In Lower Manhattan, Public Advocate and Democratic candidate for governor Jumaane Williams announced the endorsement of the 504 Democratic Club, which is focused on disability rights.
Williams, who has Tourette’s Syndrome, said he plans to make subways and subway stations more accessible to people with disabilities, if elected governor.
He also took aim at Gov. Kathy Hochul’s plan to bring workers back into the office on a full-time basis next month. It’s something he said is particularly difficult for those who are physically challenged.
“Earlier this month, the governor put a stake in the ground and said everyone needed to be back in the office full time by January,” Williams said. “I got to tell you, the governor is wrong on this one. As we have said, we are not going to return to normal, we have to return better than normal. Because normal didn’t work for most of us.”
The latest entry into next June’s Democratic primary for governor is Congressman Tom Suozzi of Long Island. He held a virtual press conference Wednesday, which included a PowerPoint presentation on his plan to fight COVID-19.
It had similarities to former Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s PowerPoint presentations in the early days of the pandemic. Suozzi was asked if he is positioning himself to attract Cuomo voters.
“You can’t take away the fact that during COVID, he was there every single day laying out a comprehensive plan that was coordinating the state on these issues,” Suozzi said. “I don’t really want to get in a position of comparing myself to Governor Cuomo, but I do think he accomplished a lot of good things for our state.”
Cuomo’s COVID track record has since come under intense criticism, including in a scathing Assembly report released last week.
Meanwhile, Gov. Hochul was in Washington meeting with the state’s Congressional delegation. She defended her own COVID-19 response.
“We are handling COVID. I just told him. We just had a nice conversation. He asked for pop-up sites, we already have pop-ups. He wants more boosters out there. I explained that we have 4,500 sites for vaccines and boosters that we are micro-targeting by zip code,” Hochul said.
And although he hasn’t officially declared his intention to run for governor, Mayor Bill de Blasio was on MSNBC saying his plan is to start touring the state early next year.
In response to a question from Joe Scarborough as to whether he’s running for governor, the mayor demurred.
“Joe, I’m going to go all over New York State. You can infer as you wish,” de Blasio said. “I’m going to go all over New York State starting in January to promote my education plan that we talked about on this show. So, I look forward to engaging the people of this great state.”
On Thursday, New York Attorney General Letitia James, also a candidate for governor, will be in Westchester to receive the endorsement of County Executive George Latimer.
Gov. Hochul is expected to formally introduce former New York City Health Commissioner Mary Bassett as the new State Health Commissioner.