mayor-elect will travel to Ghana despite growing concerns over the rapid spread of the COVID-19 variant worldwide.
Adams said on Monday that he will make the trip to fulfill a promise he made to himself following the 400-year-anniversary of slavery in America – which occurred in 2019.
‘I made a promise to myself that I would visit Ghana following the 400 year anniversary of slavery in America and the election, to show how far we have come and remember how far we still must go,’ Adams told theon Monday.
The mayor-elect will be making the trip for a week and is scheduled to return to the US on December 8. He said that he will ‘follow the science and public health professionals’ and that travel to Ghana, in West Africa, has not been banned.
Omicron, the new COVID-19 variant labeled ‘of concern’ by the World Health Organization was initially spotted in the southern area of Africa last week but has since spread to Canada, France, Spain, Portugal, Australia, Hong Kong, Israel, Italy, Germany, Sweden, The Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, the Czech Republic, and the UK.
President Joe Biden on Friday banned non-US citizens from South Africa and seven other countries in the region – Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique, and Malawi.
Incoming mayor of New York City Eric Adams said he will be traveling to Ghana to fulfill a promise he made to himself following the 400 anniversary of slavery in America
The mayor-elect will be making the trip for a week and is scheduled to return to the US on December 8. He said that he will ‘follow the science and public health professionals’ and that travel to Ghana, in West Africa, has not been banned (file photo)
Meanwhile, Adams did not backpedal from his decision to travel with family to Ghana.
‘When it comes to COVID, I have said time and time again that I will follow the science and our public health professionals as a leader—and right now travel is banned only to Southern African countries out of an abundance of caution,’ Adams said in a statement.
‘Should the federal government change their guidance on travel, I will immediately follow it. Meanwhile, New Yorkers must remain vigilant about preventing the spread of COVID, including wearing masks and getting their vaccines and booster shots.’
The 400th year anniversary of slaves being brought to America was celebrated in 2019 with the Congressional Black Caucus and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi leading a delegation to Ghana.
Descendants of slaves were then motivated to return to commemorate the anniversary. Adams hinted on Monday that the outcome of the election played a pivotal part in the timing of his travel.
‘This election to me was, among other things, about resetting a negative narrative so that we can have a more just and united future. I will continue to be in contact with the transition team on our progress toward January 1, and with the mayor on pressing matters including Omicron while I’m in Ghana,’ he said.
Adams, a former NYPD officer, was initially said to be reconsidering his trip after the variant was first announced, but said in a statement that plans to travel to the West African country are still in place.
He is fully vaccinated and recently received the COVID-19 booster shot.
‘This could prove to be a critical moment in our war with COVID-19. We must treat it that way. I believe the most clear message we are sending to New York is that vaccine is our most potent weapon…The globe is watching New York,’ Adams said after joining Mayor de Blasio’s press conference on Monday
Adams, who won the New York City mayoral election against contender Curtis Sliwa with 66.5 percent of votes, appeared today during Mayor de Blasio’s daily press briefing to talk about the new variant and the transition between the two administrations.
‘The variant has now been detected in a dozen countries and we want to take this seriously and follow the guidance of our public health officials and listen to the science and most importantly we want to reemphasize the influence of getting your shot,’ he said.
Adams vowed to continue to enforce vaccination in New York City, as COVID-19 cases are expected to spike during the winter.
He said: ‘Anyone that believes that we are going to play off of a different playbook under the next administration of not pursuing vaccines. They need to believe that is not true. We are going to play on the same playbook. We must get vaccinated.’
‘This could prove to be a critical moment in our war with COVID-19. We must treat it that way. I believe the most clear message we are sending to New York is that vaccine is our most potent weapon…The globe is watching New York,’ he added.
During the same briefing, de Blasio shared the steadily increasing figures indicating that the city might already be seeing a spike in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations as the holiday season gets underway.
‘There are no Omicron cases here in New York City…It’s very likely there will be. There are no cases at this moment, but nonetheless, we are preparing to take action. Vaccination is crucial and we are going to double down on our vaccination efforts,’ he said.
Although holiday travel and gatherings have just started and the coldest days lay ahead, the city just recorded a spike of 2.22percent in COVID-19 positive test rate – the highest in two months
The trend continues to be that hospitalizations and deaths are more common among those unvaccinated, with 17 hospitalization per 100,000 residents for those who have not received the jab as opposed to less than two hospitalizations per 100,000 for those who have been inoculated
Nationwide, there are more than 48 million confirmed cases of COVID-19. The US has reported more than 776,000 deaths from the virus since the pandemic started
De Blasio reissued advice saying that all New Yorkers, regardless of vaccination status should wear masks indoors, including at grocery stores, in offices, and gyms.
He said his office is actively coordinating with New York Governor Kathy Hochul’s to tackle the threat of the new COVID-19 strain Omicron, which was first spotted in Southern Africa and was labeled a ‘variant of concern.’
‘We are going to fight the Omicron variant and most immediately continue to fight the Delta variant that is actually the challenge we are dealing with here now. And it’s the number one challenge still. Get that booster,’ he added.
More than 943,000 people have gotten the booster in New York City.
However, 99 hospitalizations were reported on Monday, marking a 25 percent spike from two weeks ago. New York City recorded 485 people hospitalized due to the virus on November 27, over 100 more than two weeks ago.
NYC health commissioner David Choksi said that the indoor mask advisory extends to all people regardless of their vaccination status.
‘We do anticipate detecting Omicron in New York in the coming days based upon what we know about its global spread,’ he said.
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