in a straightforward manner. Go ahead. 

Question: Okay, thanks for that. Relatedly, you were asked yesterday if you could provide a number on how many officers receive that kind of initial discipline, where they're either suspended or modified duty stemming from the May and June protests, and you said that you would provide one. I guess, I'm just wondering if you have that figure, because when we asked NYPD for anything having to do with discipline, they require us to submit a FOIL, and we're just looking for numbers here. 

Mayor: What I'll do, and again I don't have it in front of me, but we can get it to you today. We'll just take everything that's been made public before and we'll add it up. Again, the stuff that is not necessarily public that might be caught up in the court case we'll have to address that the right way with the Law Department, but whatever we can put out, that's already public, we'll give you the scorecard on that today.  

Moderator: Next up is Aundrea from WCBS. 

Question: Good morning. I want to go back to the stimulus question, Mr. Mayor, and I know you said you didn't want to do hypotheticals but I know with the COVID situation there were a lot of scenarios that were run in terms of how to deal with it. So in terms of the economic recovery, is there a situation where the city can recover without federal assistance? Is that something that you all have considered? 

Mayor: Aundrea, I would say this simply, without federal assistance, you're talking about a much longer, slower recovery. It makes no sense to have the nation's largest city, one of the most vibrant parts of the American economy, such an important place for this whole country, it makes no sense to have us have to struggle our way through without help. This has not been what we know in our history. In the Great Depression, the federal government came to the aid in New York City, helped us back on our feet. We helped lead the national recovery. Even the 70s, the State of New York stepped up and helped save New York City. The notion of us having to go it alone, it just makes no sense, it's not good for the States, not good for the country, but if there isn't support for New York City, we'll come back anyway. It'll just take longer and there'll be harder without federal support. Go ahead. 

Question: Okay, and another question about the election due to retirement, and then one defeat, the New York city delegation doesn't have as much seniority in Congress, is that something that concerns you as well, especially during this time? 

Mayor: I mean, look, the democratic process is what matters here and the people made their choices, but you know, as you said, also, retirement's on top of that, but in the end, you know, seniority in Washington does matter. We had some people in really powerful positions, particularly on the Appropriations Committee looking out for our interests, we're not going to have as much there now. That pales, of course, in comparison to having a Democratic president. So if the net of this election is a Democratic president, a Senate that's the same as it is now, or maybe one or two seats better for the Democratic Party and the Democratic House, I mean that's a far, far superior situation to what we had before, and in that context, a seniority issue does not loom as large. So again, you know, the most important piece of the equation is what we're waiting on now. 

Moderator; Next is Nolan from The Post. 

Question: Hello? Is this working? 

Mayor: Yes, it is working [inaudible]. 

Question: Good morning, Mr. Mayor. I want to follow up on the questions about aid. Mitch McConnell's expressed very little interest in providing any aid to the City or the State or the MTA. If he remains in charge of the Senate, the negotiating partner really hasn't changed, so why do you think the outcome would change? 

Mayor: I don’t think Mitch McConnell works in a vacuum. I think if – first of all, if there's a Democratic president who's working incessantly for a stimulus, and I know Joe Biden would, second, a Democratic president who was a member of the US Senate and really understands how to move that body and come up with a solution that will work. Third, now let's look ahead to 2022 and the Republican Senators up for reelection, guarantee there are going to be some who will be deeply concerned about a stimulus for their states because, you know, they're on the line now, it's going to be their responsibility. There's clearly a context. I'm not saying this, Nolan, to be falsely optimistic. I'm saying it because I think there's a path, it's not as good a path as if there'd been a Democratic Senate, but there's absolutely a path. Go ahead. 

Question: And to the second point your administration has claimed, I think it's upwards of $600 million in labor savings so far, most of that was by moving those costs onto the FY22 Budget without any expected surge in revenues, so I mean, so you're basically banking on, on a federal rescued to make those payments come true, was that a wise strategy?  

Mayor: Look, the notion of keeping our services strong so we could recover absolutely is as wise as it gets. I mean – first of all, the way we come back is through investment, not austerity, let's be a hundred percent clear. Austerity as an approach has failed everywhere, just across the board. The way you come back – it's amazing, you know, it's 90 years later, but we're still learning the lessons of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and the New Deal, you come back through investment, and so having city services be strong so that people are ready to invest in this city and keep rebuilding this city – that's the essence. Also think about those thousands or even tens of thousands of city workers and their families who are depending on their jobs for their livelihood, I don't want to take that away from people. So, bridging us to next year to see if we could get the kind of federal support that by any normal equation should happen, I think it's actually absolutely the right thing to do. 

Moderator: We have time for two more. First is Michael from the Daily News.  

Question: Good morning, Mr. Mayor. 

Mayor: Hey Michael, how’ve you been? 

Question: I'm good. So regarding federal stimulus and just assuming, you know, we get it at some point, can you talk about how that would be delivered from your point of view? Is there a concern – what I'm getting at here, is there a concern that a stimulus wouldn't come directly to the city that, that it would, it would pass through this state and, you know, the Governor would have control over that before it got to the city, I was wondering if you could kind of just get into how that works mechanically? 

Mayor: Every mayor in America is going to answer the same way I would, it doesn't matter if they’re a Democrat, Republican, or independent. The answer is you bet there's concern. We need – and by the way county officials would say the same thing – we need resources to go directly to localities. First of all, it is a hundred percent more efficient. The money actually flows. You get to use it right away. Second of all is more reliable. There's not some of the interesting dynamics that happen at the state level where money gets siphoned off and sent somewhere else. So yeah, a stimulus has to have clear support directly to cities and localities. Now, House of Representatives passed the stimulus that tells us everything we need to know, and I spoke to Speaker Pelosi several times about this. She has been absolutely fantastic on this issue. It helps that she is a daughter of a mayor, and so she understands directly, but I am firmly convinced that the Democratic Party believes in stimulus funding going to localities and states. I think that's unquestionably the direction that Democrats will take. So the House, the Democrats in the Senate, and if Joe Biden is president, I'm certain Joe Biden will as well, and that's what we need. Go ahead. 

Question: Thank you, and you know, going back to last night and seeing the results coming in, what are your thoughts on you know – I know, you know, we're not there yet as far as the final result, but I'm just asking for a little, I guess, Wednesday morning quarterbacking, what do you feel the Democratic Party needs to do kind of moving forward as far as you know, states like Florida and elsewhere what's kind of the political agenda you see, moving forward, where the Democratic Party needs to improve on? 

Mayor: The first thing I could say is how much do you got Mike? But you know the – I would give you a couple of points and it's such an important discussion. I've been thinking about this a lot. Okay. First of all, let's do the positive. God bless Omaha. You know, people have to understand the changing reality of this country. The fact that Democrats did as well as it did in the congressional district, including Omaha decisive for this election and beyond. What's happening in Arizona, we don't know the final results in the Senate race or the presidential race, but if Arizona goes blue that changes the country profoundly, you have a totally solid mountain West and West coast for the Democratic Party. Again, cannot emphasize enough what a change that is and how that's been evolving state by state over the last decade or two big important story.  And then again, we're waiting for the results from the industrial Midwest, but I like what I see so far, and certainly when you look at the 2018 elections, what happened in those states, what happened with those governor races, the kind of new organizing that's being done to win back people that Democrats lost, to energize people of color, to vote and progressives to vote. There's a lot of good things happening that are tremendous building blocks towards a very different country in the future.  

What didn't happen is what has been a thorn in the side of the Democratic Party for a long time, and I don't know why this party doesn't take the thorn out, which is under-investment in communities of color. Everyone's talking about Dade County, Florida. That's the obvious example. I was down there campaigning for Andrew Gillum a couple of years ago, and there was a huge potential black vote and Democratic-Latino vote. It was not focused on sufficiently and invested in sufficiently. That's a problem, and just continuing to under-invest in black and Latino media-buys and, and grassroots organizing. So we'll see what happens in Arizona, but I think Maricopa County is going to be the example to us all most likely, just like Clark County, Nevada was before that, of what real grassroots organizing looks like, reaching people of color, reaching working class people across the ethnic spectrum actually turning people out – that's the future. So that's where the Democratic Party has to do a lot better still. 

Moderator: Last, we'll go to Henry from Bloomberg.  

Question: Thank you, Mr. Mayor, how are you doing today?  

Mayor: I’m doing well Henry, how about you? 

Question: I'm doing okay. Didn't get too much sleep and I'm hanging in there. Mr. Mayor, I want to ask you a question about the message of the Democratic Party and how that may have led to results that disappointing to people who were hoping for a Democratic Senate. The defund police, the emphasis on the right to protest, and not on the right to protect property. The failure to answer to the allegations of President Trump, when he kind of assumed the mantle of the law and order candidate without a real response that was forceful. Do you think that that may have suppressed the Democratic vote? 

Mayor: Henry, it's a fair question. Look it's way too early to assess that because first of all, we're talking about a presidential election that we do not know the result of, but certainly suggests that Democrats were able to reassert themselves in a number of states. So I do hear your point and I think it's a fair point for discussion to say the least, but what cuts against it is the map we're seeing right now, the fact that we're still having a discussion about Georgia, Arizona and obviously all of the states that had been the blue wall before are not only in play right now, but you know, so far results are looking pretty favorable for Biden. That suggests something else to me. That the economic issues were by far more important and obviously the pandemic itself, the healthcare issues. But I don't think your point's unfair, I think it's something we need to examine and that we need to be able to speak to people who are concerned, obviously, about safety issues. There's a way to do that, and that's something we all have to keep working on. But I think in the end, the biggest issue in this election was the pandemic, and then right behind it, where the issues that have historically driven people's votes, the kitchen table issues, jobs, income level, healthcare, and in that area Democrats have a lot more growth potential because we still don't hit those notes as strong as I think we could, and when we do, we saw this in 2018, when we do, we tend to do very well. I still think that's ultimately how people vote. That's the thing that matters most. But we're going to know a lot more, obviously, as we see the final results as we get a better sense of what was motivating people. Go ahead. 

Question: Okay. thank you for that. There's plenty I could follow up on with that, but I will leave it for the moment. I'm going to get back to them with seems to be the topic of the day, which is your hope and expectation for a stimulus from the feds, and you make points that are very salient and logical perhaps politically. But the fact is that even the Democratic Comptroller of the State of New York counseled against state aid canceled against the borrowing authority, saying that the city has more than enough resources in its – you know, in the savings that have been budgeted and the arguments that will be raised against the city in giving aid – it seems to be predicated on, you know, what are you doing for yourselves before we do something for you? And I'm just wondering whether you've considered some kind and I'm not talking about austerity, but some kind of savings, including taking into account, let's say attrition instead of threatening layoffs that might strengthen your argument or your position with people who are resisting aid to New York? 

Mayor: Henry, I'll try and make this quick and simple. I mean, right now I think everything with Albany is an abstraction. The next time the legislature is due to come back is in January, and usually they don't act until April 1st with the budget. So, we don't have any assumptions about the legislature acting anytime soon. The question is in Washington and the stimulus, which is a very different reality. The dynamic – look, we're in the middle of an account of an election, so first of all, that's going to tell us what we need to know the most. The ultimate issue is who's president and whoever's president is going to set the agenda and have the ability to move things. If Donald Trump had really fought for a stimulus, there would have been a stimulus, period. Joe Biden will, unquestionably. That's going to be the reason there is one. It has nothing to do with the specific budget issues here in New York City or anywhere else it has to do with the totality of what's happened, the massive impact on our people, the huge loss of jobs, the huge loss of revenue for cities and states, that's what's driving this, and the decision in Washington really hinges on who's president.  

But what we've been doing is lots of work with labor to find savings, constant savings, over many budgets, you know, constantly hundreds of millions of dollars regularly in savings of all kinds. Attrition has been a factor. We need to do a better job talking about that and showing it. But clearly that's been a factor where a lot of these savings are coming from. Obviously, we did furloughs for senior management folks. We've been doing a lot of the things that are needed to get through, and I think there's going to be a Democratic president, and I think there's going to be a stimulus and that's our way forward, and if for some reason there isn't, we certainly know how to make tough choices to save even more. But the problem is those tough choices come with a reduction in services that the city needs to recover, and that should not be done lightly. That's truly a last resort.  

Okay, everyone, look, as we conclude we're going to be seeing over the day or maybe several days or even several weeks, how this election plays out, but I really feel this from my heart. The thing we know already is something that we need to appreciate, because it really, in many ways is the foundation of our future. People came out and voted, people, cared, people got involved in a way we have not seen – in a level we haven't seen in a long time. That's actually what matters for our future, our democracy that was threatened a lot during the last four years. Democracy is actually alive and well, this vote count is proceeding, openly transparently. It was a clean election. There was no fraud. It happened the way it was supposed to happen. This is crucial. So this is what gives me faith. It gives me faith in this country, and it certainly gives me faith in this city, that so many people came out to vote and Election Day went so well because the people in the city care and when you have that, all things are possible. That's why we've been so successful in fighting back the coronavirus, and that's why we have a bright future, because the people of this city care and they do something about it, and that makes me hopeful.  

Thank you, everyone. 

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