New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said he agrees “100 percent” that Gov. Andrew Cuomo should be stripped of his emergency powers granted in March amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to a report.
De Blasio told the New York Daily News that it is “time to go back to the normal way of governing things.”
He believes Cuomo should step aside and “let us do our job,” citing cities, towns, and counties in the state beeing given the ability to learn how to address the pandemic over the past year.
“We can’t keep clinging to this situation,” de Blasio added. “We’ve got to start moving forward.”
According to state Senator Alessandra Biaggi, D-Bronx, Cuomo issued 65 executive orders and suspended more than 250 laws after the first six months of being granted emergency powers.
In addition, de Blasio slammed repeated comments made by MTA Chairman Pat Foye that the pandemic is over when Gov. Cuomo says it is.
Foye most recently made the remark during a City Council meeting on Wednesday, saying “the answer to that continues to be when the governor declares the pandemic over and lifts the state of emergency” when asked about when 24/7 subway service would return.
“In terms of determining when we’ve turned the corner on the pandemic, I think the data and the science will tell us,” de Blasio said. “It’s not for one person to determine; it’s something bigger than that.”
De Blasio is the latest to echo the growing push from progressive state lawmakers. Both de Blasio and Cuomo have clashed since the beginning of the pandemic on everything from shelter in place orders to vaccine elibility.
Cuomo spokesman Peter Ajemian fired back on Wednesday, telling the New York Daily News that de Blasio “doesn’t under stand the law.”
“Any executive order can be reversed by a simple resolution of the legislature, which is in session,” he wrote in an email. “As far as the mayor saying he knows what he is doing, I respectfully suggest that every public poll suggests the people of New York City strongly disagree.”
On Wednesday, Citi Field opened its doors to become a COVID-19 vaccination megasite for Queens residents. De Blasio told reporters during a press briefing at the stadium that vaccination is the key to New York’s recovery.
He noted that over time, Citi Field will ramp up to about 5,000 vaccine doses a day, or 35,000 per week.
“We’ll be able to protect tens of thousands of people each week here at Citi Field, de Blasio said. “I want to tell you, as I was walking around talking to some of the people who’ve been vaccinated, the relief they felt, the hope they felt finally getting vaccinated, they were so appreciative to all the good people here doing this important work. And I want to thank our colleagues from the health and hospitals.”
When asked by FOX News’ Aishah Hasnie about whether it was wise to expand vaccination eligbility in the state earlier this week when seniors are struggling to get appointments, de Blasio said its important to ensure that there is “really clear verification, proof that someone has a erious condition.
“I have asthma, too, but it’s not serious asthma. There’s no way in the world I should be given priority but someone who has very serious asthma is in danger right now,” de Blasio said. “Someone who has heart disease is in danger right now is absolutely right to say there are people who need it desperately. But we have to get proof to make sure those are the folks who really deserve it.”
He also called for an end to “this game of not knowing how much supply we’re going to have.”
“We need a direct allotment of supply that we can depend on,” de Blasio said. “Mayors all over the country saying this, too. We’re not getting the supply on a reliable basis. We knew we wanted this to be a super site. We knew it would be the right thing to do to get people in Queens who have been hit so hard by this crisis. We couldn’t do it because we don’t control our own supply. We need to control our own supply. We need a supply we can depend on.”
Cuomo said during a briefing on Tuesday that New York is set to receive an additional 5% boost in vaccine doses from the federal government, but that is not enough to fully meet the demand for shots in the arms of all 10 million New Yorkers who now or will soon qualify. The state is currently receiving about 300,000 doses of the vaccine each week.
According to the latest data from the New York City health department, there are 554,126 total residents with confirmed coronavirus cases, 83,103 who are currently hospitalized, and 27,949 who have died due to COVID-19. As of Wednesday, over 1 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered in New York City so far.