Immediately following the ball drop in New York City on New Year’s Eve, Eric Adams — former police officer and Brooklyn borough president — was sworn in as New York’s 110th mayor.
Adam’s immediately dove into his new role, making appearances on two Sunday news programs followed by a visit to Harlem’s Cathedral of St. John the Divine where COVID-19 tests are being offered and an active food pantry is in operation.
Adams posed for photos and shook hands with citizens waiting in line telling the crowd, “We’re gonna get through this together.”
The new mayor stopped to lay candles and pray at the cathedral, which is the final resting place of former Mayor David Dinkins, 106th mayor of new York City and the first black person to hold the office. Dinkins served the city from 1990 to 1993.
Following his visit to the cathedral, Adams, who is also black, attended the Our Children’s Foundation, a community organization in Morningside Heights, where he promised to deliver on one of his signature campaign promises, to address rising gun violence in the city.
Accompanied by NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell, Adams told attendees, “When I speak to these mothers, and say, I want to put a plain clothes anti-gun unit in place, they’re saying, ‘What took you so long?’”
Addressing the COVID-19 pandemic, on Tuesday, during an appearance on CNN Adams said, “We have to open up.” His comments come as New York is experiencing a surge in COVID-19 infections primarily driven by the highly infectious, but much less deadly, Omicron variant.
Adams said, “If we don’t open our cities, those almost a million people who are behind in their rent right here in this city, we have low-skilled employees who can’t do remote employment from home or telecommuting, that’s not a reality in a city like New York,” adding that “I need my cities to open,” the NY Post reported.
The new mayor believes that society must adapt to the circumstances created by the pandemic rather than returning to harsh lockdowns or massive stimulus spending. He advocated continued vaccination as a major means of combatting COVID-19.
“We have to be safe, we have to double down on vaccination and booster shots, we have to double down on testing, but we have to reshape our thinking of how do we live with COVID,” he said.
On Monday, Jan. 3, Adams urged banks and businesses to allow their workers to return to the office: “You can’t run New York City from home.”
His comments come after businesses in the five boroughs recently told workers not to come into the office due to surging COVID-19 cases.
The New York offices of Goldman Sachs, Citigroup and Jefferies Financial Group have all asked that employees work from home whenever possible with Goldman Sachs directing its employees not to return to the office until Jan. 18.
New York has experienced a daily average of 29,941 cases over the past 7 days with the percentage of people tested who test positive at 34.72 percent.