As of Thursday, New York City has logged a total of 924,000 COVID-19 cases and 32,461 novel coronavirus-related deaths. The densely populated city was notoriously known as an early epicenter for the US COVID-19 pandemic, but has recently seen a drop in novel coronavirus cases as nearly 6.5 million vaccines have been administered.
Speaking to reporters during a surprise news conference on Thursday, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the city will be fully reopened, “all systems go,” on July 1 – just three days before Independence Day in the US.
The mayor highlighted that in order for this to happen, city residents must continue to get vaccinated.
“Everyone who hasn’t yet been vaccinated, come forward now. This is the time. This is the right moment. It’s easier than ever. It’s simple. It’s convenient. Let’s keep moving with vaccinations,” he urged.
According to data from the city’s health department, more than 7.5 million COVID-19 vaccines have been delivered throughout NYC’s five boroughs, and over 6.4 million vaccine doses have been administered so far.
Embattled New York Governor Andrew Cuomo chastised de Blasio’s remarks in his own news conference in Buffalo, New York, arguing that setting such reopening projections is simply “irresponsible” because “reopening means, literally, everything back to normal.”
At the same time, the Democratic governor appeared hopeful about the statewide lifting of COVID-19-related restrictions.
“July 1 – you have May, June, what happens in May? What happens in June?” Cuomo said. “I’d like to get the hopeful reopening date before that. I don’t want to wait that long. I think if we do what we have to do we can reopen earlier.”
“There is no person who will safely reopen faster than myself,” he said.
According to de Blasio’s Thursday remarks, he and Cuomo have yet to discuss NYC’s plans or any related thresholds.