NEW YORK (PIX11) — In just over two weeks, Eric Adams will be sworn in as the 110th mayor of New York City, becoming the city’s second Black mayor in history.
The mayor-elect spoke with NEWS10’s sister station in New York City to weigh in on mask and vaccine mandates, whether he’s looking to replace Health Commissioner Dr. Dave Chokshi, his pick for commissioner of the NYPD, and more.
Statewide indoor mask mandate
“I support what the governor is doing,” Adams said about Hochul’s just-enacted mandate that requires people in New York to mask up when inside establishments that do not already require proof of COVID vaccination. Adams called the move a “noninvasive” way to message to New Yorkers that we’re in a serious moment.
“New Yorkers realize we don’t want to shut down our city,” the future mayor said. Adams assured that people will not be “dragged off to jail” over not wearing a mask, while implying it will be mostly up to establishments to enforce it in their own business.
NYC private sector vaccine mandate
Adams said de Blasio communicated with him before announcing the mandate impacting employees at private companies across the city. The mayor-elect added that just a day earlier he spoke with at least 90 business leaders to get their feedback. He said they expressed concerns over the speed with which de Blasio announced it and plans to enact it.
The mandate goes into effect on December 27, just days before Adams takes office. “It’s about the science,” Adams replied when asked if he’ll support the measure. He added that he will have his own team evaluate the data and situation when he takes office and will then make a decision.
Vaccine mandate for schools and students
Adams said he and his new Schools Chancellor David Banks will work together to evaluate if a vaccine mandate for schools is needed. “We’re not going to allow emotion to drive decisions,” the mayor-elect said. “It’s going to be guided by science.”
Replacing Dr. Dave Chokshi with a new health commissioner?
Adams only said that he is gearing up to roll out a series of new appointments to his administration in the next few days. He said he wants to sit down with current Commissioner Chokshi and assess the situation.
Has he chosen the new NYPD commissioner?
Adams confirms he’s narrowed down his search to one candidate to lead the NYPD once he takes office, and after current Commissioner Dermot Shea steps down. “I gave my staff a difficult task. I gave them a description of what I wanted,” Adams said, still not ready to announce who his pick is just yet.
Adams said the announcement will likely come in the next few days. “By the end of the week, New Yorkers are going to know who their next police commissioner is going to be,” he assured.
Response to activists critical of his plan to bring back beat cops
“All I can say is, give me an opportunity. Join me to see what we can do,” Adams said as a reply to those critical of his policing and public safety plans. Adams said he intends to make “smart decisions” and give it his all to keep New Yorkers safe.
The mayor-elect also said he will be appointing a deputy mayor of policing, who will essentially oversee all the various public safety agencies in New York City. “We have to stop operating in silos and come together and operate as a team,” he said.
Meeting with President Joe Biden on Tuesday
Adams said his meeting with the president will be focused on infrastructure and getting more federal funding for the city.