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tv   New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio Holds News Conference  CSPAN  December 31, 2020 6:01pm-6:58pm EST

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to vote on overwriting the president's veto on the defense and policy bill. if that passes, there will be up to 30 more hours of debate. 2/3to override requires majority of those present and voting. trump's ninedent vetoes has been successfully overridden. the last successful override was in september 2016 allowing 9/11 victims' families to sue saudi arabia. watch live coverage of the senate when we return tomorrow on c-span2. >> earlier today, new york city mayor bill de blasio held a news conference on his city's to the coronavirus. this is an hour.
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mayor de blasio: good morning, new york city. the day is finally here. in less than 14 hours, it will finally be 2021. i could not be happier. i know you feel the same way. we are so ready to kick 2020 out the door. and i am feeling totally energized that the new year is going to be here and great things are going to happen. tonight is going to be very special. do not believe any doubting thomases that say that it will not be special, it will be arguably the most special, the most poignant and moving new year's eve. everybody watch on television, do not go there. watch from home. it will be powerful. we will be honoring our health care heroes and first responders and folks who did amazing work this year.
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folks from the cure violence movement. all out there, deserving of the festivities. they will be the people we truly have in our hearts, because they saws through this year. think about the performers, too. new york city's own jennifer lopez, there for the bronx, and great moment to have her highlighted as we ring in the new year. and gloria gaynor will be singing "i will survive." i cannot think of a more appropriate song for this occasion. i will tell you, it will be very powerful, very special. everybody tune in. i guarantee you that we will
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push the button on time. we will be tempted to push it early, in fact, but we will get there for sure. 2021 is around the corner. we will do great things in 2021. i want to start with the most important new year's resolution i could possibly offer you. in the month of january, we will vaccinate one million new yorkers. one million people we will reach in january. this city can do it. the amazing health care professionals of this city already. we are going to set up new sites all over the city, on top of the many that are already operational. we will expand from her and clinics to locations set up all over the city. our goal is to get upwards of 250 locations citywide. this will be a massive effort. this will be part of the largest single vaccination effort in the history of new york city. it's going to take a lot of work. it will take urgency and focus. and we will need help from the federal government, we will need help from the state government and from the vaccine manufacturers.
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but we are making clear to the world, we can achieve one million vaccinations in january. we will make it happen. we have the ability to make it happen on the ground and we are anxious to get it done. president-elect joe biden said it right, this whole country is behind the pace where we need to be. we need to go faster to beat back the virus and restart our economy, to protect our lives and recover. we have got to go faster and new york city will lead the way. we have the will, the capacity and the know-how. this is a chance for new york city to shine and help achieve the president elect's gold. it is so clear that there is no reason, no reason for anything but urgency at this point. and that every single person we reach takes is one step closer to recovery. now, we are doing better than most of the country, that is the good news, but we are nowhere near where we need to be. 80,000 have been vaccinated so far. that is great, but we need to go into overdrive now.
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we need every day to speed up and reach more and more people, and we are committed to doing that. so, we know that we have the ability. we are going to do this with a really centralized grassroots effort. we will go all over the city and we will create new hubs of activity. number one, new hubs will be created on top of the locations we have. two, test and a trace sites will be locations for vaccinations as well. test and a trace has been very successful, reaching into every corner of the city and protecting people. we will take that capacity to use us -- use to achieve more vaccinations. three, we will scale up the capacity of local organizations that can do this work. we have so many partners on the ground that can be part of this and have the ability to motivate people and move people.
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they will be part of this in a big way. all of this will be coordinated by arc vaccine -- our vaccine command center. we can get it done. we need the federal government to be committed and help us achieve our goal. we need the state government to work with us to keep us moving. wee need the manufacturers to keep providing the doses. but that can be done. all those things can be done. we will make something special happen here together. what we will not allow to happen in new york city is for people to jump the line and use their wealth or privilege to get vaccines they should not be getting. we are already seeing this around the country, the congressional staffers jumping the line, even if they are not in a category that is a priority. we are seeing pharmaceutical company executives jumping the line. we want people who need the vaccine the most to get it first. and we are going to stick to those priorities and we will be aggressive on it. right now, the focus is the health care workers, our heroes who need to be safe going forward. we are focusing on nursing home
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staff and residents. we will keep building out from there, faster and faster, but we will make sure that the distribution is based on fairness as we get into communities, and that we focus on those hardest hit. those who have had the most deaths, the most cases and of the most need. we can do it. all of us together. and the person who will help us to lead the way with the and cripple effort of his team, the health department, and they have a lot of great success historically in vaccinations, we are proud to introduce on this auspicious day our health commissioner, dr. dave chokshi. dr. chokshi: thank you. beating a virus is a team sport and we need every position on the field to come together. i saw that yesterday when i visited a nursing home in my neighborhood in queens. residents and a staff were getting vaccinated.
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one resident said she could not wait to get her shot, but she asked her regular nurse to stay by her side while she was getting it, for moral support. these are the small and large ways our health care heroes have quite literally moved the needle for the past couple weeks, resulting in over 88,000 vaccinations to date. but we will need to accelerate our efforts to turn vaccines into vaccinations. one key to doing this, as the mayor mentioned, is expanding points of access across our entire city. our goal is to double the access point for vaccination within a month, from hospitals to community health centers to urgent health care clinics, totaling 250 sites at least. part of our strategy includes launching the first dedicated city vaccine hubs in the coming weeks.
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these are city-operated vaccination clinics set up rapidly at points like in school gymnasiums. there are plans to expand over time if we get adequate supply of vaccine. we are picking the sites to help ensure access for our priority neighborhoods. most often hit by this vicious virus, communities of color. in addition, the city has built a testing apparatus. there is a focus on hardest hit communities. given the organizations have been activated by those who will vaccinate on-site in communities, providing capacities for several tens of thousands of vaccinations per week by the end of january.
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this is the kind of thing we do every year during flu season, with events in churches and community centers. this would be like our flu campaign in overdrive. growing capacity through these initiatives along with our existing hospitals, clinics, and pharmacy infrastructure gives us the ability to administer over one million doses by the end of january. i do want to specify that these are aggressive folks and this campaign is a team sport. we will need blocking and tackling to run at the pace that we want from a number of partners, but particularly our colleagues and states and federal government, swiftly expanding sites for vaccination for hospital workers, nursing homes, first responders, and of course our seniors.
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and we need sufficient supply of vaccine which has a clear idea of what we want to receive from the federal government for the weeks and months ahead. if these elements come together, we can move fast and travel far. finally, we need new yorkers themselves to get vaccinated. we will help you by making sure your vaccine questions get answered, endeavoring to dispel disinformation with access points to make it more convenient for you. mr. mayor, it is a particular honor for me to be able to join you this last day of 2020. i wanted to conclude with some brief, tailored messages. to my fellow health care workers, thank you so much for all you have done during this really tough year. but if you have gotten your vaccine, i have one more task for you.
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be sure to tell the story of why you got vaccinated, and reach out to people who may still have unanswered questions. our website, has the information you need. covid-19 is not taking the weekend off. i strongly urge you to schedule vaccination clinics over the weekend. to all new yorkers, i remain quite concerned by the increase in cases, hospitalizations, and deaths. it is not too late to cancel your new year's eve gathering plans and stay safe by saying home -- staying home. and i am looking forward to a better year ahead. mayor de blasio: what a day. i want to say to our commissioner, dave johnson, thank you for your extraordinary work, for your team's amazing work. some colleagues here as part of this press conference today --
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the deputy mayor, the senior advisor, and ceo of health the hospitals -- you have all been heroes. you are very modest people, so maybe i am making you blush. the fact is, all of you have been heroes in 2020. all of you have been part of the history of this city and you will be in the history books as people who have made tremendous positive difference for the people in new york city. i am thanking you as individuals, but also thanking you for the amazing teams you have assembled and the amazing work you have all done. talking about team -- this is going to be a team effort to reach one million vaccinations in january. we are going to work with the whole community. we are going to work with the whole health care world.
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we are going to call all city agencies to be part of this, as dave mentioned. the school committees and the department of education has to be part of this. think about public housing, our community centers. we are going to be out there in developments where the months ahead. they will be a crucial piece of this as well. we are going to focus intensely on the communities in need, communities that bore the brunt. our public housing certainly bore the brunt of this crisis. you are going to see this grow. more and more grassroots. more and more people getting involved. leaders, agencies, parts of the community -- you name it. this is going to be an extraordinary effort. a special thank you to the state of new york which has been working really closely with our state partners over the last weeks, determining how to do something that has never been done before. this is a brand-new vaccine, a brand-new type of vaccine. have had to be smart and careful about getting it implement it. we are working together to figure out how to do this as quickly as humanly possible.
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thank you to everyone and state government who worked so hard this year. i appreciate all of the work we have done together. we are going to, together, find a way to push harder. we are going to push the federal government to do its share in the manufacturers to do its share, so we can really go into overdrive. a lot of good news ahead. 2021 is going to be a good news here. 2020 is going to go down in history as one of our saddest, toughest years, one of the toughest in new york city. thank god we came through it, those of us who made it. we have to remember those we lost. and we have got to be there with their families every day, all the families who lost loved ones. you are in our thoughts and prayers all the time. we know this has been incredibly difficult.
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without the case to mourn in many cases, without the chance to be with loved ones. it is important that we have a day of remembrance. it is important that we have a day going forward in the future of the city. always remember what happened in 2020, remember those we lost. honor them. honor their families. at the same time, remember all the heroism, all the people who did so much good. the day we lost our first new yorker to covid in this year was march 14, 2020. next march 14, 2021, will be a day of remembrance in new york city. we need to recognize 25,000 of our fellow new yorkers gone. that is something we have to always mark, going forward. and we've got to remember them
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by being there for their families, by honoring those who did so much to try to save them, and by working to make this city better for all the time in their memory. so many we lost were victims of the disparities and inequality in our society. this was not the shocking statement. so many did not get their fair share no matter how hard they worked. there is still too much discrimination in our society. we lost people of every background, of every income level, every neighborhood. this was a disease that affected everyone, but it did not affect everyone equally. on march 14 this year, we will rededicate ourselves to making a difference and changing things. it will also be a day to look forward and say, how do we do better? so we never lose people again
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and we have a city that is better for everyone going forward? before i move forward to what we do every single day, which is our daily indicators, i want to take a moment, since it is a very special time of year -- we have many faith traditions, christmas, hanukkah, so many important holidays people celebrate, so many times when people restore faith and hope. we are looking forward to tonight, tomorrow. we are still in kwanzaa and it is important to talk about the kwanzaa principles. this is something we are really highlighting this year. we are going to do it in a big way next year. these principles say so much to us, so much positive, so much helpful that really moves us forward and helps us think about where we need to go. each day at the beginning of the day, we ask, what is the news? today is kuumba, and that means creativity. i want to celebrate the creativity of new yorkers, the
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resourcefulness, the ingenuity of new yorkers in the year 2020. unbelievable. the things people did this year to help each other. talk about making a way when there is no way. in the year 2020, new yorkers had to create like never before. whether you are talking about whatever health-care workers had to do to protect people and savor hospital system, and the first responders, what they have to do, the incredible challenges they overcame -- you are talking about the way the city ended up creating its own ppe, its own processing labs for tests -- things we did not have before, we created them all here. and we did it in record time. that is what new york city is all about. and just the way people help each other. they express their own personalities, their own hope, their own belief, whether it was designed a face masks or the way people celebrated and supported each other, cultural activities
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put together to support people, give them hope. this was a year for creativity if ever there was one. so a lot to be proud of, the creativity of our people. we see it blossom in 2021. now we are going to go to our indicators. i'm going to put a bit of a qualifier on that. we have seen some pretty aberrant numbers the last two days. we obviously have the situation of a lot of people getting tested in advance of the holidays, and then during the holidays, test numbers were uneven, so you get a different kind of sample. even though these numbers look somewhat skewed, it is important to focus on them. first, number one, the number of people admitted to new york city hospitals -- 199 patients. the goal is 200. we want to drive that down. the hospital rates per thousand, still too high. we want to get that back under two.
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the number of new cases for covid-19, seven day average -- way too high again. the goal is 550. number three, and percentage of new york city residents testing positive -- a very high number today. that is probably aberrant based on uneven testing with the holidays. still cautionary and troublesome, and some thing we need to focus on, need to act on. we want to get that number below 5% and drive it down. you just heard the people's doctor tell you, if you are thinking about going to some kind of large holiday gathering tonight, just don't do it. i will borrow from nike and modify the phrase, just don't do it. it doesn't make sense. next year, you will be able to celebrate all you want. if you get sick because of doing the wrong thing, it is not going to speed our days of recovery.
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please avoid large gatherings tonight. keep it small. keep it simple. stay home. stay close. be healthy. let's help each other. [speaking spanish] with that, and feliz ano nuevo, while i'm at it, with that,
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let's turn to our colleagues in the media. >> as a reminder, we are joined by the deputy mayor, by dr. chokshi. the first question goes to hazel sanchez from wcbs. reporter: good morning, mr. mayor. happy new year to you. host: happy new year, hazel. how do you feel? reporter: i am good. i am good. you have probably seen the video of a group of bicyclists attacking a man and his mother inside his suv. the driver is a lifelong new york city resident, and he says he feels he deserves answers from the city as to what allowed this to happen. what is the city going to do to make sure it does not happen again? mayor de blasio: hazel, it is absolutely unacceptable. you have teenagers doing something that is just wrong. at least one has been arrested. the others will be. look, we've got to teach our young people that are all the
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-- better all the time. it is incumbent upon all of us. we also have to have consequences. there will be consequences to this case. i don't ever want to see anything like this happened in new york city. go ahead, hazel. hazel: going back to vaccinations, you are launching an aggressive campaign in january to vaccinate new yorkers. why wasn't this kind of plan ready to rollout in december when you know the vaccine will be arriving? mayor de blasio: we said in the beginning we were going to get this right. our doctors have spoken about this many times. there are realities we have never experienced before, including the need for ultracold refrigeration, very tight standards about how it could be utilized. we need the federal government
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to really be committed to speeding this process. looking at all these standards, we want everyone to be safe, but we have to have a focus on speed and urgency. the first weeks were about getting it right, making sure everything was safe and proper. we knew we wanted to go a hell of a lot faster. i'm perfectly comfortable that the first weeks were really about testing to make sure everything worked right. you have seen the results. people have been getting these vaccinations safely, effectively. we have had very, very few side effects. we have had a very successful experience. we have shown the world that. now, it is time to take off. now, it is time to race. go ahead. >> the next is matt from newsday. matt: happy new year early. mayor de blasio: happy new year. how are you feeling? matt: i am ok. how about yourself? mayor de blasio: i am ecstatic. i've been dreaming of this day. matt: excellent. we love to hear it. matt: under your nyc vaccine for
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all campaign, will the vaccination itself be available to someone in those 37 neighborhoods that is on a faster timeline or in any different way whatsoever than a person not in those 27 neighborhoods, yes or no? mayor de blasio: first, let me frame it. we are going to follow of course the guidelines that originate with the federal government, and then are codified by the state. we are going to work with the state to keep expanding those guidelines constantly. so to get the point where we are talking about everyday people, senior citizens, folks with pre-existing conditions -- that has to happen within the state guidelines. we will work to speed that along because we want to be able to always jump ahead to the next group of people when we find there is more vaccine available. when we have gone through one group, we want to immediately move on. we need state guidance to do that. the bottom line is, we are going
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to make sure priority neighborhoods get the vaccine. they have to be the first wave because they are where the most people suffered the most cases, the most deaths. by definition, that is where you need to protect people the most. matt: want to say on this 1 -- you say they have to be the first wave. will they be the first wave in new york city? mayor de blasio: we have been saying this for weeks and weeks -- let me flip the equation. where else would you go but where the need is greatest? of course when it comes to going out to the grassroots, we are going to go to the places that suffered the most and are still the most vulnerable. absolutely. reporter: good morning, mr. mayor, and happy new year. mayor de blasio: happy new year. how are you doing today? reporter: i am good. how are you? mayor de blasio: could not be better. reporter: on a personal note, i know you said the new year's resolution was going to be to get those million vaccines. but on a personal note, do you
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have any resolutions? mayor de blasio: all i can tell you is i want to make 2021 an amazing year in new york city. i have so much energy right now. i'm going to burn my way to the finish line this year. on december 31, 2021, we are going to look back and say we did amazing things in new york city. we turned the tide. we started the recovery. we reached people and protected people in ways never seen before. that is my resolution. i feel very confident we can do that. a million is a big goal. i want to be clear about this. this is not something we did lightly. say it out loud.
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our goal is to vaccinate one million new yorkers in the month of january, 2020 one. that is a tough goal. it is a difficult goal. it is a necessary goal. all we are saying to everyone out there we rely on is join us, and we can do it. we are going to drive and drive and drive and get this done. reporter: i know you spoke about this on cnn already, have you got the chance to see the new videos the nypd put out about the incident at the hotel? and can you talk more about what you think should happen to this woman? mayor de blasio: this happened -- this has to end. i have not seen the new video. i will tell you the bottom line on this. we have seen a series of things like this around the country. it almost has become tragically comical how much you can rely on the fact that someone will unjustly accuse a young man of color in america. i mean, it is just crazy. it is very personal for me.
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i have a son of color who is about as good a human being as you can possibly imagine, and yet i know he will be looked down on and disrespected throughout his life. it is not fair. it is not right. it has to end. it is destructive. i had this experience as a father. what do you do as a parent? you try to give your child hope, keep them safe, a sense of self-esteem and belonging. if you are a young black man or any young men of color in america and you are looked down on and treated like there is something wrong with you, how are you going to succeed? how are you going to believe in yourself? how are you going to believe your society is going to be fair to you? this is why we got rid of the broken approach to stop and frisk that was used years ago. it was denigrating the young people of color.
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young women as well, but certainly young man. it was taking away their self-esteem. it was denigrating. how do you build a better city and a better country if you are robbing the majority of people of their self-esteem? this has to end and the way for it to end is for everyone to condemn it, and when somebody does something like this, they have to suffer consequences. there needs to be real action by the criminal justice system to make sure there are consequences of the case. >> next is erin from politico. reporter: good morning, mr. mayor. early happy new year. mayor de blasio: happy new year. reporter: it is a relief to have this year over with soon. can you tell us more about how the logistics will work in terms of the vaccination campaign? for instance, if we are doing the million shots, do you expect it to be anyone over 65 or any essential worker? where will that get us up to in
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the line? is this going to be by appointment? is it just going to be people lining up? and kind of where are the numbers going to come from with -- you said 45,000 a week. it does not add up to a million. mayor de blasio: hold on. you've got a lot going on there. we try to pull out the core of what you are saying. suffice it to say, our vaccine command center will be constantly providing updates, and how each center will relate to the overall number, the different categories -- suffice it to say you will hear more and more about that, each day to come. i will turn to dr. chaffee, that i do not expect him to have the perfect chart of how all will be done in january yet. i also wanted to say at the outset it is a voluntary effort, meaning you will decide how many people in each category -- it will depend on how many people volunteer in each category.
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the more come forward, the faster it goes in those groups. if fewer people come forward, we move on to other groups. we always want the ability to keep moving to the next group. it is voluntary. i am hopeful that as people see how successful this is, a safe it is, how effective it is, more and more people will want it. we want the ability to jump ahead constantly to the next group. i can't tell you exactly which groups we are going to cover. i can tell you the first priority remains. the folks who are most vulnerable, particularly in settings like nursing homes -- we need to stay safe. as we work to those categories, we start out into the general community for the folks who are more vulnerable. >> sir, you said all of the high points.
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i'm going to pull out a couple to elaborate on. one is we are in what is called phase one a right now. as the mayor mentioned, this is primarily health-care workers as well as nursing home staff and residents, and those in other long-term care facilities. the estimate from new york city is we have a million people just in those categories. our goal of putting the one million for january is to be able to say we want everyone in that category who is eligible to get vaccinated to actually have the ability to get vaccinated. in order to do that, we do have to expand out the eligibility from where it is currently, which focuses on hospital workers as well as nursing home staff and residents. we want to get to other
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community-based health care workers, including home health care workers, and do that as rapidly as possible. that is the other viewpoint the mayor has emphasized. for us to move quickly, as is our intent, we have to be able to expand the circle of eligibility swiftly as well, so that we can match the capacity we have with that eligibility. mayor de blasio: i want to also turn to the deputy mayor, who has done outstanding work organizing the command center, the vaccine command center. because one of the crucial things here is to constantly move on with what is going on at the grassroots level. we have to constantly make moves to reach deeper into each population and then move on to the next. deputy mayor, why don't you jump him? >> good morning.
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sir, can you hear me? mayor de blasio: yes. >> i just wanted to answer the question a little bit more in detail. we have attesting capacity per week for about 150,000 doses. that is to the hospital system largely. but we are going to be doing during january is doubling that capacity, growing to 300,000 by the end of january. that includes three major components -- our community vaccination partners, partners who we contract with. this is what the mayor talks about in our hardest hit communities. we could get that capacity to 100,000 per week. we have our own community hub, 40,000 per week to bring on board.
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our test and trace core is going to bring another 4000. that is how we get doubling of capacity. reporter: thank you. we heard today about the 298 city employees who have died from the coronavirus, disproportionately black and latino. there have been a number of complaints that folks did not feel they were well protected enough. obviously, some of that goes back to the spring. just wondering if there is anything more the state can be doing, especially with the second wave underway, to protect its own frontline workers. mayor de blasio: we are absolutely adamant about protecting our folks. look, we lost so many people. that is why the state of remembrance is so necessary. but let's remember what happened. we were alone in new york city. we pleaded for testing. we did not know throughout february that the disease was already spreading widely in the city.
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we did not have attesting capacity. we did not have ppe from the federal government. we were on our own. we did our damnedest to reach people and protect people. this is going to show clearly you cannot deal with an international pandemic on a local level. you need support from the national government. had that support been there, those folks would still be there today. the minute we were able to get the information, the testing we needed, get the ppe supply, we made sure folks got what they needed, and we continue to build that. it is why we have a lot of ppe
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in stock at all times. it's why we are constantly working to protect people, especially by getting them vaccinated. that gets us to the urgency of this moment. you need to protect everyone. we need to vaccinate as many of our frontline public workers as possible, as quickly as possible. so they are safe and their families are safe. >> the next is stacy from fox five. reporter: good morning, mr. mayor, and happy new year. mayor de blasio: how you doing? >> i am well, thank you. knowing the city has 7 million vaccinated in the next month, a lot of health-care workers -- private health care workers, even the nypd -- here in new york, the vaccine is being delayed for these groups. they are seeing pediatricians in new jersey or connecticut getting the vaccine. there is not an update on when they can get it.
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health care workers and the nursing home staff and residents being able to get it -- what about other health care workers? mayor de blasio: we are ready. we want to get this done immediately. i want to see all health care workers reached. i want to see all appropriate first responders reached. there is no question the more people we reach, the faster, the better. it is plain and simple. we need that cooperation all around to smooth this out and make it simple. we have amazing capacity in this city. the ability of new york city in general, our health care in particular, showed us in 2020 they could do amazing things in the city. we have the tools. we need the right authorizations and the supply of vaccine, and we can make it work. everything we are talking about could be resolved in the month of january. we have this rigorous goal.
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within that goal, we have the ability to reach a huge number of health-care workers and first responders. that is what i want to see happen. go ahead. reporter: when you say the support we need, are you referring to the supply of the vaccine. i was still with the -- will the doctors be included in the one million in january? dr. chokshi: i'm going to answer by starting with the fact that i am a primary care doctor myself. i know that people who have been practicing in the community, whether it is a pediatrician or a dermatologist, people have been taking care of patients over the last few months. in doing so with the risk of exposure in delivering that care. i certainly understand the need for that prioritization.
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the state earlier this week did issue guidance saying that those community-based health care workers, independent providers, are eligible for vaccination starting next week. we are prepared to ensure that those workers will have access to the vaccines, beginning next week as well. that will ramp up to the other categories as they get approved by new york state. i mentioned for example home health care workers. the rest of the health care workforce, which totaled well over half a million people across new york city -- we want
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those categories to be expanded as quickly as possible, so that we can match up our capacity and get them vaccinated as quickly as possible. mayor de blasio: thank you very much. >> next is "the washington journal." reporter: good morning. happy new year, mayor de blasio. i don't have a question. i'm just kidding. mayor de blasio: you cut yourself. i'm impressed. reporter: i have more important questions to ask. the first is to get to, using a sports metaphor -- focusing back on the priority zones you have identified, some people have criticized it because the list was formulated in the summer and it does not take into account the second wave we experience in the fall and maybe continue to experience. will you be adding other places to this list? what are you planning? mayor de blasio: we are going to look at the reality of the
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second wave, absolutely. we want to look at the whole picture. i will remind all of us that what happened in the first wave was indescribably horrible. the second wave has been worrisome, but nowhere near what we went through in the first wave. we have to really understand the first wave laid bare where the vulnerabilities are and the amount of people we lost. so much what -- was folks who have not had health care in their life historically. we are going to look at the priorities with all the latest data, and we will make revisions as needed. go ahead. reporter: my second question -- can you hear me? sorry. my second one is about the vaccination plan, specifically school gymnasiums. will it be schools that are open or closed? will it affect reopening plans?
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mayor de blasio: it will not affect reopening plans. but we will do is obviously to be worked out over the coming days. the fact is that we are going to use every and any space we need that is part of what the city government has. hospitals, local nonprofits, whatever it takes. there were lots of ways to put this together. it's a way that allows the other operations to keep going around it. it allows us to get the vaccinations to those that need them. i'm confident we can strike that balance, but the details will be worked out. >> we have time for two more for the day. >> next, from "the city." reporter: mr. mayor, i wanted to ask -- mayor de blasio: you sound like you are on the north pole. what is going on? >> i met lowe's hardware -- i'm
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at lowe's hardware. mayor de blasio: get your mouth closer to the phone or something. i cannot hear you well. try. reporter: i want to follow up on the report. the fact that they did not look into the incident where the police car drove into the group of protesters on may 30. you said you were going to look into that. have you had a chance to? mayor de blasio: i've talked to the deputy mayor and ask him to have that conversation, and we have not gotten that feedback. i'll check into that today and we will get you an answer. go ahead. reporter: they told me that the way the executive order was, it instructed them not to do any investigation that would interfere with other
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investigations, and they are not planning to look into it. the other is [indiscernible] the nypd told me they cannot -- they are not going to release the information because of a lawsuit. i'm wondering, is that where things stand? that we cannot find out whether those officers were disciplined or not? mayor de blasio: i will do my best as a nonlawyer. last i heard from the law department, that lawsuit is still standing in the way of the disclosure of a lot of information we are ready to make public about disciplinary records. i don't believe that is going to go on that long. i believe at some point this case will be resolved, and it will make clear that our ability to release records is now quite clear under the new state law, and we will release those
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records. i don't think the lawsuit has gotten to the point where we can do it yet. we will confirm that back to you later today. my goal is abundantly clear. i'm very appreciative that the legislature finally got rid of what was wrong with the 50a law and gave us the ability to be transparent. that transparency about disciplinary records is going to help people trust their police. it is going to help people be safer. i'm looking forward to the day when we will do the full release. as soon as we get clearance from the courts, we are going to progress with that. go ahead. >> the last question of the day goes to steve burns. reporter: happy new year's eve to you. honored to have the last you.ion of 2020 to mayor de blasio: it is a great honor to you. reporter: i will try to do it justice. on the vaccine distribution plan -- hospitals, nursing homes -- they are obviously controlled
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environments. when you move them out to a school or public housing lobby, a place where the public can access them, what goes into the verification of knowing that this person has the job they say they have, so when you move into the public spaces, how are you verifying that this is someone who should be getting it right now? mayor de blasio: it is a good question. i will start by saying the idea of using whatever spaces -- will get us out in the communities at the right time -- again, dipping on the priorities and as we get from one priority going onto the next, going onto the next, but the more we get to grassroots, the more success we .ill have reaching people we have to do it in the way that works. think about -- schools are in every community, for example. it what we have to do is have people come in on the weekend at a school, we will do that. if we think during a school day
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does not make sense, we can still do vaccinations on a weekend. public housing, again, you have community centers. we can dedicate space specifically for vaccinations. this is only going to work if we get out to the grassroots, but we will do it in a way that is safe and smart. now, to the verification of people and the categories, i want to state the obvious as i choksi, anyone who has identification, including i.d. n.y.c. -- it has a birthday on it and that tells you one of the categories which is a priority, which is older folks. for other types of priorities, give us a flavor of how you are going to do that. dr. chokshi: a couple of points. the first is to build on what the mayor said. between hospitals and what we will be doing out in the community, including at schools, there are many other access points that are controlled environments, whether they are urgent care centers or pharmacies.
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these are the places where the everyday miracle of vaccination happens, whether it is influenza vaccines or vaccines for children. we are going to be taking advantage from all of those access points in between those described. with eligibility, i want to take a step and speak to my fellow new yorkers to say we all need to think about this, yes, as an issue of fairness and justice, but also just think about who is being prioritized and why. we want nursing home residents to be prioritized because we know they are most at risk. we know we want our health care workers prioritized because they are the ones that we are depending upon when we get sick. this is an incredibly important message to have spread as widely as possible so that people take
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that into account as they think about where their turn is in line. the state will have some additional requirements with respect to eligibility screening. that will be sure to follow, and that will become more important as we expand out the categories, which will happen as rapidly as possible. mayor de blasio: thank you. go ahead, steve. reporter: on an entirely different topic, you saw the governor is allowing a limited number of fans to see the buffalo bills playoff game in a couple of weeks. he said that could be a pilot for similar events and venues. would you be onboard if that type of pilot program were to be tested at madison square garden or at yankee stadium or city field? would that be something you would be open to? mayor de blasio: i am pro outdoors, anti-indoors, is my initial view of the world.
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i've listened to dr. chokshi and my other colleagues. outdoors, a crucial difference from indoors. masks on. crucial difference from not having a mask on. as i understand the plan, this is -- outdoors plus distancing plus masks plus testing, that is a good, thorough playroom. that is great. i am really happy for those bills fans and i think the governor did the right thing. as a fan, i can say when he five -- 25 years is a long time to wait to get back to the playoffs. i know people in buffalo are really excited at this moment. i think this has been done the right way, the careful way. with indoors, i would be much more cautious until we get to the point where there is very extensive vaccination. we want to make that happen very aggressively, but i think we've got to walk before we run, yet -- get people vaccinated. then, we can start talking about the future of indoor venues. with that, everyone, look, we
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are new yorkers. we are proud. we are often the center of the universe. tonight, we are definitely the center of the universe. eyes of the world will be on new york city tonight and it will be a joyous night if ever there was one. goodbye, 2020. better,es something 2021. i know that when we look back, we are going to say, as painful as the year was, new yorkers should be proud. this city showed the world how to be strong, how to be resilient, how to look out for each other. it was an incredible display of all that is good in new york city. 2021, we are going to show people what it looks like to recover and come back. we are going to do what new york city has done many times -- not just to come back, but making
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things better than they were before. fairer, stronger, more inclusive of all of us. we will do that in 2021. i'm not even saying we can do that. we will do that in 2021. that is where we are. -- that is who we are as new yorkers. i have total faith in the people of this city. i cannot wait to get started. we are now just about 13 hours away. it is going to be amazing. to everyone, a very happy new year. [speaking spanish] [speaking italian] any language you want to choose of all the languages spoken in this beautiful city, it also has the same thing. we are turning the page and going someplace better. thank you, everybody. >> as the year comes to a close, congress continues in session, debating adding more dollars to covid relief and voting on overwriting the president's veto of funding defense programs. a new congress, the 117,
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convenes sunday at noon. join us as they swear in more than 60 new members. the house elects a speaker, and as both bodies begin their work. live coverage sunday at noon eastern time. watch the house on c-span and the senate on c-span2. watch online at or listen on the c-span radio app. today, president trump spoke on his administration's a compliments in 2020, including the response to covid-19, the vaccine development, and the economy. here is a look. president trump: in the face of great challenges this year, america showed incredible grit, strength, tenacity, and resolve, and together, we achieved truly historic victories like nobody ever thought possible. to defeat the china virus, we launched


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