MAYOR DE BLASIO HOLDS MEDIA AVAILABILITY

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Mayor Bill de Blasio: A year ago – a year ago, today, we witnessed a murder. We all witnessed a murder, every single one of us, and it gripped us, and pained us, and outrageous us. George Floyd is dead. He should be alive right now with his family, but he’s gone. And this heinous act was committed by a police officer in opposition to everything that is supposed to be. That’s why the outrage was so intense. That’s why the pain was so deep. For so many people in this country, for so many people in the city, it was unacceptable and beyond. It was a renunciation – that act, that murder was a renunciation of everything we value. And to so many younger folks, especially to the young people in my life, it was some kind of lie being laid bare. We always tell our young people to believe and that our ideals are what we are about. And then when you see something like that, it is an example of a lie. And it’s a reason for people to be angry and pained, and even an understandable reason for cynicism and hopelessness. But what we saw after this murder was something better – people speaking out, people coming together, people fighting for change. It was painful and difficult in those days after, but things started to change in this city, for sure. The changes we have made are profound, holding police accountable, ensuring we have a strong Civilian Complaint Review Board, doing more and more to make sure the police look like New York City, including the extraordinary effort in the last month to recruit more African-Americans into our police force. We showed it in this city with the reforms that were passed this spring, we showed in so many ways that we would not let the despair and the cynicism overtake us. We would find purpose in the pain. And we’ve got much, much more to do. Anyone today who thinks it’s over misunderstands. There is much more to do. And particularly on the national level, we have to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act. The Senate must pass this act to create fairness all over this country.

So, a year later we have to ensure that we remember George Floyd in action. Every day in the city, more reform to be done, more work to be done. In our country, profound change needed, but it can be done. And the only other thing I want to emphasize is this – it can be done. The lie that so many people felt laid bare, the sense that our ideals had been violated, or maybe weren’t even true – the answer to that is to double down on those ideals and show visible, meaningful change. And it can happen and it must happen, and that’s for us to do in our time.

Let’s go back to what we talk about every day, a recovery for all of us. And a recovery for all of us means social justice too. A recovery for all of us means making right what was wrong. It does not mean bringing back the city or the country the way it was. It means addressing the disparities, the injustices. We can do that, but it starts with getting everyone safe and healthy. And so, as with every day, let’s talk about this amazing grassroots effort to vaccinate our fellow New Yorkers. And, today, we are right on the edge of another milestone. It will undoubtedly occur today. We will pass 8 million vaccinations from day-one – an extraordinary effort, bringing together people in communities all over the city. Talk about the need for us all to heal and move forward. Here’s an example of it in real-time. This vaccination effort involved tens of thousands of people helping their fellow New Yorkers from all over the city, all walks of life, all neighborhoods. Almost 8 million vaccinations to-date and more to come. And we’re going to talk about the ways we’re going to make it easier, better, even more convenient, even more appealing. We’re on the verge of the summer. It’s a summer we deserve after everything we’ve been through. It will be the Summer of New York City. It will be extraordinary. And it begins this Saturday with our beaches reopening, which will be a joyous time. And so, we’re going to combine the joy of summer and the beaches reopening with the vaccination effort. And this weekend, mobile vaccination effort – mobile vaccination buses will be out there at beaches all over the city and other key spots where people are going to be congregating to enjoy the summer at Coney Island, Brighton Beach and the Rockaways, at Orchard Beach, at Governor’s Island. You’re going to see vaccination sites. You’re going to see the buses, the vans. You’re going to be able to go there and get your shot and then hit the beach, and that’s what we want for everyone. We want everyone to be safe. So, this is an example of bringing the vaccination to the people and making it easier than ever.

Now, we also know we want to make it positive. We want to make it fun. We want to make it something that people want to be a part of. So, we’ve been launching incentives and the incentives are really exciting people. We’re hearing a lot of interest and a lot of desire to get these incentives and get vaccinated. Anyone who wants to know about all the things that you can get when you get vaccinated or when you even make an appointment to get vaccinated, go to vaccinefinder.nyc.gov/benefits. Today, we have a new partner in this effort, which I’m really excited about. The New York Knicks are joining us to speed up the vaccinations in this city to reach more people, to keep them safe. Now, the Knicks took a tough loss on Sunday, but the Garden was rocking. There was incredible energy. There’s incredible hope for this team. This is a vibrant, exciting team, and the Knicks are bringing the vaccination effort right there to the Garden. So, starting today – today, there’ll be a site right in front of Madison Square Garden, Thursday as well. And here’s the incentive – you go and get vaccinated today in front of Madison Square Garden, you get a chance to win playoff tickets to tomorrow’s game. On Thursday, you go and get vaccinated in front of Madison Square Garden. You get a chance to win tickets to the next layoff game. This is positive, exciting, and I thank the Knicks for getting involved. By the way, some of the greats of Knick’s history will be there – Clyde Frazier, John Starks, the Knicks City Dancers will be there. It’s going to be a really wonderful, absolutely special opportunity.

Now, if you want to visualize how important it is to get vaccinated – if you want to have in your mind a visualization, a positive reference of why vaccination is crucial. If you understand that when you get vaccinated, it’s you showing up, making it happen in the clutch for the people of this city, for the people of your community, for the people who are part of your family. If you want to have that clutch shot in your mind, that clutch moment in your mind, I remind you of a great moment in Knick’s history. We’re going to show you a clip – the series-winning shot from the first round of the 1999 playoffs. Let’s roll that clip.

Mayor: So, there it is. That’s what I want you to have in your mind when you go get that shot. And now, we bring you the man who made that shot – Knick’s legend, Allan Houston.

Mayor: Allan, thank you. You said it perfectly. And, listen, just seeing that shot again, that inspires all of us. I think the Knicks of today are channeling you. They’re feeling your greatness. They’re going to be just as clutch. And what they’re doing today for the people of New York City, that’s a victory right there. So, thank you so much for joining us today.

Now, just staying on this topic for one second – this is about basketball. I have an important official announcement. This is very serious, I want to get this out. A message to Trae Young, on behalf of the people of New York City, and anyone who cares about actually playing basketball the right way, stop hunting for fouls, Trae. I want to quote Steve Nash, one of the great players, great coach. He says, “that’s not basketball.” Trae – Trae, that Hawk’s not going to fly in New York City. Come on, play the game the right way, see if you can win. I think the Knicks are going to teach you a lesson.

Okay. Let’s talk about another element of recovery for all of us, and it is going out into our communities, spending our hard-earned money on small businesses, local businesses, mom-and-pop stores, showing that we can help these businesses that we just love, we care about. They’re the character of our neighborhood. They employ a lot of people. We’ve got to be for them every single day. So, we have a new challenge today. It’s called the 30-Day Shop your City challenge – the 30-Day Shop your City Challenge. Get out there, shop in your city, show us it – submit photos of your favorite small business and you shopping there, and you can win $50 gift cards and a lot of other prizes. We want to challenge New Yorkers to think about how you spend your money, keep it in the community, and we want to reward you for that. Our team’s going to be out there promoting this. Our Small Business Services Commissioner Jonnel Doris, will be out in bedside today. Thank you to him and the whole team at Small Business Services for all you’ve done to support small businesses this year. But I want you to hear from a great small business owner. I’m a huge fan of hers and she speaks for not just restauranteurs, but community-based small businesses all over New York City. She’s got an amazing story – raised up in Harlem, created an amazing, wonderful business. Now, also leading the city as President of the New York City Hospitality Alliance – hospitality alliance. I can get it right, New York City Hospitality Alliance. And she really, really stands up and promote small business and the joy of keeping your money in the community. I want you to hear from Melba Wilson.

Mayor: Melba, thank you. I look forward to seeing you again at Melba’s. It is an amazing place for dining, especially outdoor dining. You have such an amazing outdoor dining set up there and I commend you for it. And just, we got to help all the small businesses. So please, this is what Melba said, you have a choice to make. Why don’t we for a while now, just lean into local? Spend that dollar where it’s going to make the biggest impact and help your fellow New Yorker. Thank you, Melba.

President Melba Wilson, New York City Hospitality Alliance: Thank you, Mr. Mayor.

  Mayor: All right, let’s do the indicators now. Number one, daily number of people admitted to New York City hospitals for suspected COVID-19, today’s report in 98 patients. Confirmed positivity, 16.67 percent. Very good. And hospitalization rate, 0.79 per 100,000, it keeps going down. Let’s keep it that way. Get vaccinated. Okay. New reported cases on a seven-day average, today’s report, 411 cases. Same thing, keeps going down. Keep getting vaccinated. And number three, percentage of people testing positive citywide for COVID-19. This is a really great number, 1.1 percent. Let’s keep pushing it down. Let’s get it below one. Let’s keep moving forward. Okay. Few words in Spanish. And this is about helping our small businesses and shopping local.

  [Mayor de Blasio speaks in Spanish]

  With that, we turn to our colleagues in the media. And 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 Small Business Commissioner Jonnel Doris, by Dr. Chokshi, and Dr. Mitchell Katz. First question today goes to Juan Manuel from NY1.

  Question: Good morning, Mr. Mayor. How are you?

  Mayor: Good, Juan Manuel. How are you doing today?

  Question: Very good. Thank you. So, for someone like you, who got elected with an agenda to reform the NYPD, after the George Floyd massive protests in the city last year, the response to them by the NYPD, what have you learned in the last year when it comes to efforts to reform the police department?

  Mayor: We got to change the fundamental culture, Juan Manuel. We made a lot of progress in the first six or seven years, obviously ending stop-and-frisk, de-escalation training, implicit bias training. many fewer arrests, much less incarceration, neighborhood policing, a lot of things that worked unquestionably and the right direction. But we got to keep changing the culture. We’ve got to bring the community into the work of policing, much more deeply. That’s why we’re intensifying investments in Cure Violence movement and Crisis Management System. That’s why we’re bringing the community into the selection of local precinct commanders. I think the culture change can be done, but it’s going to need focused efforts. Obviously, continuing to diversify the police force, all of these things matter. Go ahead, Juan Manuel.

  Question: So, Eric Garner died during your first year as mayor. It took five years to fire officer Daniel Pantaleo, the officer responsible for his death. If something like that happened, if something like what happened to Eric Garner happened today after the George Floyd death, would you do things differently? Do you have any regrets about how you handled Garner’s death?

  Mayor: Yes, Juan Manual.  I’ve spoken to it before. I believed at the time that the right thing to do was to defer to the U.S. Department of Justice. That proved to be a mistake. I own that. I will never let that happen again on my watch. And of course, I hope we never have occasion to even have to consider it again on my watch. But that’s what I learned, Juan Manuel. We will move forward with our own internal discipline. We will not wait on other parts of the government. I don’t understand what the federal government did there. I don’t understand the delays and the indecision. It’s not acceptable to me. But we should not have tolerated it. We should have moved forward ourselves.

  Moderator: The next is Juliet from 1010 WINS.

  Question: Hey. Good morning, Mr. Mayor. How are you doing?

  Mayor: Good, Juliet. How are you doing today?

  Question: I’m okay, thank you. So, you said before that there is more to do regarding police reform and you just mentioned the violence interrupters. I was wondering how do you quantify what they do? What is the measure of what they do and the success of what they do either with working with the police or the community, reducing violence on the streets? You know, we had 30 shootings over the weekend. So, how do you measure that effectiveness? Or is there a process for that?

  Mayor: Juliet, there is. It is, first of all, absolutely crucial that we recognize that unlike the way we were taught – we were all taught I feel, I certainly feel this happened to me that, oh, you know, here’s crime and the only way to solve it is with policing. Instead of recognizing first, there are some real root causes we can address. But second, the best solutions to crime in many cases are community-based solutions. We know many, many incidents were stopped because violence interrupters ensured that someone never got back into a life of crime or got into a life of crime to begin with, in the case of so many young people. They stopped a retaliation before it happened. This is very tough work. It’s dangerous work. We have lots of examples of that. We can also quantify in areas where there was really a strong effort by violence interrupters, how fewer shootings occurred. It’s not a perfect pattern, but there’s plenty of evidence to show us that it matters and it works. And we need to go deeper into community-based solutions. By the way, Joe Biden is putting billions of dollars into community-based solutions to violence patterned on the success of the New York City Crisis Management System. So, that should tell us something about the fact that we have a model that is now being emulated all over the country. Thank you. Go ahead, Juliet.

  Question: So how does this work then? Does this come up like in CompStat or are there – is there data on this somewhere or is this just word of mouth?

  Mayor: No, it’s – there’s data. And we’re happy to get our Office for Criminal Justice to show you some of what they’ve put together. I’ve spoken to the police leadership about these patterns where we see impact. There’s no question. Look again. We got to keep doing better all the time with the right investments and working with the groups the right way. But unquestionably there’s more and more evidence, it can make a very big impact. It’s not foolproof, it doesn’t work every single time. But it can make a very big impact and where it does literally can save lives.

  Moderator: The next is Paul Liotta from the Staten Island Advance.

  Question: Good morning, Mr. Mayor. Thank you for taking my question.

  Mayor: How are you doing today?

  Question: I’m good. How are you, sir?

  Mayor: Good.

  Question: We’re working on something regarding the local Black Lives Matter mural. One of my colleagues got some photos. It’s looking pretty faded. I’m just wondering if there’s any upkeep or rejuvenation plan for those murals?

  Mayor: Yeah, we need to do that. It’s a good point. There was such energy and excitement and appreciation when those murals went up around the city. It’s something that was very powerful and meaningful and a statement to people about respect for Black history, Black culture, and Black New Yorkers, Black Americans. So, we’ve got to make sure that those continue to be that positive message. Go ahead, Paul.

  Question: Thank you for that. Also, local Chabad was graffitied last night. You know, with a spate of recent anti-Semitic attacks, I’m hoping to get a sense of, you know, what you’re hoping to see from the city both at the policing level and more at the community level as well?

  Mayor: Yeah. That incident is unacceptable. It’s being investigated right now as a presumed hate crime. Anyone who commits a hate crime, we’re going to find them. I want to be really clear about this. Paul. The NYPD finds pretty much everyone who commits a crime at this point. There’s so much video out there. They’re so refined in their approach. So, we will find the individual or individuals involved and they will definitely suffer the consequences. But it’s unacceptable. We’re going to make sure there’s police presence out as a deterrent. We stand in solidarity with the Jewish community. We will not allow anti-Semitism in Staten Island or any other place in New York City.

  Moderator: The next is Arthur Chi’en from FOX-5.

  Question: Good morning, Mr. Mayor. Hope you and your family are well.

  Mayor: Thank you, Arthur. Yes. How are you doing today?

  Question: Doing great. I was wondering if you could speak to something – we see how the city has repurposed 8,500 parking spots for restaurants. We see restaurants who used to be opposed to this type of thing, to understand that it’s become a lifeline for them. And I’ve seen a figure that it’s connected to the rejuvenation of about 100,000 jobs in the city. Yet we’re going to have – we have drivers who are complaining that those are their spots that are lost – I as a New Yorker, I don’t remember any driver ever saying there’s too much free parking in the city. But what is your message to drivers about those 8,500 spots? And what it means when the City repurposes them?

  Mayor: My message is we saved 100,000 jobs. And we need to keep saving those jobs. We were doing great on a recovery, but we still got a way to go. Outdoor dining is the way we save our restaurant industry going forward. A lot of restaurants have a lot of catching up to do. We want those jobs. We want that vibrancy. This is the right thing to do for New York City and our future. Go ahead, Arthur.

  Question: When we did a story about the outlook of congestion in the city as things come back to the new normal, different parties from the Transportation Alternatives to AAA all said that it’s time to break car culture. That the city no longer physically has room to continue to accommodate more cars. Does the city need to start looking at breaking the grasp of driver mentality in the city? And by the way, TA today put out a release saying that more than 60 percent of registered vehicles in New York City now are SUVs, saying that those aren’t the ones that are needed for commuting to work or buying groceries. What your feel on it? Do we need to break car culture in the city?

  Mayor: Yeah, we do, Arthur. And the way to do that is more and better at mass transit options. We – look, we’ve expanded bus service, including the busways, which are getting a great response. Obviously, we created NYC Ferry, which I think is going to be a bigger and bigger part of our future. Biking is being expanded, bike lanes, protected bike lanes all over the city. These are the things we need, and we’re finally going to have congestion pricing to help us really make our subway strong for the future. Yeah, we got to break the car culture. Our future is not about cars. It is about protecting the whole earth, fighting the climate crisis, reducing congestion, getting around a better way. And I think we are putting those building blocks in place right now. 

  Moderator: The next is Steve Burns from WCBS 880.  

  Question: Good morning, Mayor. How are you?  

  Mayor: Good, Steve. How are you doing? 

  Question: I am doing well. I wanted to go back to the anniversary today and ask a little bit about basically the effects of what we saw last year on the city. Obviously, there were calls for the billion-dollar cut to the NYPD budget. And depending on who you ask sometimes – some people say it happened, some people say it didn’t. And we also saw the NYPD go through its overtime budget. So, some of those overtime cuts didn’t come to pass. Now we see the NYPD’s budget, essentially getting restored to where it was. There were a lot of people saying that there’s basically lost momentum from the movement last year. How do you see that momentum from last year coming to pass into – with this year and planning for the future of New York City? 

  Mayor: Steve, it’s such an important question. I think there’s been tremendous momentum. I think if you look at the changes that have happened last year and how they are just beginning to be felt – the discipline matrix having the clearest system for police accountability anywhere in the country, any New Yorker can go online and see how those specific standards are set up, God forbid an officer does something wrong, what the consequences are. The fact that we have passed a series of reforms to ensure a police force that looks more like New York City, including this amazing recruitment effort I mentioned that you heard about a few days ago, favoring New York City residents in hiring more than ever, ensuring that if someone does something wrong that there’s real clear, sharp accountability, bringing the community into the selection of precinct commanders. All of these pieces, one after another, are fundamental change and they’re going to have huge, positive ripple effects, and there’s more to do. But my attitude is since the protest last year, we have been very systematically addressing these issues and we’re going to keep doing it. The reform doesn’t stop. It keeps going. Go ahead, Steve. 

  Question: And just to follow up on one of the earlier points, do you still classify the NYPD’s budget last year as getting a $1 billion cut? 

  Mayor: Steve, we – it was really clear, I thought, at the time. Some functions were moved to other agencies, civilian agencies that we thought made more sense. We’ve continued to do that, for example, with the crisis calls, the mental health calls, where there’s no violence involved, having those handled by civilians, social workers, health care professionals, not police officers. That kind of effort makes a lot of sense. Of course, it requires less from NYPD and more from the other agencies. So, that happened, that continues to happen. The size of the police force was brought down to about 35,000. I think that’s the right level. That happened, that continues to happen. We’re making investments in young people and those investments, Summer Youth Employment, the efforts to help young people with social emotional learning, all these investments are the way forward. So, we’ve taken the spirit of the call for change. We’ve put it into action and we’re going to keep doing it.  

  Moderator: The next is Yoav from The City. 

  Question: Hi, Mr. Mayor, I just wanted to check in on the status of the 90 homeless shelters that you planned in your 2017 homeless plan to construct or modify. Do you know the current status of that? I know there’s been some, you know, legal challenges here and there. And obviously the pandemic set construction back a little bit, but is it on target and do you know how many have been completed today?  

Mayor: Yoav, I will get you the exact numbers. I got a briefing a few weeks back. I can’t quote the exact, I can tell you this. We’ve made a lot of progress. Yes, there was some legal challenges. Yes, COVID created challenges as well, but we have won those legal challenges consistently. We are on track to build out the 90 and get out of scattered site housing once and for all. And, you know, I know you’ve looked at this, that that was not a place that homeless people should be. We’re getting out of that once and for all. We’re getting out of hotels. Overwhelmingly, the plan has been moving in the right direction. And I’m convinced this is the right way to handle homelessness going forward. Go ahead, Yoav. 

  Question: Thanks for that. And I also want to check, you know, because of some of the investigations against you in your first term, you accumulated a private legal bill of about $300,000 that you said you were going to pay via a legal defense fund. I’m just wondering if that’s still the plan. And are you planning to try to pay that back before you leave office?  

  Mayor: Yes. Go ahead. 

  Moderator: We have time for two more for today. The next is Gersh from Streetsblog. 

  Question: Hello, everybody. I appreciate you taking the call. Mr. Mayor. How are you feeling? 

  Mayor: I’m feeling good, Gersh. How are you today? 

  Question: I can’t complain. Definitely cannot complain. Hey, listen, I want to follow up with some of the things that Arthur was talking about. Tangentially, you know, you always like to say when you’re excited, when journalists give you information, you might not have known. So, here’s some breaking news from our own Dave Colon. He had FOIL’ed some documents from the State Department of Motor Vehicles and determined that new car registrations in New York City were up nearly four percent during the pandemic, which as you know, you know, that puts like thousands of new cars on the road at a time when you have been saying how important it is that we get New Yorkers out of their cars. So, now you’re talking about, you know, about 11,000 more cars on the road. What do you think of that, just as a jumping off point? 

  Mayor: I’m concerned. I think it’s really important information. I thank you and your colleagues for bringing it out. That’s not the direction we should be going in. We should be moving towards fewer and fewer cars. I get that the pandemic created abhorrent dynamics, but that cannot be our future. Our future has to be fewer and fewer cars in New York City. Go ahead, Gersh. 

  Question: Okay. And then following up on the SUV report that Streetsblog published, it’s a TA – Transportation Alternatives report. So, you know, if the number of SUVs go up by 21 percent, just in the last four years, that speaks to not only, you know, bigger cars, obviously taking up more room, but also incredible risk to the public in terms of pedestrians and cyclists. Because as you know, the rate of death from SUV vehicles has gone up for both of those vulnerable road-user populations. It’s something that your former Department of Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg talked about a lot, you know, that SUVs were responsible for a lot of deaths. So, what can you do as mayor? Can’t you go to Albany and say, look, we need different registration requirements, we need weight limits, we need triple the price for registration of a car like this. You know, what are you going to do about it? 

  Mayor: Gersh, it’s a really good question. I would say this, the kinds of measures you’re talking about, I think those have to be considered for the future. We have all sorts of examples of incentivizing or disincentivizing different approaches to help the public good. So, I think, you know, all of those ideas should be discussed. But right now, the thing we can do here and now is, continue to improve mass transit options. We’ve been showing it now with new busways, you know, continuing to improve bus service. All of the things I’ve been talking about, obviously the protected bike lanes, all of the things that give people better options in the here and now and keep people safe in those options, that’s the way forward immediately, that we should look at other legal changes as well. But I think the positives are the most powerful, giving people a better option. And that’s what we’re doing. 

  Moderator: Last question for today, it goes to Nolan from the Post.  

  Question: Hey, good morning, everybody. How are you?  

  Mayor: Hey, Nolan, how you doing? 

  Question: I’m well, Mr. Mayor. If I could get just a couple of clarifying questions in before the other one’s about the Knicks contest, which everyone’s very excited about. The raffle for the Thursday, you know, if you go get your shot on Thursday, this slide said, it’s tickets are for next season, but you said that the tickets are for the subsequent playoff games. Do you know which is accurate? 

  Mayor: Yeah, they’re going to be in the playoffs for a while. So, it’s for the subsequent playoff game. Go ahead, Nolan. 

  Question: Under the topic of vaccinations, obviously the City has launched a series of contests as has State officials to try to encourage people to go get vaccinated, yet the number of people getting their first shot coming into the system remains at just short of a quarter of the rate of what it was at its high. And only about 25 percent of the city’s African-American population has gotten a shot so far and the Hispanic numbers aren’t much better at 34 percent. So, what is the City doing in these – doing to encourage folks in these communities that are showing a great deal of hesitancy towards getting their shots?    

Mayor: It’s just more and more Nolan and it works. It’s absolutely about persistence. The more information I get back, it keeps confirming what I’ve been thinking. The number one issue is convenience, answering questions, getting people at the right moment when they’re ready to get the shot, it’s lots of presence, making it positive, lots of incentives. This is working. It’s got to be meticulous work. It’s not surprising that the first weeks were folks who were ready right then and you had a rush. And then later on, you got to do more meticulous work. We’re going to do that work. There’s no question. Did you have a follow on, because I know your next question was a procedural. Do you have a quick follow on? 

  Question: Yes, I do. And to the question of, you know, sort of that methodical work, what does success look like? What is the number where you’re going to say, we hit this, what percentage in these various population groups that have been vaccine hesitant and we call that success? What is the goal?  

  Mayor: It’s a fair question. Nolan, look, the first thing I want to do is get to the five million goal. Right now, we’re over 4.1 million with a first dose. Those folks overwhelmingly are going to come back and get the second. I want to keep moving on that goal. But I have to tell you, I think it’s something that doesn’t end. It’s not like there’s a formal last day for vaccination. We’re going to just keep going. We’ll keep deepening the efforts for equity. I think the more success we have, the more people are going to want to get vaccinated because they see that vaccination equals freedom.  

  And I’ll close on this today, everyone. I mean, look, people should be so proud of this city. You heard those indicators. They’re breathtaking. That is because people went out and got vaccinated. You know, we can all talk about different policies, different approaches. In the end, it comes down to the everyday New Yorker who makes the decision. New Yorkers made a decision to go out and get vaccinated and really pushed back COVID. And people can see it, they can feel, they can feel more and more freedom. We need to finish that, that we’ll keep going through May, through June, obviously into the summer. We’re looking forward to school being back, full strength. It’s not ever going to end until COVID is absolutely in the background, in our lives the same way, something like the flu is, but it comes down to everyday New Yorkers. And I can tell you, New Yorkers are responding to the outreach, the energy, seeing the vaccination bus, seeing the van, seeing the outreach workers, it’s moving people and we’re going to keep doing it and additional great opportunities and incentives as well. So, get out there and get vaccinated. Thank you, everybody. 

 

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