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Times Square show will go on despite virus surge


Mayor Bill de Blasio wants to run for a higher office, and last years he banned celebrations in Times Square, but took a private moment with his wife at the famous “ball-drop-site,” and took heavy criticism all over social media for being a hypocrite and looking like the elite can do whatever they want. Though this year, Mayor de Blasio is citing New York city’s high vaccination rate as making it feasible to hold the celebration as planned, but there is still concern, especially when considering break-through infections. As reported by the AP:

Thanks to the highly contagious omicron variant new COVID-19 cases in the U.S. have soared to their highest levels on record

NEW YORK (AP) — New York City will ring in 2022 in Times Square as planned despite record numbers of COVID-19 infections in the city and around the nation, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Thursday.

Jonathan Bennett, host of Good Riddance Day, left, and Joe Papa, Director of Events, Times Square Alliance burn a 2021 banner at the official Good Riddance Day celebration in Times Square, Tuesday, Dec. 28, 2021, in New York. (AP Photo/Corey Sipkin)

“We want to show that we’re moving forward, and we want to show the world that New York City is fighting our way through this,” de Blasio, whose last day in office is Friday, said on NBC’s “Today” show.

After banning revelers from Times Square a year ago due to the pandemic, city officials previously announced plans for a scaled-back New Year’s bash with smaller crowds and vaccinations required.

While cities such as Atlanta have canceled New Year’s Eve celebrations, de Blasio said New York City’s high COVID-19 vaccination rate makes it feasible to welcome masked, socially distanced crowds to watch the ball drop-in Times Square. “We’ve got to send a message to the world. New York City is open,” he said.

FILE – New York Mayor Bill de Blasio delivers his remarks in Times Square after he toured the grand opening of a Broadway COVID-19 vaccination site intended to jump-start the city’s entertainment industry, in New York, in this Monday, April 12, 2021, file photo. New York City will require police officers, firefighters and other municipal workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or be placed on unpaid leave, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021, giving an ultimatum to public employees who’ve refused and ensuring a fight with some of the unions representing them. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

Thanks to the highly contagious omicron variant that was first identified as a variant of concern last month, new COVID-19 cases in the U.S. have soared to their highest levels on record at over 265,000 per day on average. New York City reported a record number of new, confirmed cases — more than 39,590 — on Tuesday, according to New York state figures.

De Blasio said the answer is to “double down on vaccinations” and noted that 91% of New York City adults have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose.

The city’s next mayor, Eric Adams, will take the oath of office in Times Square early Saturday. Adams, a Democrat like de Blasio, planned a news conference later Thursday to outline his pandemic plan.


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