Bill Neidhardt, press secretary for New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, lashed out at Governor Andrew Cuomo on Thursday over the governor’s suggestion that de Blasio’s re-opening plan is not sufficiently ambitious, telling a reporter that he doesn’t care about Cuomo’s opinion because of the numerous scandals he’s currently is embroiled in.
“I don’t care what a serial sexual harasser and assaulter and someone who covered up the deaths of thousands of people at nursing homes has to say about anything,” Niedhart told a NY1 reporter.
Neidhardt’s comment was made in response to Cuomo’s claim that de Blasio’s July 1 target for reopening was “irresponsible.”
“I think they’re irresponsible,” Cuomo said of the New York City projections for July 1, asserting that he had the authority to make decisions on state COVID policy.
“July 1 – you have May, June, what happens in May, what happens in June? 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,” Cuomo said.
De Blasio disclosed his plan for the city ahead of Cuomo’s scheduled briefing, although he did not communicate with the governor before releasing it.
“We can see that light at the end of the tunnel,” the mayor said at a Thursday press conference. “This is going to be the summer of New York City.”
De Blasio emphasized that full reopening would apply to stores, businesses, offices, theaters, restaurants, gyms and other venues and activities.
Cuomo and de Blasio have bickered over the reopening process in past months, especially since localities must request approval from the state government to relax lockdown measures. New York is still technically in a state of emergency declared by Cuomo last year.
Amid the sexual harassment, book writing, and nursing home scandals embattling the governor, de Blasio has called for his resignation. “He can’t continue to lead…he just has to go,” the mayor said on MSNBC’s Morning Joe show.