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Transcript: Mayor de Blasio Holds Media Availability

October 18, 2021

Mayor Bill de Blasio: Good morning, everyone. We've got a lot of important news today, and some very good news today also, but I've got to start with some sad news we just heard, the passing of a truly great New Yorker, General Colin Powell. General Powell served this nation with just tremendous distinction. But what we all feel as New Yorkers was, he was – he was an example of the greatness of New York City. An absolutely classic New York City story, born to Jamaican immigrants, grew up in Harlem and the Bronx, graduated Morris High School in the Bronx, a graduate of our New York City public schools, went to City College – just an absolute great example of the good, the talent, the ability that comes out of the city. But he took it to the next level and was great as a leader, as a Secretary of State, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, National Security Advisor – you name it, he served his country profoundly. He also, of course, was a trailblazer, proving to the world, showing the world that talent and ability comes in all colors, comes in all races, comes in all genders, comes in everything. And he opened the doors for so many others.

So, he's someone we're going to miss a lot, but we're particularly going to miss him because he showed the world what New York City is all about, that anyone here – anyone and everyone has the opportunity to be great, and that we foster it, we respect it, we believe in each New Yorker. We're going to miss him a lot. He made us very, very proud.

Okay. As I said, important news today. And, obviously, the most important news is on the most important issue, which is the battle against COVID. And the news is about vaccines and boosters. So, last week, we had great news, 6 million New Yorkers have been vaccinated now – 6 million New Yorkers have gotten at least one dose – seismic, huge number, and it's the reason why you see COVID decreasing in the city. But this is battle is far from over, so we’ve got more to do. The boosters are a big piece of it. Last week, the FDA committee took a big step and voted to approve the Moderna and J&J boosters, but that's still not the formal authorization. We're waiting for that to come later this week, we think. We're waiting for all the final details. We're getting ready in anticipation of that approval. And one of the things we're focusing on is making sure in the days ahead that all of our vaccination sites are ready, that our people are ready, our supplies are ready, and that New Yorkers are informed. So, we're going to be talking about this several times over the course of the week as we got more and more information. We don't have all the final information yet, but we will have it soon, and we're going to provide it to all New Yorkers right away. And one of the voices you're going to hear the most on this topic, of course, is the City's doctor, our Health Commissioner, Dave Chokshi.

Commissioner Dave Chokshi, Department of Health and Mental Hygiene: Thank you so much, Mr. Mayor. And I wanted to share what we know now about boosters for people who received the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines. As you said, we are still waiting for additional clarification and recommendations from the federal government before we can begin administering the Moderna and J&J boosters, but there are still some things everyone should note now. First, New Yorkers can get a Pfizer booster today, as long as they're at least six months after their second Pfizer dose. Those eligible must be in one of the following groups – if you're 65 and older; if you're 18 to 64 with underlying conditions, like diabetes; or if you're 18 to 64, but you're at high risk of exposure because of your occupation, like health care workers, or certain institutional settings, like nursing homes. If you are one of those New Yorkers who is eligible for Pfizer, you can make an appointment immediately at On the site, you can sort by vaccine type. Click to Pfizer and then you can find that location nearest to you. Thus far, over 168,000 New Yorkers have received a booster dose.

Second, an FDA advisory committee recommended the Moderna booster for authorization last Thursday. While this could change, depending on the deliberations this week, we anticipate the eligible populations to include the same categories as those currently eligible for the Pfizer booster. That's those 65 and older, as well as those 18 to 64 and at higher risk. Eligible New Yorkers will be able to receive a Moderna booster at least six months after their second Moderna dose.

Finally, we have the Johnson& Johnson booster. The FDA recommended authorization of the J&J booster last Friday. Again, final guidance could change, but we anticipate that all New Yorkers 18 and older who received a single dose of J&J to be eligible to receive the booster dose as long as it's been at least two months after the primary dose. We're still waiting on the formal authorization from FDA and the CDC and their advisory committee, but we anticipate that sometime after the CDC’s committee meets this Thursday. Once the CDC issues its formal clinical guidance around administration, the City will be ready to administer, and we're working around the clock to prepare for this.

I also want New Yorkers to be aware that the FDA committee so far has only recommended a booster of the same brand that you've already received. The FDA and CDC will further discuss what's called mix and match, or getting vaccine doses of different brands, and we'll share more information with you in the coming weeks, as always. Thank you so much, Mr. Mayor.

Mayor: Thank you so much, Dave. And, Dave, want to thank you and all your colleagues at the Department of Health who've done so much to keep people informed. It’s an ever-changing situation, has been for over a year-and-a-half, but, thank God, now we're getting better and better news all the time, more and more options to support people. And our job is to always be ready. New York City has really been leading this country in terms of vaccine mandates, incentives, vaccination efforts, grassroots efforts, going out in the communities, addressing inequities in vaccination. We're going to be doing that all again with boosters and then, later, with our outreach to make sure that the youngest New Yorkers get vaccinated. So, we’ve got a lot to do, but we've shown time and time again this city leads the way. And I want to emphasize, we want to keep reaching all those adults, hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers who still haven't gotten their first dose – we're continuing to reach you. We want to have you join this group of over 6 million New Yorkers now who have gotten vaccinated. We want you to get that hundred-dollar incentive. We want you and your family to be safe. I predict to you we're going to reach a lot more people in that group in the days ahead. So, the work continues.

Now, we're doing all this to protect people, to protect families. We're also doing this so we can bring this city back strong. We need a recovery for all of us. We need a recovery that reaches every corner of the city and we continue to invest in that recovery. As we're coming out of the COVID era, important thing is to jumpstart a new reality for the city and a reality that is more fair, more just for the people of this city. So, we're making investments in some of the communities hardest hit by COVID. We're making investments in some of the communities that historically didn't get the investment they deserve. We're righting some wrongs. And, today, I've got a few examples that I think are very, very powerful.

First, in Jackson Heights, Queens – an amazing, vibrant neighborhood, one of the most diverse neighborhoods in New York City. There's a wonderful organization, the Variety Boys & Girls Club that does extraordinary work with young people, reaching them, helping them get on the right path, stay on the right path. The organization is now led by someone I like a lot and admire a lot. Former Council Member Costa Constantinides did great work in the Council, particularly fighting climate change.

We're providing $2.7 million for a new community center, because it's so important for our young people to have a place to go that's safe, where they can learn, where they can have afterschool help, where they can enjoy sports, culture, everything, get them on the right track. A champion of this effort, he loves this community. I was just with him at a wonderful Diwali celebration last week. He loves his community. He is an exemplar of his community, a community for everyone. My great pleasure to introduce Council Member Danny Dromm.


Mayor: Thank you so much, Council Member. I’ve got to say, I have really, really appreciated eight good years working with you, and I appreciate your heart. Every time you've ever talked to me about something for the community or a larger issue for the city, it's motivated by one thing, a desire for a more just and equal society – that's what you've devoted your life to. So, I'm really happy we could do this. And I love when you say Jackson Heights, community of communities, it really is one of the great exemplars of the city. And to see people of all backgrounds working together for the community, that's the best of New York City. So, thank you, brother.

So, now another project that is really powerful, because it's also for a community that was very hard hit by COVID, went through so much in Southeast Queens – a community of folks – so many public servants live in Southeast Queens, so many folks are a backbone of this city. But they were hit very, very hard. We need to bring that community back. We need to bring it back for kids, families, seniors, everyone. And everyone benefits from this project, which is something really wonderful – a branch of the Queens Public Library in Rosedale that needs a full renovation. We're putting $3 million more into that. The total project will be almost $20 million to make it a renovated space, a bigger space, a better space for the whole community. Someone who fought for this and said, this is the kind of thing the community needs as we come out of this really tough time, she passionately represents Rosedale and she has hit the ground running as a member of the City Council with great impact. My pleasure to introduce Council Member Selvena Brooks Powers.


Mayor: Thank you so much, Council Member. And thank you for fighting for this with energy, helping us focus us on it, and I know it's going to mean so much for the community. Thank you for your great efforts. One more example I want to put forward today, and this is about the Bronx. The Bronx has, for generations, unfortunately, been lacking the investment it deserved. Too many times the Bronx was ignored. And then, the Bronx bore the brunt, so many communities were hurt during COVID – still feeling the effects. And one of the things we got to focus on the most in the Bronx is our young people. We've got to get them on the right path. That's why we did the Bronx Plan for education to get great teachers, to focus on the Bronx, more resources to the Bronx. But we've got to do more and more to attract young people to positive opportunities and outcomes. So, we're allocating $6 million for a brand-new gymnasium at P.S. 279. This is the kind of thing that makes a big impact. In a neighborhood that's been through so much, to have a beautiful state-of-the-art gym, a positive place for kids to go, full basketball court, there’ll be space for volleyball, there'll be the latest sports equipment. It's going to be a kind of thing that gives people hope in the kind of thing that tracks young people to the school and to their futures. So, this is a big deal.

Someone who fought for this, wanted to get this done, he also is leaving office, but he believed this would be one of the things that would really leave a lasting impact for his community. My pleasure to introduce Council Member Fernando Cabrera.


Mayor: Thank you, Council Member. Thank you for always advocating passionately for your community. All right, everyone. Let's go to what we go to every day, our indicators. I always loved the first indicator, number of vaccine doses administered to-date – 11,841,565. These numbers are just stunning and more every day. Number two, daily number of people admitted to New York City hospitals for suspected COVID-19 – today's report is 153 patients. Confirmed positivity level, 14.37 percent. Hospitalization rate – this is what we watch so carefully – today's number is 0.70 per 100,000 New Yorkers. And then, new reported cases on a seven-day average – today's report, 832 cases. Let me say a few words in Spanish, going back to what we talked about earlier, the news coming soon on the booster shots.

[Mayor de Blasio speaks in Spanish]

With that, let's 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 Health Commissioner Dr. Dave Chokshi, and NYC Health + Hospitals President and CEO Dr. Mitch Katz. Our first question today goes to Juliet at 1010 WINS.

Question: Yes. Good morning, everyone. Mr. Mayor, given General Powell’s passing, can your medical team discuss breakthrough cases? Why some people can still get very sick even after they are vaccinated?

Mayor: Yeah. Thank you for the question Juliet. And I think it's a really important one. So, I’m going to turn to Dr. Katz and then Dr. Chokshi to talk about that.

President and CEO Mitch Katz, Health + Hospitals: Thank you, Mr. Mayor. Thank you for the question. And I think the appropriate way to start is by remembering the General, a son of New York, a son of immigrants, who went to our schools, who went to City College, and who was a phenomenal leader for our country. And so really deserves so much admiration from all of us. We don't know all of the details at this moment about his health. We don't know what his other comorbidities were. He was a man of 84 years old, which is someone with a 99-year-old father, seems young. But with each decade the immune response to COVID is not as good. The body does not rally as well. So, that is certainly one factor, his age. We know that boosters are important in part because older people do not have as strong a response to the initial set of vaccinations. Beyond age, and again, we don't know his comorbidity, certainly no treatment is perfect. When you look at the data, what you see is that overwhelmingly the deaths that occur with COVID are in unvaccinated people, overwhelmingly. But there is still, all of the time, been a small number of deaths in vaccinated people. And I think this just reflects that no treatment is perfect. No vaccine is perfect. But that overwhelmingly, the vaccines are effective. I only wish they could have been more effective in his case. Thank you.

Mayor: Thank you, Dr. Chokshi?

Commissioner Chokshi: Thank you, sir. And first I also want to extend my condolences to Secretary Powell’s family. And building on what Dr. Katz said, what we know is this. Being vaccinated very significantly decreases your chances of severe illness and death. No vaccine is 100 percent effective. And while the vaccines available currently are highly effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalizations, and deaths, we do know that there will be some infrequent occasions that do result in these severe outcomes. I have no knowledge of the specific circumstances in this case. But as Dr. Katz also mentioned, sometimes this occurs when people have significantly compromised immune systems. And that's one more reason why everyone needs to get vaccinated, even if they are healthy. Because it helps protect not just them, but also those who are more vulnerable. Thank you.

Mayor: Thank you. Go ahead, Juliet.

Question: Yes. Okay. Thank you. And regarding vaccines for children. I was wondering, is it the same dose as the vaccine for adults, or is that getting adjusted? I'm talking about the five to 11-year-old vaccine?

Mayor: Dr. Chokshi, go ahead.

Commissioner Chokshi: Thank you, Juliet for the question. The answer is no, it's not the same dose. It's a third of the dose that is currently being used in those 12 and up. So, that will be adjusted. Once the final authorization comes through which hasn't occurred yet, but we expect in the coming weeks.

Mayor: Thank you very much.

Moderator: Our next question goes to Mike with the Daily News.

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

Mayor: Good morning, Michael. How you doing?

Question: I'm doing all right. So, I wanted to ask you about the DOI report on your police detail. You know, in past responses, you've talked about, a lot about the security of your family and how important that is to you, how that’s a priority. And I wanted to just shift from that focus to an incident in February of 2021 in which the DOI reported, you asked the detail to take a guest at Gracie across town to the Upper West Side? And so, I was wondering why didn't you guys just ask for a cab or an Uber? And can you talk about, I mean, this is the sort of thing I think that, you know, erodes trust. I mean, does that kind of factor in at all? I mean, do you kind of feel like that's kind of a bad look in hindsight now?

Mayor: Michael, first of all, what I try to do every, literally every day for eight years, was do what was appropriate. Do what I understood to be the right thing to do, follow the guidance I was given. And I tried to make decisions in the interest of the people. And I don't think it erodes trust, if I thought, for example, if someone had come for an interview for a job in New York City, this I know is an example, came for a job interview. We wanted someone to come join us in public service. And did them the courtesy of dropping them off where they were staying. I think that's a professional courtesy. It's in the public's interest because it's about showing someone we value them and we want them to come join us. That's the kind of example. I just think that's appropriate given the mission of getting the very best people to serve New York City. Go ahead, Michael.

Question: The second thing I wanted to ask you about was the shift the City's undergoing with retiree health benefits? And as you I'm sure know, like a lot of retirees are up in arms about this, they're worried about it. They're anxious about it. They're confused. And Eric Adams talked about this last week. He said he was troubled about it. And he suggested it was a bait and switch. And I was wondering if – I don't know if you saw what he had to say, but if you can respond to that, what he's saying? I mean, he seems very concerned about it too. He's also on health benefits through the captains’ union, I believe. How do you respond to what he said last week?

Mayor: Michael, I did not see the details. Everyone knows I have tremendous respect for Eric Adams and I think he's going to be a great mayor. On this health plan, the goal of this plan was very simple, provide as good or even better benefits and protect the long term health of the health plan so our retirees would know it is there for them reliably for decades to come. This plan was developed with the Municipal Labor Council, with the unions that represent the retirees. A painstaking process over months, even years to figure out the right plan. And I think it's a very good and smart and fair plan. I do think there's a lot of misinformation out there. I do think there's questions that should be answered more clearly. A huge number of doctors will be taking this plan. I think there's things that people have been told that just aren't the truth. But that's the job of the City working with MLC to get the truth out. We will be doing that.

Moderator: Our next question goes to Reuvain with Hamodia.

Question: Good morning, Mr. Mayor,

Mayor: Good morning. How are you doing today?

Question: Not so happy that the summer's over. It’s getting fall.

Mayor: I agree with you on that one. I think that's a general feeling this morning in New York City.

Question: Yeah. So, I wanted to ask you about the outdoor dining. So, I know several community boards have voted against it. A lot of residents I've spoken to in different communities, they say they think it's outlived its usefulness. There's a lot of these outdoor sheds now, that are just being used either as free storage by the stores or just going empty. And especially if the snow is going to come and they may really not be useful. I'm wondering if the City would consider either instead of, you know, granting rights to everyone, maybe, you know, following recommendations of either community boards or the local Council members or at least having some mechanism to enforce that they're actually being used, rather than just lying around taking a parking spots for no reason?

Mayor: Yeah. It's a great question, Reuvain. And I appreciate it. I'm someone who believes in outdoor dining fully. I absolutely believe it's the right thing to do. And the permanent approach is the right way to do it. So, the restaurant owners know they can invest in doing it in a way that's really appealing, more jobs, more activity. It's just good for the city. But you're right. If someone's not using a space for outdoor dining, they are using it for any other need, or they're not filling the space, they're just trying to hold it. That's not acceptable. So, I've given this instruction to Department of Transportation, I'm going to give it again. Go through all of the outdoor dining sites. The last I checked, it was around 10,000 plus. Go and review each one. Go and talk to the owners of any place where they're not using it for outdoor dining. And tell them they have a matter of days to get it right or the site should be pulled back and opened up again for parking. So, that's the kind of thing I've instructed. I'll follow up and make sure that is happening quickly. Because it's only fair. Go ahead.

Question: Yeah. I just wanted to ask, particularly during the winter months when it seems that that those sheds won't be useful. And the only ones that wouldn't be at the ones that are fully enclosed and heated, which sort of defeats the purpose of having them in the first place, which is to have outdoor dining? I'm wondering, you know, what's the justification for having them at all during the winter?

Mayor: No, I disagree with that. First of all, whether we like it or not winter is very different than it used to be Reuvain. And there's plenty of times in winter where you can have outdoor dining and with proper ventilation. And it works for people. It is a different reality than being indoors. Second of all, again, very consciously, we're happy to see restaurants that went through hell for the last year and a half, have additional seating, have additional revenue, have a location people like. People like outdoor dining, and we want to see the restaurant community thrive and survive in this city. So, no, I think keeping it, keeping it year round is the right way to go. But making sure that only sites that are actually being fully used are kept for outdoor dining. If they're not, we need to free them up.

Moderator: Our next question goes to Julia with the Post.

Question: Hey, good morning. Mr. Mayor, how are you doing?

Mayor: Good, Julia. How you been?

Question: Pretty good. So, I'm wondering about this 50 percent increase in thefts on city subways over the past month? How do you plan to address that?

Mayor: Well, the overall reality of the subways, Julia, I think speaks volumes. We surged NYPD officers into the subways over the last year, highest levels we had seen in decades, had a huge impact. We'll keep doing that whenever we need to and wherever we need to. If there's a particular pattern of a particular type of crime, sometimes that is handled in a very pinpoint fashion. That's precision policing, but we'll make the deployments as needed to address any trend. Overall, we've seen a lot of success with the NYPD presence in the subways, but we'll keep refining it. Go ahead. Julia. 

Question: Why do you think there was such a big spike over the last month? 

Mayor: I think with certain crimes you see criminals in a coordinated fashion going at a certain type of crime. That's exactly what precision policing attacks. That's exactly what the NYPD has had extraordinary success in identifying and then stopping. Sometimes it is a very small number of people who do crimes like that, and the NYPD has more and more each year, found them, arrested them, and ensured that they are prosecuted. 

Moderator: Our next question goes to Elizabeth with Gothamist. 

Question: Good morning, Mr. Mayor. 

Mayor: Hey, Elizabeth, how have you been? How have you been?  

Question: Good. 

Mayor: Go ahead. 

Question: Okay, sorry, I wasn’t sure if you could hear me. Since we're about three weeks out, I think, since the mandate for city hospital or hospital workers in general, I was wondering if you could have Dr. Katz give us an update on how many H + H employees have been put on unpaid leave, and whether at this point the expectation is that, you know, those employees probably won't return? 

Mayor: As I turn to Dr. Katz, I'll say, I think it's fair to say in the first weeks, Elizabeth, you're going to see some people feel the jolt of, wait a minute, my paycheck is not there anymore. I got to deal with this, and we've seen now, in the case of DOE for example, it’s I think about 3,000 employees got vaccinated after the deadline. So, I think there's a short-term impact, but I also want to leave open the very real possibility that some people may take a little longer, but I think you're going to constantly see employees coming back. I really do, but now to Dr. Katz on the specifics. 

President Katz: You're absolutely right, Mr. Mayor, people are still coming back, and we don't even call it putting anyone on unpaid leave, because that implies a specific duration. We are simply for the day that they are set to work. They are coded as having not been at work and they do not get paid for that day. But we are still continuing to get people into vaccination. We passed 94 percent now of our staff fully vaccinated. We've had relatively few people retire or say that they will not get vaccinated. So, you know, I'm hopeful that by the time we are at the end of this month, the numbers are going to be very small, and all our hospitals are functioning fully now. Thank you.  

Mayor: Thank you, go ahead, Elizbeth. 

Question: As a follow-up, could Dr. Katz say how many people have retired or said that they do not plan to come back because of the vaccine mandate? 

Mayor: Yes, Dr. Katz, you have that information. 

President Katz: I don't have an exact number. I mean, when – obviously – when somebody retires, we don't interrogate them for whether they're retiring because of the vaccine mandate or they're retiring because they have [inaudible] service and have just been through a hellish 18 months providing care during COVID. But we can certainly figure out the number of people who have retired and report that number. 

Mayor: Thank you very much. Go ahead. 

Moderator: Our next question goes to Erin with Politico. 

Question: Mr. Mayor, I wanted to ask your reaction to Eric Adams says that he does intend to put a mandate in place for school children to have the vaccine. Obviously, that's something you have opposed doing, so what kind of impact do you think it's going to have if he goes and does that if and when he becomes Mayor?  

Mayor: It's his right. I mean, I believe in democracy, Erin. Eric Adams has said very clearly, he understands that my job is to govern up to the last day on December 31st, and I want to say his job will be the govern from January 1st on, and I respect him greatly. We talk a lot. We're going to really make sure that we work closely together for the interests of the people. Chancellor Meisha Ross Porter and I believe at this moment, especially, the key is to get kids in school, and we still see too much misinformation out there about the vaccine, which means parents who might not let their kid get vaccinated, even if it's in the kid's interest, and the kid couldn't go to school, I don't want to see that. I want to see every kid in school, and I want to see us keep moving our efforts to get more and more kids vaccinated on the 12 to 17-year-olds, it's now 76 percent. That's a great number. I want to see that go up, really hopeful about the five to 11-year-olds, but I don't want a child excluded. But January is a long way away, and Eric Adams as a new mayor has a full right to decide whatever he thinks is best for our schools, and I'm sure he will do what his conscience tells him. Go ahead, Erin. 

Question: Okay, thanks. Second question is about the DOI report. So, you said last week that Inspector Redmond was saying in place that you didn't believe there was any reason for discipline. I just want us to go into a little more detail there. As far as what DOI found is that he sought to destroy his phone, refuse to turn over his other phone, and deleted communications that they had specifically requested as part of their investigation. So, as far as your conclusion that he didn't do anything wrong, do you believe those facts are untrue or do you believe that, you know, that there's nothing wrong with that behavior? And if and when, you know, if the Manhattan DA does pursue an investigation, is there a point at which you would not want him as head of the detail? 

Mayor: Well, Erin, that's a lot of questions. Let me try my best here. I believe, first of all, I've known Howard Redmond over the last eight. I think he's an extraordinary public servant. He served the city in the NYPD for almost 30 years. Everything I've seen is a person of integrity and devotion to the city. Second, here's a report, which I've said very bluntly, is filled with inaccuracies from start to finish. So, I'm not going to take it on face value. NYPD reviewed the facts and did not find a need for further action. I think that's telling. Manhattan DA has it, we're going to look to see what they do. What they do is going to tell us something and we're going to pay close attention and we'll judge accordingly. But no, I cannot take what's in the report on face value, because so much of what's in the report is inaccurate. 

Moderator: We have time for two more questions for today. Our next question goes to Gersh with Streetsblog. 

Question: Hey, Mr. Mayor, how are you doing? 

Mayor: I'm doing well. Gersh, how do you feel? 

Question: Well, it’s always good to talk, and I do – I like the fall weather, so I don't know whatever everyone is complaining about. 

Mayor: Gersh, you are a contrarian in all things, and those of us who love the fall, thank you. 

Question: Okay, there you go. Hey, so, Mr. Mayor, I want to talk to you about a couple of crashes. Over the weekend a man named Jose Ramos, a deaf deli worker in East New York was killed by what witnesses said was a speeding driver on Atlantic Avenue. Now, as you well know, after you took office, you prioritized Atlantic Avenue in that stretch of East New York for safety improvements. Took about five years and you spent about $48 million in capital funding, but the roadway ended up getting a planted median, but it was not redesigned to slow down drivers by eliminating or narrowing travel lanes, and now phase two of that project, which did include traffic [inaudible] has been quietly eliminated from the Capitol Funding Dashboard. So, what's going on there? 

Mayor: Well, I'm glad you raised it in Gersh. I've said it before, I'll say it again, when a member of the media raises something that I need to know about, I appreciate it and I'll follow up on it. And I also appreciate you giving the whole history here that we've made many, many major Vision Zero investments, and the dollar figure you referred to there, that's real money trying to solve a real problem. But the phase two not moving, that's news to me. So, I'm going to find out what's going on, I want to see improvements made constantly, that's what Vision Zero is all about. So, I will pursue that, and we'll get you an answer quickly. 

Question: Okay, appreciate that. So, then I'll go in a different direction with the second question. A week ago, a teenage car driver in a 4,000-pound Chevy pickup truck ran over and killed an e-cyclist on the Honeywell Street Bridge in Long Island City. Now, that roadway was designated as a protected bike lane by the city in 2017, but then cars and trucks started destroying the flexi posts that marked the land is protected, and the city never replaced those posts, and, in fact, declassified that roadway from protected to not protected. So, now putting aside the details of the crash, shouldn't the destruction of those plastic posts by car and truck drivers on that stretch have told your administration that actually more protection, not less was needed along that stretch, why would the city abandon its own protected bike lane and not actually bolster it in the light of that kind of evidence? 

Mayor: Good question, now, again, I'm going to say your questions come with your own view of the world, which I appreciate, nothing wrong with that. But I don't know all the facts on that one. I want to be careful not to assume. So, like the first example, I'm going to pursue this example with the Department of Transportation. If we have a plan that we believe in and it's not functionally working, we have to strengthen it. Of course, we should do that. If something changed that caused the city to believe there's a better approach, that's a different matter. We'll get you an answer on this as well. Look, wherever we see a plan for safety, not having the desired effect, and if we have to do stronger measures, I hope you know by now that's something I'm very comfortable doing, but we will get you a plan – or excuse me – an answer on this particular plan very quickly. 

Moderator: Our last question for today goes to Abu with Bangla Patrika. 

Mayor: Abu, you out there? I don't know if we hear him, Abu? Try him again. Guys, do you got him or not? You got another person or not? Are we going to have a – I think we've got technical difficulties, so unless you guys have someone ready? No. Okay. We'll owe Abu for tomorrow. And everyone, look, as we conclude today, just want to emphasize where we started earlier today about the boosters and all the news we're going to be getting you in the course of this week. There’s a lot of important information, this week, next week, the week after, all crucial in terms of boosters, and we're really looking forward to that announcement regarding kids five to 11-years-old. So very, very important time for the vaccination effort and that's what's going to move us forward and get to a recovery for all of us. Thank you, everyone. 



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