Mayor Bill de Blasio felt the inspiration of President-elect Joe-Biden’s victory after a high-stakes, five-day long enumeration that ended in celebrations in the streets across New York City on Saturday.
Speaking to the Abyssinian Baptist and the St. Charles Borromeo Church in Manhattan on Sunday, de Blasio called the success of Biden at the polls as well as the electoral college a new day for the city which has nowhere to go but up after months of pandemic and civil unrest.
“This is a moment to think about where we go from here… Our city has been through so much, I think this year – 2020 – I think one thing most people agree on is that they are looking forward to the day when they reach for the calendar and we put 2020 in the past,” de Blasio said. “Remember that this city was the epicenter of the coronavirus crisis. We bore the brunt right here… We went from worst to first, we became one of the safest places in this country. Scripture tells us, the first shall be last and the last shall be first.”
According to the mayor, New Yorkers not only voted in overwhelming numbers in a city with historically low turnout, but there was record turnout in the midst of an increase in the spread of COVID-19 which is still being fought off in parts of Brooklyn, Queens and several other counties.
The statewide positivity rate hovers around 2.19% as of Saturday, according to the governor’s office.
“Someone said to me very innocently the other day, worried about everything we’ve been through. They said, ‘do you think New York City can restore its former glory?’ I said with great respect I think that is the wrong question. The question is how will we reach our greater glory,” de Blasio said.
The mayor’s comments also come after a week of protests in which NYPD fell under scrutiny for their handling of peaceful demonstrators who anxiously waited for results from the election to come through without interference from the Trump campaign.
NYPD, in return, released to the public a catalogue of evidence recovered from protestor arrests that included a variety of weapons such as daggers, stun guns, hammers and crowbars, as well as spray paint and lighter fluid.
President Donald Trump, whose term ends on January 20, has not conceded to Biden nor has he committed to a peaceful transition of power. Nonetheless, Mayor de Blasio said these are the first steps toward getting the public programs that will lift the country our of the COVID-19 pandemic.