Bill de Blasio, Mayor of New York City, said Thursday that the city will ring in 2022 as planned in Times Square despite a record number of COVID-19 infections in the city and around the country.
In his interview on NBC’s Today Show, de Blasio said: “New York City is fighting its way through this. We want to show the world we’re moving forward.”
In response to the pandemic, the city banned revelers from Times Square a year ago and announced plans for a scaled-back New Year’s party with smaller crowds and vaccination requirements.
The mayor said that New York City’s high COVID-19 vaccination rates make it feasible to watch the ball drop in Times Square with masked, socially distant crowds, whereas Atlanta has canceled its New Year’s Eve celebrations. The world needs to hear our message. The city of New York is open,” he said.
Since the highly contagious omicron variant was isolated for the first time in the U.S. last month, the number of new COVID-19 cases in the United States has reached record levels with 265,000 cases per day on average. According to statistics from New York state, there were 39,590 new cases reported in New York City on Tuesday.
In response, De Blasio said New York City should step up its vaccination campaign and pointed out that 91% of the city’s adults have received one COVID-19 vaccination dose.
Saturday morning, Eric Adams, the city’s new mayor, will take the oath of office in Times Square. Democratic Mayor Adams is planning a news conference on Thursday to explain how he would deal with a pandemic.