Mayor-elect Eric Adams took to the airwaves Sunday and declared he wants to nix mask mandates in the classroom and called himself “conservative” on public safety.
Adams fears masks are stopping students from making friends and said he wants to end the school mask mandate when he takes office come Jan. 1.
“If we can find a safe way to do it, I look forward to getting rid of the mask,” Adams told CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday morning.
“Part of the socialization of a child is that smile.”
“Not being able to see the smiles of our children has a major impact.”
“But it must be done with the science so we don’t go back to closing our city down.”
As recently as Thursday city officials could not say what it would take to lift the mask requirement in public schools, even as kids aged 5 and up can now get the COVID-19 vaccine.
At his daily press briefing on Thursday, Mayor Bill de Blasio conceded there is currently no end in sight for masks in schools.
“I would say, as a general view, that out of an abundance of caution, I would keep the masks in place, at least in the short term because they’ve really worked, because the kids have adapted to them well, the adults have adapted to them well,” de Blasio said.
“But I would also say, as an everyday person, I look forward to the day when we don’t need them. We just need to make sure we’re absolutely certain that’s the right moment.”
Adams, a former police captain, also talked tough about cracking down on violence during his press engagements on Sunday morning.
Adams believes criminals busted with guns need to be locked up longer to prevent shootings like when a 26-year-old woman was hit in the leg by a stray bullet while pushing her 2-year-old daughter in a stroller in the Bronx on Thursday night.
“I am conservative on public safety when you see 13-year-old children in our schools stabbed in libraries and a woman was shot while walking down the block with a baby in a carriage,” Adams told NPR’s Weekend Edition.
“When I use the term ‘conservative’, I have zero tolerance for abusive and criminal and violent behavior.
“I don’t believe people who discharge guns on Monday should be out of jail on Tuesday, the next day – that’s not acceptable.
“I know what we need to stop the abusiveness of law enforcement but at the same time get the safety we deserve.”