Amid conflicting poll numbers, rising crime and higher COVID statistics, Mayor Adams justified his recent fundraising jaunt in Los Angeles with the argument that he needs to keep the Big Apple competitive.
Adams, who answered questions in Times Square at an independent press conference on Friday, said he “has to do what other mayors do” when it comes to attracting business here.
“They come to my town, to our town, encouraging businesses to come to their town,” he told reporters. “They learn from our ideas. And if I have to sit at home while other people come and take our things, that’s a big mistake.
Friday’s appearance was to announce the redevelopment of the former NY Times building in Times Square. It was the first time Adams had taken questions from the city press since his time in Los Angeles.
The mayor left town on Tuesday for a fundraising campaign in the City of Angels and to participate in a technology roundtable at the Milken Institute. His return was pushed back to Thursday afternoon after his return flight was delayed, forcing him to cancel several public events in New York.
While Hizzoner was away, a new Quinnipiac University poll found his approval rating now stands at 43%, down from 46% in February. NYPD statistics for April show a 34% increase in major crimes compared to April of last year. And in the past month, the number of new COVID cases in New York City has nearly doubled, from 1,537 on April 3 to 2,885 on May 3.
When asked to explain his trip to California given some of these facts, Adams made no mention of his fundraiser, but said he plans to “travel the world” to show people “our product”.
“I need businesses here. We want to be the center of life sciences, cybersecurity, bitcoin, blockchain – and then we have to learn what other cities are doing,” he said.
Adams also answered questions about COVID on Thursday. When asked why he wasn’t doing more to “sound the alarm” over the recent spike in COVID cases, he suggested the city had benefited from its own recent successes in battling the virus.
“The reason we’re here and not seeing drastic action is because we’ve done an amazing job of telling people: vaccines, boosters. When I got hit with COVID, it was just a tickle in my throat,” Adams said. “The reason we are able to handle this – hospitalizations, deaths – people are self-diagnosing is because of the millions of tests we give people at home. They self-diagnose and they stay home when they find out they are positive.
Rising COVID cases don’t “yet” merit a return to face coverings for public school students, said Adams, who added that his administration also hasn’t determined whether it will require students to be vaccinated before the start of the next school year.
The mayor also made sure to highlight another poll released Friday by the Regional Plan Association and the Global Strategy Group. This paints him in a better light than the Quinnipiac poll and gave him a 59% approval rating. The survey also found that 61% of those who responded approved of Adams’ plan to address gun violence.
“The polls go up and down. Those of you who followed me on the campaign trail, you heard three things: ‘stay focused, no distractions and work hard,’” he said, reusing a well-worn saw from the mayor’s contest. Last year. “I am less than six months into my administration. So, throughout these six months, it’s going to be a roller coaster, but in the end, we’re going to transform this city. »