Obviously Known: Now An Unfortunate Word From The Mayoral Campaign Of The Unfortunate Scott Stringer

It took a while, considering how low he’s polling in the mayor’s race, but Comptroller Scott Stringer finally got the dough to put out his first campaign ad.

At a cost of one million dollars, which is derived from taxpayers dollars because of the very bad matching funds law, Stringer’s ad touts his past accomplishments in big font letters as he dramatically walks in an apartment hallway and on the street. It climaxes with the candidate doing an aw shucks shrug.

As with Stringer’s struggling campaign and platform which looks to continue de Blasio’s horrendous policies (and which also is not distinguishable from the other 6 or 7 candidates), the ad contains a very obvious and hilarious flaw.

Looks like Stinger’s hapless campaign staffers should have vetted this ad more carefully. They would have avoided this unfortunate misuse of words if they used black font or just relied on the husky-voiced melodramatic narrator.

But this is the least of Scottie’s problems now. For he has become another self-sabotaged fauxgressive mark of his own now there are allegations that he also abused his power and fostered a culture of intimidation with his own sexual harassment scandal.

PIX News

A former intern for New York City comptroller and mayoral candidate Scott Stringer accused the politician of sexual abuse and harassment on Tuesday. 

The woman, who was not named in a press release from attorney Patricia Pastor, said Stringer repeatedly groped her when he was a member of the New York Assembly and running for Public Advocate of NYC. He’d allegedly offered to get the woman a role as district leader. The woman, then an unpaid intern, accused him of telling her to keep the alleged sexual misconduct a secret.

“It’s unfortunately all too common that women report having been touched sexually without consent, and often men who engage this way are in a position of power and influence over the woman,” Pastor said. “I have great respect for women who choose to say, ‘enough is enough.’”

A spokesperson for Stringer’s mayoral campaign declined to comment on the accusations against him.

Stringer recently called on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to resign amid mounting claims of sexual harassment made against the governor. 

This comes out the day Scott tries to get his ass more recognizable in the primary race for mayor. Kismet sure is a bitch.

(Can it be any more easier to see why Cuomo prefers not to resign).

 

Ocasio-Cortez Comes Alive

That girl

Astoria, Queens, New York

Saturday in the park. Not the 4th of July, but the firework spectacle of celebrity  and politics was in display at Astoria Park under a clear blue sky with the Triborough Bridge in the background for about an hour and change as Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez arrived and gave a speech at a rally for her Green New Deal legislative proposal and also a protest against the new power plant in Astoria that’s being proposed by NRG Energy (what a redundant name for a corporation), which according to the congresswoman, her political allies from the Democrat Socialists Association and various environmental activist groups hanging banners and displaying tables around the grassy knoll, will be powered by fracked gas and will be an existential threat to the health and environment to the residents of the NE Queens neighborhood despite claims from NRG that emissions from the new plant won’t be that severe (suuuurrre).

For someone as massively huge on monopolized social media and corporate cable news, the crowd awaiting her was quite modest. And quite predominantly White if anyone is concerned about that sort of thing.

 

And for a event featuring a politician of such magnitude, there were hardly any  elected officials or politicians campaigning for office in attendance.

Sen. Ramos at the table

Councilman Van Bramer on the phone

After a speech ranting against the new power plant by Senator Jessica Ramos, anticipation was sort of building for the arrival of Rep. Ocasio-Cortez as one of the organizers told the crowd she was running late, citing bad traffic for her arrival, but it didn’t elicit much of a reaction (although it’s a tad off-putting that for someone holding a rally against dirty energy would need to take a vehicle to speak against it). But it wasn’t for long as she surprisingly popped out of nowhere with her entourage and security from behind in the parking lot with some media in tow which made a clear path for her to enter and make a nice 15 minute speech plugging the Green New Deal that’s designed to save the climate and economy.

Then she took it to the stage..

AOC’s speech was for lack of a better word, nice. Actually, there is a better word for it-meh. In fact, the crux of her stump address for the new revolution in climate friendly energy sourcing and job creation were basically already stated in various signs across the lawn, on protest signs and on banners hanging from tables. Plus the speech seem to be tailored for certain quotes to be isolated for videos on the Now This twitter account.

While most of her speech basically derived from the messaging surrounding the grounds, the frustratingly problematic parts of her speech was when she mistakenly on purpose conflated her Green New Deal  resolution as a revolution and brought up how it will lead to other resolutions (or revolutions) like the ratification of a federal $15/hr. minimum wage and the way overdue Medicare For All, the latter of which should have been prioritized during the pandemic as COVID still will not go away because of new variants that will put the most vulnerable people (like essential on the street gig workers) with no insurance in the hospital and with Big Pharma corporations announcing that a third vaccination will surely be a necessity. Surely unbeknownst to the adoring crowd in Astoria Park, AOC and her fellow and new “Squad” members in Congress had every chance to force the vote for Medicare For All by holding out on confirming Nancy Pelosi’s reign as House Speaker (while stopping her continuing profiting from her position) in order to get Med4All on the house floor and she and her allies collectively chose not to. And did the same for the minimum wage raise weeks later.

Another distinguished thing about her speech is how she used certain words to cap it off by describing accomplishing the goals of the Green New Deal as “the How, the Why and the What”, words she used ineptly to describe how to end the perpetual Israeli-Palestenian conflict going on for over 75 years which didn’t sound much different but as cockamamie as Donald Rumsfeld’s geopolitical theory of “unknown knowns” to justify invading and occupying Iraq for over a decade.

And speaking of Force the Vote and how AOC didn’t, this little booster table set up for her speech stood out on the field. Something called “Claim the Vote”, which is a total and lame co-opting of the legendary social media hashtag started by Jimmy Dore back in November when the Dem’s took over the House (and later would tie the Senate).

I don’t know how a vote needs to be “claimed” and I regret not asking these two, thinking that this will be available on the internets but a few engine and social media searches brought up bupkus. And I probably would have got into an argument with these folks about it and even though I’m still banned from twitter where I criticized AOC frequently, the last thing I need is for her, her aides or her AOC-hive sending highway patrol troopers to my abode.

It’s also why I didn’t bother engaging with her in person despite having an opportunity to do so, for the line for the meet and greet went on for a mile and social distancing was not being recognized (as if the media circus circling around her wasn’t clustered enough). Even though my blog was one of the only ones locally in Queens to cover and endorse her, the other being Queens Crap where I wrote the admin about her potential to beat long time establishment hack Joe Crowley, and was actually very proud of her victory after she worked hard to earn it.

Since then it’s been a lot of disappointment. Mostly since she’s been re-elected and her obeisance to the Democrat establishment and her obsession and occupying most her time to her social media accounts. And her humiliating embellishments of how her life was in danger when the U.S. Capitol was being invaded and she was nowhere near there and Trump’s junta LARPers were nowhere near the building she was hiding in which led to her disturbing calls to ban expression and speech of her social media foes and critics in addition to squandering her power and influence as a celebrity politician.

If anything this event shown it was all a virtue signalling performance tweet thread played out in 3D. Even though it was meant to stop a power plant they didn’t want in Astoria, AOC and her GND allies didn’t even consider or acknowledge why the new power plant is being proposed. And that’s because of all the new towers that have gone up in NE Queens in Astoria and Long Island City. It wasn’t long ago when a transformer exploded on New Years Eve a few years ago. Everybody blamed the Gozer, but it surely was from the collective occupation of the new monolithic towers condensed on the East River and there’s already been more towers built and even more to come And those fracking pipelines AOC and the GND posse are against being installed underground in Brooklyn are surely there to supply all the tower pestilence that is going up on that line too from Brownsville to Greenpoint and pretty soon with the amount of luxury public housing that’s been approved for Gowanus. The point is that for all the talking points about green energy that was said by AOC for 15 minutes and two hours by other concerned activists on that lawn is not going to matter dick because the infrastructure for the energy system was already established. Plus there has been a substantial amount of new luxury towers built in her district in the Bronx too since she’s been in office. All of this over-development has occurred without a minute consideration for adapting to climate change and is still reliant on fossil fuels (although some of these buildings has a few trees on the roof for the tower people to enjoy). Being a working resident of NYC, Where the fuck has the congresswoman been the last 8 years, no less three as an official?

And AOC’s plan to protect public housing by putting it under the Green New Deal has immensely back fired, as NYCHA and the Fed’s RAD and de Blasio’s PACT has residents cutting down on fossil fuels by austerity as they cover themselves in extra blankets and subsist on meals prepared for hours on single burner hot plates.

But this Green New Deal/Anti-NRG event did get a nice turnout and some adorable pics for the establishment firebrand congresswoman of the 14th District. For what was in essence a safe space for her, her base and political  action org allies.

Departing from the park, the song Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology) was being blasted from a bluetooth speaker by a Black couple chilling out on the grass under the tree. It was actually the only genuine moment that was being expressed about the existential threat of climate change. But I heard that song a thousand times before already so I kept walking. Which is probably how people, including yours truly, will react to AOC and her Green New Deal if it doesn’t progress from platitudes about how to make this new system of renewable energy and millions of jobs to make it work manifest. 

 

 

The Elmhurst Horror

December 2020

Elmhurst, Queens, New York

Here’s a true story of domestic terror and chilling impunity. No names have been changed because there mostly aren’t really any.

It happened on a cold early morning just an hour before sunrise, 6 days before Christmas, a 5-alarm fire engulfed a three family house. The inferno spread so rapaciously that it instantly killed three men as they desperately tried to flee while trapped in their rooms, their only exit was sliding doors by the balcony on the second floor, which were locked. It also torched the three floor house attached to it, making both structures inhabitable.

Before the deadly blaze the house was proficiently and exceedingly habitable. Since the fire was extinguished, a lot of mystery still surrounds this tragedy. Not much is known about the tenants; especially their names which have not been identified, notably the three who perished in the inferno except for their ethnicity. The one tenant who survived the destruction and the deaths, also refused to be identified.

This house had an incredible lengthy record of housing violations going back 4 years with over $200,000 in fines. Mostly in the last two years, the former landlord had repurposed what was once a nice two family house and transformed it into a makeshift boarding house with single room occupations constructing seven rooms on each floor from the basement to the attic. Even the garage wasn’t spared as the original landlord Mumarrawa Mahmood managed to convert it into a rental where the superintendent of the house lived and added more dwellings to it even after repeated visits and fines by the Department Of Buildings.

December 2020

Whatever fines the original landlord accrued by subdividing the house probably got evened out with the monthly or weekly rents that were provided by dozens of tenants occupying all those SROs; the superintendent of the illegally converted home paid 700 a month (usually supers live rent free in apt. buildings). Now multiply that by about 10 or 20 as was claimed in a complaint by a prospect “tenant” in January this year. One of the last complaints filed to the DOB was by a person who was looking to rent a room and described 60 people occupying the house at once. 

Although even with all that non-taxed cash flowing in from this ratchet set up it was still not enough to avoid foreclosure.

When the original landlord decided to finally unload it after gradually gutting it for 4 years, it got purchased by an LLC  consisting of the new landlord and a bank from Texas last February. The LLC wasted no time making their presence felt as they attempted to force out the tenants from their SRO’s by shutting off the heat or buying them out after the DOB put a full vacate order at the start of the year.

The final DOB building violation report and full vacate order on the house took place on the morning after it burned down.

December 2020

The internal dilapidation cited in years of violations from the illegal construction  manifested itself as the house burned. The roof that was cited in the DOB’s records easily collapsed during the blaze as the second floor ceiling also dropped on the firefighters while they were extinguishing the inferno.

December 2020

 

December 2020

The day after the fire, the FDNY put up a table down the block from the destroyed house on the pedestrian triangle on Corona Ave and 90th Street, displayed with safety brochures and flyers, even though the investigation of the blaze was not concluded. This gave off a predetermination by the department and also by the city that the fire was the fault of the tenants.

December 2020

The following day after the table got packed up, FDNY marshals determined that the early morning blaze was deliberately set off by an accelerant substance and security camera footage showed a man walking inside and then coming out of the house in a short amount of time. Now the premature result from what was initially thought as carelessness by tenants has turned into a possible cases of arson and homicide in less than 24 hours.

After concluding criminal intent was involved in the fire, the FDNY drew a warrant for the landlord and owner of the house and with the NYPD, found his residence in Flushing. During a search of his SUV, dogs sniffed out gloves with traces of the accelerant that set off the inferno inside the vehicle. The NYPD confiscated tech devices from the suspect, notably digital recording devices and a portable hard drive. Despite the procurement of this evidence and the apparent motive to evict the residents, the landlord and only suspect, Eric Chen, was not arrested.

Four months have passed since the house burned down and there has been apparently no follow up on this story from local news despite the fact that arson was the cause of the inferno that destroyed this house and incinerated three men alive. Also evident is the utter lack of a follow up and seeming abandonment of the case by city department enforcement despite the debris from the blaze still present on the ground in front of the garage door.

April 2021

 

April 2021

 

April 2021

 

April 2021

What also remains from this destruction is the still smouldering odor of acrid smoke and flesh. But what also lingers in the ether here is the fact that an act of cold blooded murder was committed with impunity.

And never mind the evidence of arson that was easily found and sourced, what’s clearly evident is the motive. The new owners of the foreclosed house immediately was trying to sell it and it’s clear that they were champing at the bit to unload it because of COVID-19 and before the eviction moratorium was ratified by state and federal law (per Centers of Disease Control). Those that remained, initially suspected and maligned as squatters even by the superintendent who was occupying a room on the first floor, probably refused to leave because of their rights to shelter in place, reasonable considering that Elmhurst was the epicenter of the epicenter of the pandemic exactly a year ago and they were in their rights to remain in the house. Despite the shutdown and new regulations to protect the public from spreading contagion, the landlord still resorted to cut off the power in the house, but was forced to restore it after the residents made a 311 complaint. As the remaining residents continued to avoid paying rent for months because of the rent moratorium, that must have been the tipping point for the LLC owners of the house.

Another mystery is how none of the footage has been publicly released, which reportedly shows a man rushing in and out of the house and a sudden burst of flames by the front door and garage. Being that we live in an age of viral video mayhem and how the NYPD usually displays security cam footage on their own twitter, it’s amazing how this one didn’t warrant the attention it would have surely got, especially from the 24/7 streaming news sites and local news stations. Something as extreme as arson and murder should have warranted national attention as well.

de Blasio’s Department Of Buildings insouciance is all over this too, for there hasn’t been a single update of violations since the murderous inferno despite the mess laying outside for passerby to see and for neighbors to tolerate.

What’s not a mystery is the way this house was run and assembled in the 2 years under the previous owner; as a boarding house for hundreds of the housing insecure because of the criminally insufficient lack of affordable housing in NYC, which was undermined by the Housing for Preservation and Development Department’s prioritizing building public housing for the upper middle class. (Although it’s also quite possible that this charred house was repurposed as a hotel also for Airbnb). 

This house must have been a sanctuary for the victims of this city’s perpetual housing crisis (especially in two terms under Mayor de Blasio), especially those working check to check and undocumented immigrants, essential workers mostly doing gig jobs delivering food or driving for apps and working construction building towers they will never afford to live in.

 Meanwhile, the suspect (or suspects considering that two other tenants that were still living there weren’t home at the time when the blaze was set off) is still at large and nothing has been updated concerning the LLC that bought the house or the landlord who was found with the incriminating evidence in his car. But the record of the homicidal zeal to get rid of the holdout residents of the Elmhurst Horror is documented in the few stories that remain about this act of literal domestic terror, which resembles in essence the gangster hit jobs in iconic scenes from movies like the Untouchables and Goodfellas.

Queens Chronicle

Moments before his home caught fire on Dec. 19, the man, who asked not to be identified, was jolted awake by a strange noise — and then thrown into darkness.The first floor tenant, who had been paying about $700 a month rent, said he and about half a dozen others living in the Elmhurst home had struggled with new landlords in recent months, claiming they wanted them out of the building — even at one point turning off the utilities.

 It was like the sound of a gas burner before it ignites, he recalled.

Because of months of collective indifference from the accounted and unaccounted authorities, the latter being our elected officials who have not even bothered to acknowledge this monstrous tragedy, and also from the absentee LLC owners of this destroyed home, the inevitability of another craven and wanton act will assuredly manifest. And they don’t even have to ditch the evidence or clean up after themselves.

If anything that confirms the allegory that evictions are violence, look no further than this homicidal pyre of the housing insecure and the ruin that still remains in plain sight and living color. And the city’s complicity in allowing this site and this black market “affordable housing” system to fester is the biggest horror of them all.

 

Mayor de Blasio Diverts Federal Emergency Stimulus Funds To Tourist Ad Campaign

New York City, New York

There should be no more fucking doubts about who Mayor Big Slow de Blasio prefers to serve, besides himself and his running gag political career. This dumbass decided to devote 30 million dollars from President Biden’s stimulus recovery bill for an ad campaign begging tourists to come back to New York City. Showing once again that he is more concerned for the leisure of visitors than for services for his constituents who still go wanting.

Although this ludicrous boondoggle city p.r. campaign is supposed to start in June, it’s clear that this money was already spent wasted before the Blaz announced it in the most surreal daily briefing he has done so far during the still existing pandemic for a video produced by the city’s office of tourism, NYC And Company (a city government bureaucratic agency that really has absolutely no use for the residents of the five boroughs).

NYC and Co already gets about 3 million dollars in funding each year, somehow The Blaz feels that they should get 10 times that amount to use for a few months. And it’s quite egregious that the first video they put out mostly promotes upscale lifestyle leisure with two wealthy White men dining on overpriced comfort food in an open restaurant shanty on a street curb. Another egregious thing about this tone-deaf b-roll is NYC & Co closed the comment thread on their youtube channel, preventing taxpayers from venting their displeasure with wasting city money or from making compliments for the agency vain optics of the city’s “reawakening”.

This is just another extension of the Blaz’s mostly vainglorious “Recovery For All Of Us” mission to bring NYC back to normalcy, despite the pressing problematic issues that is inconveniencing and surely delaying it, with COVID variants infecting younger people, a still high amount in cases in various zip codes in the five boroughs and citizens losing confidence in the vaccines after the suspension of the J & J vaccines, even though they have finally been made more accessible with walk-in sites just opened up and in chain pharmacies.

What’s truly obscene about the Blaz’s announcement is that it follows his revival and revision of last year’s “summer all-in” program to get guns off the street and his decision to finally send more cops in Midtown to remove homeless people and stop open street drug abuse where this tourist fueled reawakening is going to take place. This also follows his idiotic behavior and attention to prioritize art and culture over quality of life as major felonies and bias attacks against Asian people escalated in the first 3 months of the recovery for all of us.

The way The Blaz re-allocated fed funding to his equally oblivious upper class crony at the NYC & Co office shows once again that he has no concept of how to budget, especially during an emergency like the pandemic that’s still plaguing the city he has been running into the ground and which he’s trying to cover up with circuses and bread for his fauxgressive neoliberal entertainers, the only constituency he’s been mostly concerned with. 

The Blaz must think 30 million dollars is not that much money, which continues his proclivity for funding mostly feel good programs that signify nothing and inevitably doesn’t help anyone, the most devastating of all being his co-mayor and wife’s Thrive mental health program and office. Too bad he couldn’t allocate this money to programs and services that could alleviate the many existential crises that would bring actual meaning to his recovery for all of us.

Some of that 30 million dollars could help NYCHA buildings, which is still in horrendous shape as de Blasio’s PACT program has exacerbated environmental and infrastructure hazards in apartments, hallways and stairwells. Maybe it could have led to some elevator and doorbell repairs or a few cameras and personnel to do security being that gang violence and other crime as gone up around the buildings again.

That 30 million could have went to provide health services and secure shelters for the thousands of homeless people on the streets suffering from mental illness or drug addiction. It’s going to be interesting to see how NYC & CO’s commercials are going to convince tourists and transients to visit the city while most of the hotels are still housing homeless people who suffer from these aforementioned maladies and recidivist criminals placed there after being released without bail. But that money could have went to people forced into homelessness after being displaced from their neighborhoods from fires, like what happened most recently in Richmond Hill and Jackson Heights. The 30 mill could have went to free Wifi and quality laptops to homeless children living in shelters or working poor families that live far from the lights on Broadway.

This 30 million could be used for the basics of city services. Increasing transit service by hiring more drivers, fixing storm drains and catch basins, reallocate funding for sanitation and restoring more hours for corner trash pickups and all fixing all the fucking potholes and cracks on the streets, avenues and boulevards.

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But the most interesting and overlooked thing this 30 million could be used for, especially how often de Blasio speaks about equity, is to implement a Universal Basic Income stimulus for the poorest citizens of NYC until the merciful end of his final term as mayor. Doing this would also put a crimp into Andrew Yang’s own campaign for mayor, since it’s the most recognizable policy of his platform. 

What’s really amusing about the Mayor’s reckless misuse of fed stimulus cash to produce commercials which he proclaimed was the biggest in the history of NYC is that Andy Yang actually pointed out not long ago when Biden sent the stimulus funds to NYC, he gave pretty good sage advice not to waste any and leave the next mayor hanging without aid in case the city still hasn’t recovered (or reawakened) and the Blaz immediately and arrogantly dismissed it by claiming that to keep government working for the people validates the urgency to spend it, which was also backed up by Yang’s competitor and de Blasio’s former consigliere moll Maya Wiley. 

Sadly, the Mayor’s RFAOU initiative is all about optics and illusions plus delusions and the persistent optics of blight and inequity will befall on his constituents as essential and safety net services go wanting as all that fed money will go to a useless bureaucratic office whose only purpose is as a bean counter and guesstimator for the city’s tourist populace. Never mind the fact that it was because of the city’s dependence on tourism for decades is why the city is still deserted, broke and dependent on federal aid and a big factor on how COVID-19 spread across the nation and the world in the winter of 2020. But the Blaz will not relent, because he still has his emergency powers and the new and most essential emergency is to ensure that his true base, the transients, are milling and mingling around the biggest destinations of Manhattan like it’s 2014-2019 again.

And he’s not going to let anything like reality get in the way of that.

Goodnight

Shock G, 57, Rapper, DJ And Producer, Digital Underground

Jim Steinman, 73, Songwriter, Keyboards, Piano

Walter Mondale, 93, Senator Of Minnesota, Diplomat, Vice President Of The United States

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Felix Silla, 84, Actor, T.V.’s Cousin Itt

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Derek Chauvin Is Found Guilty Of The Public Execution Of George Floyd

Minneapolis, Minnesota, America

It’s done. Former MPD Police Officer Derek Chauvin, guilty of all counts of causing George Floyd’s death by placing and pressing his knee on Floyd’s neck for 9 minutes while ignoring the pleas of witnesses and Floyd’s cries and pleas of being unable to breathe.

Because of the way Chauvin stole Floyd’s final breaths by utilizing his knee like a dull guillotine and how the video filmed by a young woman bystander’s phone went viral, a jury determined that Chauvin could not escaped unscathed from the charges brought onto him unlike past acquittals of rogue cops abuse of authority and use of excessive force:

  1. The nighttime lynching of Rodney King by four cops in Los Angeles
  2. The mass shooting killing of Amadou Diallo in front of his apartment building by four cops who unleashed a fusillade of bullets as he pulled out his wallet to identify himself to them the Bronx
  3. The strangulation death of Eric Garner in Staten Island by former NYPD cop Daniel Pantaleo, also pinned face down to the pavement and his pleas of being unable to breathe ignored.
  4. .The shooting death of Ramarley Graham in the Bronx by a cop who chased him down into his home and shot him in the bathroom over a presumed weed possession.
  5. The mass shooting of Breonna Taylor has she laid in bed in her apartment during a no knock warrant based from an informant’s false claim of drugs being stored there.
  6. The death of 12-year-old Tamir Rice who was playing with an air gun in a park, gunned down by a cop who rolled up on him on the grass in a patrol car.
  7. The killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown by an overtly scared cop who relied on his gun to restrain him and shot him 12 times from his car and then gunned him down on the street.

Surely, the former and disgraced cop was cognizant of these incidents and thought he could get away with it with impunity. This time in Chauvin’s case, justice truly was served. But only because it was too obvious.  And although there are still signs of reform a year after George Floyd’s murder and the ultraviolence committed by police against the protests for him,  the cases against the blue walls of silence, violence and insouciance and the thin blue line still ingrained in police culture and plans for burgeoning police states still exist and persist and must be held to account and what actually should be abolished. But it’s not going to come any sooner with unrealistic demands and extrajudicial retaliatory violence from bad faith actors like protest saboteurs, special interest groups from the commercial and political sectors co-opting and monetizing the movement either.

It’s a new day. But only for the moment.

de Blasio’s NYPD Unleashes Surveillance Droid Dog In NYCHA Building

Kips Bay, Manhattan, New York

As if the citizens of New York City haven’t went through enough during this pandemic, especially now that we all don’t know when more vaccines will be coming and where COVID and it’s variants may be settling, and with more protests happening with recent national news making incidents of cops using excessive force, Mayor de Blasio’s NYPD has been finding the time to unleash  their brand new militaristic droid puppy, Digidog to the streets and in this case, public housing buildings.

And the people that witnessed this here at this Kips Bay NYCHA building reacted with awe and shock. And concerned folks on social media immediately conjured up a legendary episode of Black Mirror featuring a robot canine with extrajudicial homicidal tendencies.

And of course there were the usual exhortations of the NYPD wasting tax dollars on more militarization and surveillance as safety net programs and essential services for the poor continues to get shafted.

Mayor de Blasio, who is basically, no actually the boss of the NYPD, feigned ignorance when he was asked about this dystopian exhibition by his police forces and gave his atypical disingenuous response and let a little sly smug smirk slip in his promise to have a look at the video and get in touch with Commissioner Shea about it.

de Blasio’s incriminates himself here because he had plenty of time to catch this 2 minute video of the still unnamed Digidog trotting into and out of the NYCHA building, about 10 hours worth to be precise, plus the account that showed the video tagged his City Hall account.  And it wasn’t like he wasn’t on the twitter to not see it, because The Blaz (and probably one of his two dozen aides) is always quick to virtue signal something in the hopes of getting news attention.

But let’s not beat around the bush here, because while Commissioner Shea is in charge of running the biggest local police force in the nation and the world, The Blaz, being the notorious micro manager, is still the boss of NYC. It should be no doubt that he permitted the funding to buy this droid and gave the Commish and the Squad commanders the go ahead to use it. And this is the second time the mutt has been used for emergency calls, but the first time that it was actually brought inside a residential building.

When this incident got viral and then local corporate news attention (as well as national), a security consultant praised while feebly defended the NYPD’s handling of the robot and revealed some disturbing capabilities of the Digidog’s functions:

CBS News

Monday afternoon at 344 East 28th Street, cops responded to a man barricaded after a domestic dispute.

Sadly, it’s an all-too-common situation, but it drew attention.

It was one of the first times the public has seen the new NYPD digidog, bristling with cameras and microphones. It’s able to approach danger and feed back live pictures and sound.

This may be why Ms. Auciello tagged the Southern District Court of N.Y. account to see if de Blasio’s NYPD skirted some constitutional violations.

MSA Security consultant Justin Kelley used to command the Connecticut State SWAT team.

“It allows them to really put a plan together, to get eyes in there without putting a human body in there,” he told CBS2’s Tony Aiello. “Really gives you that real-time intel that is so critical to any scene like that.”

He believes technology such as digidog can save lives and money.

There’s gonna be instances where they’re gonna be able to determine that the person’s not in the residence, so a seven-hour standoff might be now 90 minutes. There’s savings there,”‘ he said.

According to this unwarranted surveillance monger, the digimutt will be a real game changer in situations where civilians are in danger and the potential of dangers to cops if the perps they are investigating are armed. Besides you’re not going to know if your 4th amendment constitutional rights are not being violated if the digidog cameras can peek and eavesdrops through your door. And it won’t be a big deal if it’s equipped with facial recognition technology when it stares you down with it’s camera eyes as it trots right by you. 

To quell all this speculation and justified paranoia, de Blasio’s NYPD made sure to stress that the digidog was not used during the investigation of the domestic dispute at the apartment and was only on standby. But why fucking bring it in the first place as well as the overdeployment for one guy who had no reported weapon? The answer might have been to see how it can walk a beat and recognize everything and everyone in it’s path. Like how it exited the NYCHA building and stared at everyone that was gawking at the city’s police surveillance state wonderdog.

This is only the beginning. For all we know, there might be more of these fucking droids coming down the pike thanks to President Biden’s stimulus funding and also with protests that are sure to come up during the summer and de Blasio and Shea would want to get more of these little buggers following demonstrators around and grabbing their features and logistics. It’s uncertain if the NYPD’s Dynomutt is going to do anything about the widespread crime  that is raging from gang warfare and attacks from  mentally ill people prone to violence wandering around on the streets.

Mostly it’s just another annoying distraction from the troubled recovery for all of us here in New York City, albeit one that will probably fundamentally change how we think about our liberties and the safety the NYPD thinks the citizenry should sacrifice them for.

Johnson & Johnson Made A Shit Vaccine

NY Post

Federal health agencies will temporarily stop using Johnson & Johnson’s one-dose vaccine after six women developed blood clots, including one who died, according to officials and a new report Tuesday. 

The Food and Drug Adminstration announced the pause, saying there’ve been a half-dozen reports of a “rare & severe type of blood clot” in patients who received the vaccine. 

The clots were observed along with reduced platelet counts, making the usual treatment for blood clots — the blood thinner heparin — potentially “dangerous.”

“Right now, these adverse events appear to be extremely rare,” the agency tweeted in a joint statement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

Those affected were six women, between the ages of 18 and 48, who developed the clots within about two weeks of vaccination, the New York Times reported.

One died and a second in Nebraska was hospitalized in critical condition.

People who received the J&J vaccine who are experiencing severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain or shortness of breath within three weeks after receiving the jab are advised to contact their health care provider.

The feds hope the pause will serve as a strong signal to states to do the same.

“We are recommending a pause in the use of this vaccine out of an abundance of caution,” the FDA said. “Treatment of this specific type of blood clot is different from the treatment that might typically be administered.”

Isn’t that just fucking dandy. But is it really so stunning on why that so many problems have happened so fast since this vac was rolled out only over a month ago? Although it’s sure seems that way because government officials are trying so desperately to end this pandemic and the new normal lifestyles of masks and distancing we are still living in despite the amount of people inoculated so far. It was sure a feat to be able to convince the general public that a vaccine that was 30% less effective to fight COVID than the Pfizer and Moderna was just as safe, giving the public the impression that the single jab will do the job of the documented superior products that were first fast tracked and rolled out.

Too bad J & J didn’t live up to the hype,as proven in the most recent tale of two inoculations in two towns in Brooklyn. A pretty White lady from upscale Williamsburg managed to get the J&J on the first day it showed up at the Javits Center (even though being 30 years old, she wasn’t eligible yet) and after going upstate and spending some minutes riding an escalator at a Target by Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park, she got the symptoms and got COVID again anyway. A few days later, a 39-year-old man from Bath Beach got COVID positive while working only a few weeks after he got the J & J from a site in East New York and he decided to get it because of the convenience and now regrets not waiting for the Pfizer or Moderna vacs to become available.

And why is that? Because these two people, who at their ages are most susceptible to the variants because of their capability to infect, believed that the best vaccine is not the one that is available, as recommended by NYC’s doctor and health commissioner Dave Chokshi, who himself did not get vaccinated when the first two vaccines were out despite his line of work and how he’s around people working in person indoors and then got infected with COVID. After recovering, he got the J& J.  But what kind of health commissioner gets infected with a disease he’s supposed to advise everyone from avoiding? An idiot that’s what.

But it’s not entirely his fault because he works and is a willful toady for the idiot Mayor Bill de Blasio, who has been wholly dependent on the shitty J & J vaccine for months and has opened up dozens of vac sites in order to fulfill his “recovery for all of us” mission to bring arts and culture back to NYC and for people to get immune to the contagion in that order, notably one site only dedicated to Broadway and a mobile unit to serve off-Broadway entertainment. Even resorting to malfeasance to make the recovery of reality. Knowing the weakness of the JJ vac, it would have been more apt if the inoculations were given in 99 cent stores or Dollar Trees.

And now we got a national quagmire after these shit vaccines gave 6 women blood clots  and killed one of them. Even though medical experts and elected officials are saying that these are rare symptoms after getting the shots, the CDC has ordered to suspend distribution of the JJ vacs indefinitely, which will no doubt discourage people from getting them in the future if they are revived, no matter they say.

Although the consensus opinion and inevitable rejection about the inferior JJ vaccine should have been set in stone after the warehouse were they were being manufactured botched 15 million doses when another brand vaccine got mixed up in the formulating during production. It also was revealed that factory in Baltimore was not even FDA approved for manufacturing and had multiple violations prior to being awarded the contract from Joe Biden’s DPA order, which confirms his initiative and lofty goals to vaccinate the nation in record time has been a failure too.

If there is any profound lesson or anecdote from about JJ’s shitty vaccine, the most insightful take came from Mike Lupica shooting from his lip in his weekly NY Daily News column:

“I keep hearing about the some of the issues with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, and can’t help thinking that Johnson & Johnson run the New York Jets football team…”

That’s right, and the Jets have been one of the worst teams of the past decade too since they took bought it from the Hess oil company. But at least improving a football team with an energetic new coach and high draft pick quarterback doesn’t take much science to do it. But a Big Pharma company like them should have came out with a more efficacious vaccines than the shit one they put out and will now be thrown in the garbage. And with this disaster, the freedom from masks and normalcy’s return will still be out of reach, leaving this nation’s health and future in more doubt as a two year old still continues it’s omniscient dominance over society.

This really should have been expected. But in retrospect, this vaccine should have never been approved at all.

MTA Survey Confirms Commuters Fears Of Daily Subway Crime And Violence, de Blasio Calls It Fear Mongering Lies

NY Daily News

Fear of crime and harassment in New York City subways is keeping many New Yorkers out of the system even as COVID-19 restrictions start to loosen, according to a survey released Monday by the MTA.

Roughly 36% of straphangers who relied on the subway before the pandemic said they “are not using transit because of crime and harassment,” said the survey, which drew on answers from roughly 33,000 riders between March 15 to March 28.

Subway turnstiles clocked 2 million trips on Thursday for the first time since March 16, 2020, when schools, restaurants and other entertainment venues across the five boroughs began to close as the city became the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak.

Ridership remains about 65% lower than the 5.6 million subway trips recorded each day before the pandemic as unemployment in the city remains high and most offices remain closed.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s new survey says 73% of riders who haven’t returned are “very concerned about crime and harassment” on transit, while 76% also cited “health safety” on the subway as a major fear.

“We know that if our riders feel safe from crime and safe from COVID, they will come back to transit and back to the city,” said MTA spokeswoman Abbey Collins. “We are throwing every resource at continually tackling these issues to keep breaking ridership milestones day after day as New York reopens.”

NY Post

Mayor Bill de Blasio took a shot at the MTA Tuesday, claiming the agency is “discouraging” ridership after its release of a survey highlighting commuter safety concerns.

Hizzoner vented his frustration with the agency during a subway ride with reporters in Upper Manhattan, insisting the mode of transportation is safe, citing the recent addition of 644 cops to its patrols.

“Look, the MTA should be telling people it’s right to come back, not discouraging them. Because regular everyday New Yorkers know that the subways are safe,” de Blasio said.

“I’d urge the MTA to work with us — not put down their own subways, but actually promote their own subways,” he railed.

According to a March survey from the transit agency, 72 percent of over 25,000 active subway and bus riders said they were “very concerned” over crime and harassment during the commute.

The survey showed just 26 percent were “satisfied” with “safety from crime and harassment on trains” — a 15.1 percent dip from September.

Interim Transit President Sarah Feinberg used survey’s findings to reiterate her call for a beefed up NYPD presence in the transit system.

But de Blasio on Tuesday argued there are already enough cops patrolling the subways.

“There’s no question,” the mayor responded when asked if 644 additional officers is enough. “It’s a huge show of force.”

Rather than expose its perceived shortfalls, de Blasio said the MTA should celebrate its successes.

“They need to talk about what’s working — because the subways are cleaner than they’ve ever been. That’s great! That’s a good thing,” he said.

Sage advice from The Blaz again, it’s better to reinforce optics than to acknowledge problems and try to fix them. Just like with his continuing demented response to the pandemic, he has no concern for the safety of his constituents.

What a  bastard.

Mayor de Blasio’s Fear And Loathing Of The Public Record

Journalists and citizens, this is what The Blaz thinks about you

Park Row, Downtown, Blue Room, City Hall, New York City, New York

Good day everyone on the call.

Not long ago, the NYC Council cronies ratified a bill into law that revoked the NYPD from issuing press credentials to journalists, a truly historically groundbreaking paradigm shift in city policy of what was a standard procedure for approving access to events, briefings and police crime scenes for decades. This came about after the NYPD basically sabotaged themselves last summer and in the following months when reporters became collateral damage as they got caught up in the throes of the NYPD’s overtly aggressive militaristic tactics battling and kettling protesters during last summer’s George Floyd protests and various BLM demonstrations and rallies that followed that have occurred in later months. Thanks to the menacing optics of a police state in NYC, it actually justified the necessity of this bill.

So now in a year’s time, the issuing of press passes will be approved by the officials inside the Mayor’s Office of Film And Television Movies And Entertainment. While it sounds progressive and better than having a law enforcement agency determining the qualifications of a news source and who they assign, in essence the determination of who is a journalist or not will be  mostly under the purview of the Mayor of New York City.

Why this is being brought up now is to illustrate what an actual danger this will be considering who is mayor as well as who the next mayor will be. And in the last week since this transfer of press duties was ratified, Mayor de Blasio is setting up a very dangerous precedent with his office’s recent actions regarding his daily briefings. Actually it even started days when the press cred bill was being written up.

Back in January, de Blasio put out a 25 minute b-roll video and passed it out as his State of the City address. Entitled “A Recovery For All Of Us”, the overarching theme of the video was about how the city will make a gloriously historic comeback from the pandemic, optically highlighting programs and policies that will be dispensed equitably that will return the city to normalcy (or at least a semblance of it). In the last 3 months since his office produced that feature, The Blaz has with persistent repetition brought up his “recovery for all of us” during his briefings, aligning his brand title with his self-proclaimed gold standard re-opening of schools and revival of city culture with the widening spread of vaccine distribution.

But The Blaz’s recovery, well the “recovery for all of us”, has hit some snags. The vaccine distribution has been not been as equitably distributed, as higher income neighborhoods have received the vaccine than lower income areas and the school re-openings have resembled more of a brown standard than gold according to frustrated parents and students. Then there was the sudden vanishing of the COVID case data map for three days after it revealed about 30 zip codes with over 15% of the population with positive cases, which revealed that even with hundreds of thousands of citizens inoculated, the contagion was still prevalent and persistent.

As for the contagion, COVID-19 as evolved to four different variants, including a New York strain for fuck’s sake. But it’s the UK strain that’s been the most stubborn as cases continue to plateau again in the five boroughs despite the prevalence of vaccines. What’s disturbing about these variants is how they mostly effect younger people.

About those vaccines, there’s been a little hitch there too, especially with Johnson and Johnson brands. If there wasn’t a problem with them being 30% less effective than the Moderna and Pfizer vacs, the Big Pharma corporation recently had to trash 15 million vaccines because they got mixed up with another brand at the warehouse building where both were being manufactured. It should be noted that the warehouse wasn’t even approved by the FDA.

The FUGAZIed vaccines presents a major quagmire for The Blaz, because he has been utterly dependent on these vacs for the recovery for all of us in New York City. And he was surely hedging his bets for them to correlate nicely with his recent decision to bring all his city employees working remotely from of their $2,500 studio apartments and back to the city offices in the merry month of May even though commercial office buildings still have to follow pandemic guidelines and keep staff levels low.

Somehow, having all city employees back in municipal buildings is tied to de Blasio’s recovery, along with his mission to revive NYC culture by having entertainment spring up on the streets and to open up Broadway by prioritizing vaccine access to theater workers and entertainers with mobile sites.

The Blaz has to explain how all this is going to work and because of his notorious proclivity for being secretive and unaccountable when it comes to his policies and decisions. When he does his weekday media availability (even that sounds Orwellian), it airs on the city’s station on Channel 25 and streams live on the Mayor’s Office youtube channel. Then the Mayor’s Office uploads the entire video to their channel not long after it’s done before noon. But on three recent uploads, de Blasio’s and even his crack quack health commission squad of Dr. Chokshi, Dr. Varma and Dr. Katz responses to questions regarding recovery and COVID cases were suddenly memory holed.

Fortunately, the Mayor’s Office website has the entire transcript of his daily briefings, which makes the butchering of these videos a fool’s errand (especially when the one giving the orders is a fool), but not necessarily moot because the video medium is still the one people go to and is easily available, so it makes sense from the standpoint of a scoundrel looking to cover his ass even though it won’t stop anyone from releasing his words in full. Like on this blog here.

All the statements and misinformation that the Blaz found too incriminating, contradictory, and/or stupid will be hyperlinked and written in bold type.

March 23rd

When Andrea Grymes of CBS New York asked him a basic question about his decision to bring his entire administration back to the office, de Blasio’s response was immediately abrupted and then it suddenly went to a zoom vid response from Health and Hospitals commissioner Dr. Mitchell Katz talking about vacs and then Dr. Chokshi telling us to wash our hands and distance for the millionth time.

Mayor: Great. Thank you. Go ahead, Andrea.  

Question: Thank you. And my other question, I know you’ve advocated for a slower reopening in certain sectors in the state, I’m curious why now you feel like it’s good to bring the office workers back, May 3rd, why now?  

Mayor: Different realities that I think need to be handled different. It’s a great question, Andrea. I – look, I believe we have proven, for example, with our schools we have the gold standard of health and safety, and now we have the CDC saying even further we can bring back more kids to our schools. And in fact, what our health care leaders always say, that’s in the interest of health of our children and our families, mental health, physical health, to get them back in school. I think with our public workforce, we need them to come back to their offices. We’ll make more impact that way. We’ll serve more people that way. I think they’ll send a powerful message to the city about our comeback as well, but there are some areas that need to be handled differently. Obviously, our health care team vehemently disagreed with the Governor and the State of New York on reopening fitness classes, which are very different than schools, very different than offices. Why? Because people are in the middle of exertion, physical exertion, they’re expending a lot of a breath. They’re not, in some cases going to be wearing masks, we all know that, or they’re going to have masks that have gotten wet and are not effective. They’re in small, enclosed spaces, that did not make sense, and I hope that we’ll be reconsidered. Equally, I’ve said the other day, we’ve gone far enough on indoor dining. Thank God, you know, one thing I’m very proud of, we have outdoor dining for every restaurant that wants to take advantage of it. We’re – there’s takeout and delivery and restaurants up to 50 percent. That’s enough to keep everyone safe. Again, a setting where people take off their mask because they’re eating and drinking, special limits and carrier needs to be taken there, while we see what happens with the next weeks as we deal with some outstanding questions like the variants. So, it really depends on the specific activity and how you can apply the health and safety measures to it. That’s my quick overview. I just want to see if Dr. Chokshi wants to add anything?  

Commissioner Dave Chokshi, Department of Health and Mental Hygiene: Sir, nothing to add to what you’ve said.   

Mayor: Okay, great. Thank you. Go ahead.  

The only time the Blaz actually answered Ms. Grymes question about lifting restrictions for city office workers during his blathering talking point dominated response was a bunch of distinguished theories about exerted breath emissions in gyms and restaurants which was as ludicrous and dangerous as his imbecilic theory that the virus spreads more in upstate New York than in Manhattan as the pandemic was starting a year ago. Dr. Chokshi, who has been quite a reliable patsy defender for Hizzoner’s pandemic decisions, wisely decided to not to legitimize the Blaz’s epidemiological brain farts. Chokshi will need a new job once the Blaz is gone on Jan. 1.

Not only did de Blasio keep Grymes question off the video record, but his aides also deleted questions from three other reporters and 7 other de Blasio responses, including responses from Dr. Varma and Dr. Chokshi. At least 20 minutes of public information regarding the pandemic and the Mayor’s recovery plan were redacted. Starting with Micheal Gartland, City Hall reporter of the NY Daily News, who inquired about the Mayor’s brand new Racial Justice Commission. It should be pointed out here that the majority of questions here focus on this addition to the already oversaturated bureaucracy that’s in de Blasio’s administration.

Moderator: Next up is Michael from the Daily News.   

Question: Good morning, Mr. Mayor.  

Mayor: Hey Michael, how are you, been?   

Question: I’m good. Thanks for getting me in with the questions this morning. I wanted to ask you a question about the commission, and this is where you and Jennifer Jones Austin. Jennifer talked about the need to dismantle systems that enable racism. So, my question is, you know, in city government, what are the systems that enable racism? What do we need to dismantle here and how do we go doing that?  

Mayor: Well, you’re asking the giant question, Michael, that in fact is the reason we need this commission. I’ll turn to Jennifer for her views, but I’ll just start by saying this is historic work, historic because it’s never been attempted anywhere in the country on this scale before, but historic also because it requires looking at the big picture in a way that we just don’t do in the day-to-day work of government. A piece of this equation you saw recently in the work that Jennifer and her colleagues did working with the NYPD, a very important beginning, and I commend Commissioner Dermot Shea, who, you know, and his speech at the greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce issued a formal apology for the institutional racism that had existed in the NYPD and still needs to be weeded out, and obviously, in the letter that he wrote accompanying the second reform report. This is something that you’ve never seen before from a police commissioner. I think it was a very important contribution that was accompanied by a whole host of tangible reforms to address issues, not just structural racism, but a host of issues. I think that is an indicator of the shape of things to come. The commission’s going to look at everything. So, I said, every city agency, the work of the city, the City Charter itself, but they’re also going to invite in the private sector, cultural sector, the academic sector, that they can participate and step forward with their own acknowledgements and their own action plans and work with the commission on that, which I think is another really exciting part of this work. So, I think, you know, hugely important mission that this commission will now shape together and then bring to the people of this city. Jennifer, you want to add?  

Chair Austin: Yes, I very much appreciate the question and I very much appreciate your response Mayor. You know, we, we don’t yet know all that we need to know, but what we do know is that in this nation, time and time again there have been laws, there have been policies, practices that have been designed and implemented. And while, sometimes at face may not seem to be racist or discriminatory in nature, the impact is all – points to racism at every turn. And so, what we’re going to be doing is looking at our laws, our policies, our practices, the systems that hold these laws, policies, and practices up and trying to really get at what is, you know, is it the design that is problematic? Is it the law in itself? How do we need to message it or do things differently so that the outcomes, the impact that results, is not disparate, is not discriminatory? Much work to be done, but we have enough evidence in places and spaces here in New York City and around the nation that tells us this is the work we need to do.  

Mayor: Thank you. Go ahead, Michael.  

Question: That, and I have a question on the May 3rd reopening. You know, I understand that the commission is tasked with kind of identifying these things, but you know, these systems, I mean, it seems like you do have some sense of what they are, and I’m wondering if, you know, is there a reluctance to kind of talk about them on the front end to get more information or can you just kind of share some sense of where you think you’ll be focused on, you know, their particular laws or policies in general you know, that you’re looking at kind of taking on, and then I have another. 

Mayor: Yeah, no, Michael, this, respectfully, is your second question, so, let’s stay there, and we can, you know, the team will follow up with you on other matters. The – look, here’s what I’d say, if you look across city agencies, you will see issues have been raised by leaders, by community members for a long time. We all know a lot of work went into changing the composition of the Fire Department. That work needs to deepen. We all know there’ve been real issues with the Department of Education, ensuring diversity at all ranks of the department, looking at the curriculum. Even something you might not think about at first blush, but it’s been in the news a lot lately. How we go about preserving the city’s history, the work of our Landmarks Preservation Commission, but ensuring it is focused on everyone’s history, you know, the folks who built this city, the communities of color that often were left out of previous official histories. It really is across all areas. So, there’s not, again, there’s not a litmus test. There’s not a preexisting mandate to act on this specific issue. This commission has got a lot to do, but its job is to look across the whole city government to look at the very foundational document of the city, which is our charter. But again, also to invite in non-city actors to join in this effort and to work on their own issues with us as well, and I think a lot of people are going to want to be a part of this, Michael, I think this is historic. It’s the right moment in history where people need to come to grips with this, and this is going to be the vehicle to do it. Jennifer, would you like to add? 

Chair Austin: I will simply add that we’re moving into this and we’re doing this work because we know as you just pointed to that, there are examples that can be done here and there that have devastated communities, individuals, families, and so we have enough of what we’ve experienced to help us appreciate the importance of leaning in, but there is no, there’s no report that’s yet been written that is not yet being surfaced. That’s not what we’re doing here, and we are going to remain as open as we possibly can so that we don’t miss critical issues.  

Apparently, going by these opaque responses, this racial justice commission has no plan and no indications of how to determine what’s can be construed as racist. But plenty of answers on how the implementation of this plan is so historic.

If there is an indication of why the Blaz and Ms. Austin thinks the city needs this commission now and will be able to crack down on internecine racism in civic and government services, it’s obviously tied to the Blaz’s order to lift COVID restrictions and fill up municipal office space again, as if this racial justice commission can’t stop racism on zoom for a few more months.

Now back into the memory hole as he fields then will later vanish questions from Steve Burns from WCBS880 who brings up the Blaz’s contradictory and health risky May reopening and the extremely belated arrival of the racial justice commission.

Mayor: Go ahead.  

Moderator: We have time for two more. First, we’ll go to Steve from WCBS Radio. 

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

Mayor: Good, Steve, how you been?  

Question: I’m alright. First on the return to work here. I take it, there’s some amount of signaling and messaging here as well to New York’s larger business community that it would be okay to bring their workers back as well, that the city is doing it. How amenable or flexible do you think they’ll be, given we just saw the Partnership for New York City survey saying half of workers still won’t be back by September, still going to be a lot of hybrid working, if you will, going forward. How flexible do you think, and do you hope, New York’s broader workforce will be based on what the city is doing here?  

Mayor: It’s a great question, Steve, first of all, I mean, we saw in the news earlier today about Morgan Stanley bringing back a lot of its workforce. You’re seeing more and more of these announcements. I think we should separate the question of, you know, blending and hybrid of in-office and remote work. I think you are going to see every company approach that differently, how much they need their folks full-time in the office, part-time in the office, some days, other days, you know, that every different company is going to work out. Let’s put that question aside. I think the question I would focus on that you raise is, are folks ready to start bringing back the workforce in whatever way makes sense, as quickly as possible? I certainly want to encourage that. We’re going to have five million people vaccinated by June. I think for a lot of companies they’ll make that decision to act in the next few months. I think a lot of other companies are going to wait until September as the natural inflection point with schools coming back fully, et cetera. But what we do see is this issue is now on the front burner, Steve. Companies are now seeing it’s time to come back. It’s time to recognize that there’s progress happening, and it’s going to help companies to do their work, and it’s going to help surrounding communities to have those workers back and it’s going to help small businesses. So, I think you’re going to see a lot more of that in the coming next few months. Go ahead, Steve. 

Question: Thanks for that. On the Racial Justice Commission here. This is a concept that I remember you raised almost a year ago now during the protests, and now that it’s coming to fruition here, you know, nine months later. So, the process means it’ll fall to the next mayor to implement this and inherit this. Is there a reason why there was such a delay here to make this so that it falls to the next mayor to really see the results here? 

Mayor: I don’t – I appreciate the question, but I wouldn’t agree with the way of framing it. So, this Commission, we’re going to set it up, that they can continue their work through this year and if they choose to into next year, and I think whoever the next mayor is, is going to value this work, and certainly look at these extraordinary leaders who are part of this Commission. But the Commission plans on by the end of the year, doing a report, and at that point, determining what steps they’re recommending initially. They, again, can easily continue that work. There’s a lot to do here that could play out over multiple years, but they will have a body of work this year and the ability to send items to the ballot. So, I have no question in my mind, you’re going to see a lot of high-impact work, and then I would advise in advance, since we don’t know who the next mayor is going to be, I would advise them to take this model and keep running with it because this is work that we need to do until the mission is done, and I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s worth putting several years of effort in to. 

It has been suspected for quite some time that Mayor Big Slow is just biding his time until his term is up and also that his programs were designed for the next mayor to take over (like his affordable housing ruse program) and it’s clear that this was the plan for this commission too, which seems like another ruse and an excuse for de Blasio to have allies in house when the new mayor is elected. (Unless that mayor is a Republican).

The whole thing, for lack of a better term, looks like a shit sandwich and smells like it. And it sure sounds like Henry Goldman of Bloomberg News caught a whiff of the stench too in his last questions that were annihilated from the public record

Moderator: Last, we’ll go to Henry from Bloomberg.  

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

Mayor: Hey, Henry, how you been?  

Question: I’m good. I guess my question is very similar to the last question. But I would also frame it differently than either one of you, which is –  

Mayor: Yeah, Henry, that is you being yourself right there. (Such a snotty, classless dig)

Question: I guess so. In 2013, you ran this campaign that was on this whole insight that economic inequality is one of the central issues with not the issue of our time, and now it’s 2021, and we’re getting a commission to identify the areas in which economic and racial inequality has kept society’s foot on the neck of people of races other than white races. So, I’m just wondering, given the fact that this was central to your reason for running for office, why are we getting this commission at this late date? 

Mayor: Henry, you know, we, here’s, here’s the summation of how I’ve followed through on the vision of attacking the tale of two cities. We have redistributed now tens of billions of dollars to working people and communities of color. We fundamentally changed education with Pre-K for all, and now 3-K. Fundamentally changed the approach to affordable housing. You go down the list of things, obviously the police reforms, you know, that work followed through on the initial vision that I brought to office, but what has happened in the meantime is a deeper understanding of the fact that institutional and structural racism require not just a set of policy changes or not even individual and profound acts of redistribution, but the entire structure now has to be questioned, and as I said, right down to each agency in the city government, each major institution of our society, and the city charter and the city’s laws itself – this is a deepening of the original mission, and as we’ve done this work, I think I’ve certainly been satisfied, the impact of each major policy change that really is reaching, you know, hundreds of thousands or millions of people. But I also become more and more convinced that we have to look at the entire structure and identify even more profound changes. So, I think this commission will do it. It’s obviously the first in the nation. I think it will be a model for other places in the country, and I also think it’ll be really tough work because it’s never been done before, but I have faith that this group of people will find a way forward for us. Go ahead, Henry. 

Chair Austin: May I just add one thing to that. 

Mayor: No, please. I’m sorry, Jennifer. My apologies. 

Chair Austin: I just want to add that, I mean, we all know, we all are appreciating more and more that structural and institutional racism in this country has been in, has been in place and has been built upon now for better than 400 years. To even begin to suggest that in seven years we would dismantle it in its entirety – you know, we can’t get into that. We can’t get into that. We need to center on what needs to be done in this moment to deepen our work, to look at these structural barriers, that even when we put new policies and initiatives in place will not get us where we ultimately need to be, and so this needs to be a time where we are building on the significant work that has been done and not getting too much into well did we not do enough, or did we not do the right thing? 

This Miss Austin is quite a character. She’s seems more adept at running protection for the mayor, herself and this commission they concocted at the last minute than solving racial justice. But what’s interesting is how she weasels an excuse about how you can’t solve 400 years of racism in 7 years, but apparently it’s possible in 7 months and change. And in the hopes of another 4 years if the mayor they want to win emerges victorious.

Mayor: Thank you. Go ahead, Henry. 

Question: Okay, I mean, I don’t want it to really be literate, but a few years ago I was, you know, in front of the Justice Department and the demonstration, and 98 percent of the people who surrounded me weren’t aware that it was structural racism that was causing a lot of this country’s problems and inability to confront things. Maybe it was 97 percent, I don’t know.  (Shaaaaade)

But here here’s my second question. It has to do with the stubbornness again of these positivity rates and infection rates, and it seems out of whack with this sense of optimism and reopening. We had Scott Gottlieb pointing out that there are all these ZIP codes with over 15 percent positivity in New York City. I counted 30 with 10 percent or more or rounding off 10 percent or more. So, given this state of affairs and the fact that the data is still coming in slow, we’re three days behind instead of two, why isn’t there a greater sense of concern and worry that the infection rates are not coming down as sharply as you would think they should be? 

Mayor: It’s a – I know your questions with a full heart Henry, but I do think there’s an editorial component. There’s plenty of concern, plenty of vigilance, and I don’t know anyone who worries more all day long than our health care team. I’m going to turn to them, I’ll turn to in order and in just a second, Dr. Varma, Dr. Katz, Dr. Chokshi, but I want you to hear from them the way they’re seeing the current situation. We are watching all that data all the time, and we’re listening to different voices. Although, as you know, Henry, there’s different voices in the medical field and in academia that have different views and you take each one in, but you can’t treat anyone as gospel. I think that the three health care leaders that you hear every day from this gathering have led us through this war with extreme ability, and I really appreciate all their efforts and I would summarize it this way: everyone’s watching the data constantly. There’s a strong sense of vigilance. There’s real concern about the variants, but we do see progress unquestionably, and we also are watching the steady pace of vaccination. We know it’s about to uptick intensely and we believe that’s the most critical factor. So, we’re making decisions about what can be moved with all that in mind, but we’re also saying some areas where we don’t think there should be changes or needs to be a different approach. So, it’s really, I think pretty fine-tuned, but let me do in order. Dr. Varma, then Dr. Katz, then Dr. Chokshi on each have their own view of the state of play. Go ahead, Dr. Varma.  

Senior Advisor Dr. Jay Varma: Yeah, thank you very much for the question Henry and I think I would just really try to emphasize, I mean, we speak on these press conferences every day, and if there is a one thing that we are absolutely consistent in, is that we are deeply concerned about the fact that the rates of infection have not declined as dramatically as they should be. It’s the reason we raise caution about people participating in indoor activities, it’s the reason we released, you know, a very extensive guidance on how to die in safely for people that choose indoor dining, and the reason we keep emphasizing how important it is for people to be observing the importance of masks, distancing, hand-washing and frequent testing, and then of course, getting vaccinated as soon as possible.  

Now, that is absolutely what we’re concerned about right now, and we think that there’s a real critical importance for people to maintain that vigilance over the next several weeks and possibly a bit longer. At the same time, we also know the effectiveness of these vaccines. We know the effectiveness from clinical trials. We know the effective this from real world lived experience looking at the UK, looking at Israel, looking at other selected datasets where individual populations have been vaccinated. So, we also know that even though we need to be incredibly persistent right now, there is promise on the horizon, and so it certainly does make sense to plan for a future that will be better while at the same time also recognizing that you need a plan B – if things don’t go the way you want, you need to redirect, and so that’s the way we’re looking at it right now, and I just really do want to emphasize that we want people to get the message that now is not the time to let up. But there will be a time, some point in the future and we have a pathway to get there. 

Mayor: Thank you, go ahead, Dr. Katz.  

President and CEO Mitchell Katz, NYC Health + Hospitals: Yeah. Dr. Varma has done such a great job. I don’t have a lot to add other than to say that there’s been unanimity among your health experts. We talk to each other every day, we support each other. We believe in the work we’re doing together. I’m very pleased to see decreases in the number of deaths and decreases in the number of patients who are seriously ill and require ventilation, and I believe that is because of the success of the vaccines. I believe that once we’re able to vaccinate the entire population you’ll see that the cases themselves begin to decrease more dramatically, but as a physician, of course, the thing I’m most worried about is losing life or people having prolonged hospitalization, and I’m glad that the vaccines are so effective at preventing that, even when there are variants the vaccines still are effective at decreasing the severity of this disease. Thank you, Mr. Mayor.  

Mayor: Thank you, and now, Dr. Chokshi.  

Commissioner Chokshi: Yes, thank you, and thanks for the question Henry which I appreciate you know, what I would just add is that this is not something inexorable that is happening to us. This is something that we as New York City have a lot of agency with respect to how we can continue the fight against COVID-19. All of the things that you’ve heard us say that we know works with respect to beating back the virus masking distancing, handwashing, getting tested, getting vaccinated when it’s your turn. Those are the things that will help us in what is ultimately, you know, a tug of war between nature and New Yorkers, and in that match, I’m going to bet on New Yorkers because we’ve shown that we can do the things that do work with respect to curbing the spread of COVID-19. Now is the time for us to recommit to do that, to hold on so that we can make that the homestretch of what has been a marathon for the city. 

Mayor: The very quotable Dr. Dave Chokshi – tug of war between nature and New Yorkers, we’re betting on New Yorkers. Thank you, I agree, Dr. Chokshi, and look, as we conclude today, everyone – I’m betting on New Yorkers too. I’m betting on New Yorkers all the time, and that is a bet that we win regularly

Evidently, the Blaz and his media minions in the Mayor’s Office didn’t find Dr. Varma’s and half of Dr. Katz’s responses about the rise in variants and hospitalizations worth quoting for video viewing. Nor Hizzoner’s talking point gaslighting in this clip. Dr. Varma clearly points out the still prevalent risks of having normal capacity in the workplace and other indoor venues and clustering with the pandemic’s resurgence which de Blasio’s May order for his administration coming back to offices clearly, irresponsibly and hazardously conflicts with. The fact that de Blasio is willing to undermine his own doctors advice by cutting them out of the conversation on the city’s youtube channel is about as dangerous as Trump telling people to stick a syringe of bleach into your lungs.

And just like how a serial killer can’t stop after he/she kills one person, de Blasio and his minions continued to strike reporters questions and the mayor’s incriminating moron responses and gaslighting about the pandemic off the video record.  And the Blaz does it again to Henry Goldman question about the city’s case data and to Dr. Varma, his senior health advisor of the COVID response and recovery and as well as to the other poor saps of his health commission, striking their responses from the public record with bolts of narrative control lightning.

March 30

Moderator: Next is Henry from Bloomberg. 

Question: Hello, Mr. Mayor, how are you doing today? 

Mayor: I am doing well, Henry. How’ve you been? 

Question: I am good. Baseball season is just days away. 

Mayor: Days away. It’s palpable. It’s in the air, Henry. 

Question: The Red Sox first loss of the season just days away. (Lolz)

Mayor: Ouch, Henry. That’s awfully personal, Henry. Let’s just be a – what’s the word I’m looking for – a good loser, a good winner, not a sore winner, whatever it is. 

Question: All right. Well, my first question is really, you know, these numbers are very stubborn on infection rates, positivity. I’ve asked this question a million times and others have too, but has the City’s priorities shifted toward really caring about hospitalization and death rather than looking at the numbers of cases and the positivity rate? Are those indicators really kind of falling by the wayside, as vaccinations increase? What is the reality here? 

Mayor: It’s a great question. You know, you have raised it and I think I felt like we spoke to this over time, but it’s good to come back to it. I think there was a, and I’ll turn to Dr. Varma and Dr. Chokshi, and I also will get Dr. Long in this because of the experience that we’re seeing in Health + Hospitals, which is really, really important to your question.  

Henry, simply put, job one has been to save lives, from the very beginning. We knew in the beginning what we didn’t know, right? COVID was so new, the approaches in the hospitals just weren’t ready and the immense stress on the hospital system, and, and we were trying with everything we could to just keep the hospital system able to tend to people and save lives. But when we got a year later to the point where the hospitals, the medical world had really learned a lot more about how to address COVID, we saw a very different reality. We saw people go into the hospital and come out alive much more often, thank God, and we did see the number of deaths go down and we saw very, very different reality, and that’s the most important thing, is saving lives. We take seriously the case numbers, for sure. We want to drive them down, and the best tool to drive him down is vaccination, and then the next best thing is all the following all the guidance that that health team has given. That still is overwhelmingly what New Yorkers are doing. So, I think we take both seriously, but undoubtedly, we start with, you know, saving lives and avoiding the kinds of hospitalizations that mean someone’s going through a really, really tough time. So, Dr. Varma, Dr. Chokshi, Dr. Long, just let’s do lightning round, but give your quick responses. 

Senior Advisor Varma: Yeah, I mean, this is obviously – it’s a very hard and difficult topic to discuss, but let me just say a few really quick points. One is, you know, Henry, as you know, none of these indicators is absolutely perfect and that’s why we have always emphasized the importance of looking at all of them together, and as you note, this is –we are at a very high plateau that we want to get down from, and there are ways to get down from that, (ZAP!!!) and one is to make sure that people continue to do all of those personal measures that are important. Number two, they get vaccinated when it’s their turn, and number three, they continue to get tested and to observe you know, the precautions, if they do take risks or, you know, enter into the situation where they’re traveling or something to continue to emphasize those precautions, particularly in those higher risk scenarios.  

I think the second point is that, you know, one of the most effective ways that we can prevent death is through vaccination. I think what has really been consistent throughout all of the different vaccines has been the remarkable impact that they have on hospitalizations and deaths. So, we absolutely to continue to prevent infection through all the methods that we know, but we also know that the vaccines are going to be very effective at that more severe outcome. 

Mayor: Thank you. Dr. Chokshi. 

Commissioner Chokshi: Thank you, Mr. Mayor. I’ll just add briefly you know, as the Mayor said, our job at the end of the day is to save lives and prevent suffering, and that’s why we do look at hospitalizations and deaths so closely and carefully and deploy all of the strategies that Dr. Varma mentioned to try to prevent those numbers from rising, and you know, we see the numbers every morning. We think about them not just as epidemiologists or, you know, from the mathematical perspective, but the very human suffering that is behind each of the 2,600 people who are hospitalized across New York City as of today. But that leads to the other part of your question, which is we do look at cases and test positivity because those are also related to avoidable suffering that we are trying to prevent. Cases and test positivity in particular, are often the leading indicator, meaning we have a beat on what’s happening sooner when we see the trajectory of those numbers. So, we look at all of them together but they inform, at the end of the day, the strategy that we have to try to avoid those outcomes that we take so seriously. 

Mayor: Thank you, and Dr. Long, you can speak for what’s happening in the hospitals directly. 

Executive Director Ted Long, NYC Test & Trace Corps: Yeah, thank you, sir. So, Henry going back to the last March and April, I was on the front lines of our hospitals where we quadrupled the size of our ICU’s. We cannot go back to that. So, what we’ve done here, with respect to the second wave in the city, is we’ve sought to delay and diminish the number of cases that we’re seeing here in the second wave, if you will, and that’s resulted in us being able to save lives, but also importantly, to Dr. Chokshi’s point, keeping our hospitals going so they can continue to provide the excellent care that we know that they can. Through our second wave, we actually have had in New York City, one third fewer per capita that’s of New Yorkers think compared to the rest of the country, and that’s because again, New Yorkers came together, wore their masks. 96 percent of the time we’re reaching every single new case from a contact-tracing perspective. 
Now we’re doing more testing than almost any other country in the world. Those things came together to delay the onset of our second wave, diminish its peak, and that resulted in saving lives, and in particular, by keeping our hospitals going. You walk into the door of any of our hospitals now at Health + Hospitals, it looks different than it did last March and April. And it will continue to look different because of what New Yorkers do and are willing to sacrifice every day. Now, on a note of cases, I just want to make the point that it’s not an issue of whether cases are more important than hospitalizations and deaths, but rather it’s Dr. Chokshi’s point, they serve a different purpose. Where we see cases going up, that enables us to strategically deploy our resources. We see cases going up, testing going down in the community. I, and Test and Trace, have 40 mobile units, all of which have rapid testing capabilities. 20, soon to be 40 mobile units, with vaccines. We can deploy our resources where we need to, and that also helps us to break chains of transmission and save lives. Thank you.  

Mayor: Thank you, Ted. Go ahead, Henry. 

Question: Okay, thanks. Here’s a question that is kind of weird. It’s – Mr. Yang took a shot at you yesterday, not a vaccine shot, but kind of, he threw some shade on your administration. And in the course of enunciating one of a bunch of policies in which he seems to be sort of either uninformed or off, just not factually correct. For example, he wants you to declare a subway fare holiday which would mean taking money out of the City treasury to pay people, literally, to take the subway, which as we all know, is a State-run facility. He’s also asked you, or demanded really, that you not spend all of the federal relief money in one year when we know that it’s going to be dispersed at least over two years. He’s also called the City’s reserves, a rainy day fund [inaudible] that the State law prohibits the City from establishing a rainy day fund, and he’s called on you to tax Columbia and NYU, they can pay property taxes, and we know that that would require a State action to do that. And so, my question to you is, you know, obviously, you know, the whole history of the City is that incumbent mayors don’t get involved in the politicking for the person who’s going to succeed him or her. But he also has called for spending a billion dollars out of the City treasury on 500,000 people who would receive basically $167 a month. So, in giving all of these policies that really either run a [inaudible] of what you’ve done or are really impossible under State law, do you feel an obligation as the incumbent, as the mayor, as somebody who has spent the last seven plus years dealing with these issues to somehow set the record straight and inform the front runner, or at least the population of New York City, that these ideas would take a heck of a lot of work to implement if not being impossible? 

Mayor: I appreciate the question. I certainly would just say to everyone, we for years worked very hard to shed light on the fact that the State runs the MTA. I just want to pull out that one piece. I think it’s really important. Early on in my administration, I would go to town hall meetings and there was obviously – people would raise concerns about the subway, and I would ask them, you know, who runs the subways and there’ll be a lot of confusion. You know, Henry, the MTA was set up purposefully decades ago in part to create that confusion purposefully, to keep accountability from residing in any elected official. Well, obviously over the years, the State became the one place where decisions were made about the MTA controlling the leadership, controlling the budget. And I think we did a good thing in these last years by clarifying that, really creating accountability. 

Typical of the disingenuous Mayor to call for lightning round answers from three doctors responsible for the health and safety for all citizens regarding the steady rise in COVID cases and then strike them down with narrative control bolts like Zeus with a thin skin. Funny thing, is that they didn’t answer Mr. Goldman’s question either and responded with a bunch of obvious takes not much different than de Blasio’s.

Also notable and truly sad is how the Blaz’s media minions wiped out Henry’s question and de Blasio’s wishy washy answer about Andrew Yang’s platform proposals in an attempt to make the dilettante neoliberal candidate and his ideas not only irrelevant but non-existent.

Now here’s where de Blasio’s video redactions start to resemble a serial killer’s pattern, as another media availability upload a week later had minutes erased. And whether it’s coincidental or even personal considering the dig against the Red Sox, the mark getting suppressed again is Henry Goldberg.

April 6

Question: Thank you. Another question, Mr. Mayor, was about the Cleaning Corps. you just announced. I’m wondering, does this differ at all from what the city does, for example, during snow days and hiring workers? is this like a temporary sort of job? I’ve heard some concerns expressed about hiring during the pandemic and whether that is the best use of the stimulus money. So, are these going to be long-term hires or are they temporary hires? Could you give a little more details about the status of these folks –  

Mayor: Yeah, Jeff, these – it’s different than what we do on, you know, that very, very temporary basis. This is for the remainder of the year and we’ll assess obviously toward the end of the year, but the goal is for the year 2021 to maximize the cleanup really, you know, roll out the red carpet all over this city that the city’s coming back. We definitely saw more littering on sidewalks, you know, during the pandemic, we got to clean that up. We saw some more graffiti, we got to clean that up. We got to get to where we were before the pandemic and even better to really foster a recovery for all of us. So, the goal here is hire as many people as possible, as quickly as possible for employment in 2021 and only 2021, and then as we get to later in the year, we’ll assess what makes sense to do going forward.  

Moderator: The next is Henry from Bloomberg.   

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

Mayor: I’m good, Henry, how you been?   

Question: I’m good. Very good. Thank you. I wanted to ask you about the State Budget. It appears that the Governor has gotten his way, and there’s a $1.3 billion item in there to support this expansion of Penn Station which will involve using eminent domain, there’s a lot of local opposition to it. The local Council people are opposed to it, and it appears that the State can overrule any local land use oversight on this. What’s your feeling about this?  

Mayor: Henry, I want to check the latest because that’s not what my understanding was as of late yesterday. What the Governor proposed is a mistake. It’s not that Penn Station isn’t an important area for the city, it is, and I certainly believe we need more development as part of how we come out of this pandemic, but it has to be the right kind of development. It has to be with communities, not against communities. It has to include the voices of communities. It has to respect what people need in a community and achieve something for that community and not just be a giveaway to big developers. So, the Governor’s plan was very developer friendly, not community friendly. Last I heard the legislature was taking measures and steps to create balance, and I want to get the latest on that. We absolutely need that kind of balance when it comes to Penn Station. Go ahead, Henry.  

Question: Okay. Well, I’m probably going to want to hear from your staff your reaction when you find out the latest on this. My second question, I guess, has to do with the unions concern about schools that a lot of the new infections are occurring in young people, they’re occurring in school age people, partly probably because they’re not vaccinated, but for the teacher’s union and other people who are in the schools, they think this raises the risk that the schools could still be a vector for infection despite how well the schools have been able to prevent that from happening. What is your view on that?  

Mayor: Well, I’ll turn to Dr. Varma and Dr. Chokshi, but I would say this just to put in perspective. I’m really struck by what Dr. Chokshi said yesterday, after 700,000 tests in our public schools. I think the composite figure was 0.57 percent positivity. That’s just night and day compared to, you know, everything else happening in New York City. I mean, they have been the safest places in the city, continually, well before people were vaccinated. Further, we now know that over 65,000 school employees have been vaccinated, and more getting vaccinated every day. So, even with the challenge of the variants, I think we are clearly doing very well in the schools, and in fact, our position gets stronger all the time as more and more people get vaccinated. So, I would say, I think regardless of some recent developments, that fundamental formula still holds very, very true, but first Dr. Varma then Dr. Chokshi.  

Senior Advisor Jay Varma: Great. Thank you very much. I would echo really the points that the Mayor has made. So, first of all we went through a difficult second wave in January where we peaked at over 6,000 cases a day, and during that time, we were able to demonstrate that all of the measures that we use to protect adults and children in schools continued to be effective. So, we know that our defensive measures, our methods to prevent infections, can work even when there’s high levels of community transmission. The second is, as the Mayor has rightly pointed out, we have now added the single most powerful layer of defense, and I would strongly encourage any adult – or really anybody now, 16 and older, that participates in in-person learning in some way, to get vaccinated. That is the single most powerful layer of defense that we could have to help protect against you know, people getting severely ill. And I think a related point to that is from our detailed analysis of cases from October through December, over 80 percent – or I’m sorry, approximately 80 percent of the incidents that involve transmission occurring in the school setting involved an adult being the index case. So, yet another way to prevent and make our schools safer is to protect adults from infection through vaccination, and we know vaccine isn’t a 100 percent effective at protecting adults from being infected, but it is tremendously effective. So again, I would really lean into the importance of one, our defensive protective measures have worked, and second of all, we now have this additional layer of vaccination.   

Mayor: Thank you. Dr. Chokshi?  

Commissioner Dave Chokshi, Department of Health and Mental Hygiene: Mr. Mayor, I’ll just add that we are following the numbers very closely, not just that 0.57 percent test positivity rate that you mentioned, but also looking at cases and test positivity among children across New York City as a whole. When we look at those case rates and that test positivity, even as we do see the variants increase in the city, those have held stable. We are not seeing increases in the burden of cases or the positivity rate among people age zero to 17. So that’s something that we will continue to follow closely, but Dr. Varma made the most important point, which is that we do know that vaccination of school staff will help because the cases that we do see within the school setting are predominantly brought in by adults. So, this gives us a very important layer of protection that we think can make our schools even safer for in-person learning.  

Mayor: Thank you. Go ahead.   

Mr. Goldberg clearly got cut down because he dared acknowledged teacher’s concerns that the Mayor’s brown standard of school re-openings will lead to another rise of infections and not because he’s still getting back at him for dissing his beloved Bosox.

What de Blasio has been doing here with these videos shouldn’t be undermined and ignored, even if the transcripts are easily available (and the transcripts are still insufficiently informative, because they don’t write down the full names of the journalists). What these selective edits show is a Mayor obsessed not with making the city safe from preventing another outbreak but more with this “recovery for all of us” reality he’s relentlessly pushing by trying to control the primal forces of science and nature while COVID continues to spread through proxy strains. Which has led other nations to reinforce lockdowns again and again and to a stunning rise of cases again in New York City,making us currently number one in the nation in new infections.

This is only going to exacerbate because of the Blaz’s reliance on the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, which has seen some very unfortunate events in only a week. Turns out NYC will not be seeing another influx of J & J vacs for quite a while after a plant in Baltimore that wasn’t FDA approved screwed up the manufacturing of 15 million vaccines that had to be thrown in the garbage. These vacs also have resulted in harmful side effects after inoculations that a site in Georgia had to suspend service for the day. To make things even more worse for the recovery for all of us, a 30-year-old upper class  White woman from Williamsburg got the Rona again after getting the J&J shot early in March. Which discredits the city’s health departments constant advisory refrain that the next available vaccine is the best one. Surely this probably will have the Blaz shitting in his britches since she is part of the Blaz’s demo to make the city’s recovery a reality. Which is bad timing since he recently debuted the city’s mobile vaccine only a few days ago, after he debuted a vaccine mobile unit for Broadway a week earlier.

So it makes sense that the mayor would prioritize entertainment over his constituents for the city to come back to normalcy, because he’s been acting more like an executive producer than a mayor or even a leader. Which is why he’s been coming up with shit like the Open Culture NYC and emceeing reopenings at entertainment venues at BAM and Lincoln Center and announcing the scheduled reopening of beaches with Spring only 2 weeks old.

But as these videos illustrate, The Blaz is trying to produce an optical illusion of a city overcoming a pandemic and is deliberately and quite nefariously trying to hide any evidence that will counter his Recovery and is willing to undermine his health commissioner and advisers to do it. This is no different than what China did when COVID-19 spread like wildfire in the Wuhan Province and no different when ex-President Trump played down the virus despite initially believing the severity of it.

But most alarmingly, what the Blaz is doing by erasing his bonehead replies regarding cases and spread and the analysis of his health team regarding infection data and medical advice is not much different than Cuomo’s and his toady staffers manipulating the data to edit his best-selling American Crisis novel. In fact, it’s probably more sinister because it’s happening currently and unlike Cuomo, de Blasio still possesses his emergency powers. And the Blaz is able to still get away with this by continuing to keep the press out of City Hall’s blue room by exploiting the pandemic protocols. Which should a beg a question from journalists on how de Blasio can lift restrictions for municipal office work and can still be allowed to continue keeping them from questioning the mayor in person.

And as Mario’s Son has already shown, with those powers brings great micro-mismanagement, it’s not hard to see in these briefings de Blasio’s influence on his doctor’s responses too even in their responses that got butchered from the uploaded videos. Most glaring is city’s doctor and health commissioner Chokshi, who’s more comfortable giving his professional advice and essential accurate information about the variants to a corporate news host than his patsy refrains of wearing masks and washing hands when he’s zooming in the blue room.

Which is why where we are still in the throes of a pandemic and why bringing up the press credential issue matters and it’s not just these videos either, his government city recidivism from covering up data of the racial makeup of those winning the affordable housing lotteries to the his most recent fucking with the public record with his inherently corrupt blackening of a FOIA of the city’s plan to bulldoze a mile of public park space by the East River and place a platform on top of it for some reason, only a few years after it was partially renovated. And after the city claimed that there was no resiliency study made for it.

Because de Blasio is fucking with the press  and his constituents by pushing his narrative for his trademarked “recovery for all of us” by redacting footage from these videos and the public record. And after his most recent press briefings, de Blasio must have just realized that even his gaslighting is not going to be enough anymore in order to get this recovery he desperately is pining for, now that he has fiendishly resorted to manufacturing consent to push his comeback narrative across and doing a horrendously sloppy job at it.

Because this narrative de Blasio is desperately trying to control is obviously already having an deleterious effect with the return of people mingling and clustering in public parks again and tourists coming back to the city, it’s easy to see why the Blaz doesn’t want anyone to know if any of these current COVID cases are from re-infections and the efficacy of vaccines, particularly the weaker J & J. But another reason de Blasio is cutting up these uploaded videos is because he’s the face of the pandemic in NYC now that Cuomo has been sidelined by his scandals and has been evading journalists for months and will continue to. Especially now that the Blaz is fancying designs for running for governor.

These corrupted redactions of the public record are the culmination of The Blaz’s 7.4 years of recidivist unaccountability. Because the recovery is not really for all of us, but rather a self-serving recovery for de Blasio’s abominable political career. And the health of his constituents, his staffers and even the tourists be damned.

We seen this dystopian movie before. It’s de Blasio Vu all over again.