New York City Mayor Eric Adams urged New Yorkers to once again don their masks for the holiday season in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19 and other illnesses.
Adams wore a mask himself during a Tuesday press conference at City Hall where he warned of a winter surge in COVID cases, according to the New York Times. Adams did not announce a mask mandate.
“When COVID-19 hit New York City almost three years ago, New Yorkers looked out for each other and followed the advice of our health experts,” Adams said at the conference.
“With the holiday season in full swing and cases of COVID-19, flu and RSV rising, we are asking New Yorkers to protect themselves and their loved ones once again. Mask up, get tested, get treated if you’re eligible, and , if you haven’t gotten your flu shot or your COVID-19 booster, we encourage you to roll up your sleeve,” he added.
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It is uncommon for Adams to wear a mask during events, as he did on Tuesday. The mayor removed the city’s mask mandate for schools in March, and he has announced no plans to reinstate any form of mandate this month.
Meanwhile, Democratic New York Gov. Kathy Hochul lifted the last statewide mask mandate for public transit in September.
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Adams’ COVID message comes at the same time that he has been focused on handling NYC’s exploding migrant population, with buses of asylum seekers arriving every day from border states.
Adams has blasted Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Flordia Governor Ron DeSantis for sending migrants to the city. The Republicans argue the busing program is an effective way of getting wealthy northern Democrats to face the realities of the border crisis.
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“I’ve never been more frustrated now. This is a national problem,” Adams told reporters on Monday. “El Paso shouldn’t be going through this. Chicago shouldn’t be going through this. Washington, Houston, cities should not be carrying the weight of a national problem. This is unfair to all of our cities to have to go through this without any help from the national government and the state government. And so we are building out that which is within our span of control, but we need help from the federal and state government to assist us.”