MetroFocus: July 19, 2021

FRONT PAGE FORECAST

Tonight Frontpage Forecast veteran, GOP Strategist and Chair of the Conservative Color Coalition Joseph Pinion, City Limits Executive Editor Jeanmarie Evelly and The Daily Beast Senior Editor and New York Daily News Columnist Harry Siegel bring you the latest headlines from across the tristate and the nation.

TRANSCRIPT

THIS IS METROFOCUS WITH RAFAEL P. ROMAN, AND JENNA FLANAGAN.

MADE POSSIBLE BY PROGRAMMING ENDOWMENT TO FIGHT ANTI-SEMITISM.

THE PETER J. PETERSON, BERNARD AND DENISE SCHWARTZ, BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG AND BY JANET PRINDLE SIDE LER.

JUDY AND JOSH WESTON, DR. ROBERT C. AND TINA SOHN FOUNDATION.

THE JPB FOUNDATION.

> GOOD EVENING AND WELCOME TO 'METROFOCUS' FRONT PAGE FORECAST.

THIS IS OUR WEEKLY LOOK AHEAD AT THE MAJOR HEADLINES AND THEIR POTENTIAL IMPACT ON THE TRI-STATE AREA.

THIS WEEK IT IS HARD TO BEGIN WITH ANYTHING BUT THE PANDEMIC.

NEW CASES PER DAY HAVE REPORTEDLY DOUBLED IN THE CITY IN THE LAST MONTH FROM AROUND 200 TO 400.

IT'S A SURGE FUELED BY THE HIGHLY TRANSMISSIBLE DELTA VARIANT, WHICH IS SPREADING IN UNDERVACCINATED NEIGHBORHOODS, AND IS NOW THE DOMINANT STRAIN ACROSS THE COUNTRY.

MARK LE VINE IS CALLING FOR MASKS TO BE REQUIRED AGAIN INDOORS EVEN FOR FULLY VACCINATED PEOPLE.

BUT MA YOUR BILL de BLASIO HAS SAID THAT ISN'T NECESSARY YET, BUT THE CITY WILL BE MONITORING THE DATA.

MEANWHILE, WE ALSO LEARNED OVER THE WEEKEND OF ANOTHER TWO POSSIBLE HATE CRIMES.

ONE IN BROOKLYN INVOLVING A JEWISH MAN AND ANOTHER IN QUEENS WHERE AN ASIAN WOMAN WAS ATTACKED.

WITH MORE ON THESE STORIES.

I'D LIKE TO WELCOME IN TONIGHT'S PANEL.

JOSEPH IS A FRONT PAGE FORECAST VETERAN, OF COURSE.

GOP STRATEGIST, ALWAYS GREAT TO HAVE YOU ON THE SHOW.

AND WE ARE ALSO JOINED TONIGHT BY HARRY SEAGLE, CO-HOST OF THE FAQ NYC FOD CAST.

THANKS FOR HAVING ME.

FIRST, LET'S START WITH THE PANDEMIC, WHICH SEEMS TO JUST CONTINUE TO FIND NEW WAYS TO, I GUESS, CONFOUND OR FRUSTRATE HEALTH EXPERTS.

NOW, THE WAY THE PRESIDENT PHRASED IT IS THAT THIS IS A PANDEMIC OF THE UNVACCINATED.

AND, JOSEPH, I ACTUALLY WANT TO START WITH YOU BECAUSE SO MUCH OF, YOU KNOW, WHAT WE SEEM TO KNOW ABOUT PEOPLE WHO HAVE YET TO BE VACCINATED, THERE ARE EITHER HISTORICAL RACIAL DISPARITIES OR THERE ARE, PERHAPS, TRUST WITH THE GOVERNMENT DISPARITIES OR CONCERNS.

FROM YOUR PERSPECTIVE, DO YOU SEE THIS DELTA VARIANT AND ITS CONTAGIOUS SPREAD AS A BIG PROBLEM OR SOMETHING THAT CAN ALSO BE MITIGATED WITH JUST SOME TIME AND PATIENCE?

SO I THINK THE PROBLEM IS NOT THE DELTA VARIANT.

I THINK THE PROBLEM IS US.

WE, THE PEOPLE, ARE THE PROBLEM.

IF YOU LOOK AT WHAT'S HAPPENING RIGHT NOW, WE DON'T HAVE A VACCINATION PROBLEM.

WE HAVE AN INTEGRITY PROBLEM, AND WE HAVE A RESPECT PROBLEM.

IF YOU LOOK AT WHAT'S HAPPENING RIGHT NOW ACROSS THIS COUNTRY, IN MY HUMBLE OPINION, YOU LOOK AT THE FACT THAT WE KNOW THE VACCINE IS WORKING.

EVEN WHEN YOU LOOK AT THE DELTA VARIANT, ALL THE DATA WE HAVE THUS FAR SUGGESTS WHETHER YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT MODERNA OR JOHNSON & JOHNSON, WHETHER YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT PFIZER, ALL THE ITERATIONS OF THE VACCINE APPEAR TO BE HIGHLY EFFECTIVE AGAINST THE VARIANT.

IF WE'RE TALKING ABOUT THE FACT THAT WE HAVE CASES THAT ARE GOING UP, THAT SHOULD BE CONCERNING, BUT WE SHOULD NOT ALSO LOSE OUR HEADS.

THE OBJECTIVE FROM THE BEGINNING WAS TO ENSURE THAT PEOPLE DID NOT END UP IN HOSPITALS AND DIE OR THAT THE PEOPLE WHO ENDED UP IN HOSPITALS AND GETTING BETTER DID NOT EVER NEED TO GO TO THE HOSPITAL IN THE FIRST CASE.

NOW IF YOU LOOK AT SPECIFICALLY NEW YORK, WE'RE LOOKING AT, ACCORDING TO THE HEALTH DEPARTMENT IN OUR OWN CITY, SEVEN-DAY HOSPITALIZATION RATES WERE DOWN TO 18.

THE DEATHS WERE DOWN TO 3 ON THAT SAME AVENUE.

SO THE DEATHS ARE NOT INCREASING TO THE PRECIPITOUS LEVEL.

THE HOSPITALIZATIONS ARE NOT DECREASING ON A PRECIPITOUS LEVEL.

SO WHEN WE TALK ABOUT NOW THE ISSUE OF CONCERN, PEOPLE WHO ARE NOT VACCINATED AND THOSE WHO ARE STILL BECOMING MORE SUSCEPTIBLE TO THIS DELTA VARIANT, IT BECOMES A MATTER OF RESPECT.

WE HAVE NOT RESPECTED THEIR CONCERNS FOR THE VARIANT.

AND INSTEAD OF RECOGNIZING THAT THE REASON WHY VACCINATIONS HAVE SLOWED DOWN IS BECAUSE WE HAVE EXHAUSTED THAT POOL OF PEOPLE WHO ARE WILLING TO LISTEN AND NOW WE NEED TO GO AND CAPTURE HEARTS AND MINDS.

WE HAVE INSULTED THOSE PEOPLE.

WE HAVE CALLED THEM CONSPIRACY THEORISTS.

AND IF YOU LOOK AT BLACK PEOPLE IN NEW YORK CITY WHO ARE NOT GETTING IT AND IF YOU LOOK AT WHITE PEOPLE WHO ARE NOT GETTING IT, IT ALL STEMS FROM THE FACT WE HAVE NOT RESPECTED THEIR CONCERNS.

WE HAVE NOT RESPECTED THE FACT THAT THEY ARE JUST PEOPLE WHO ARE TRYING TO GET THROUGH THEIR DAYS BECAUSE THEY ARE THE MOST TROUBLED BY THE DESPAIR OF NEGLIGENT IN THIS COUNTRY.

AND IF WE CAN'T UNDERSTAND THAT IMPLICITLY, THAT THEY DON'T HAVE THE WORST ACCESS TO BEGIN WITH BEFORE WE EVEN GET TO WHAT PEOPLE WANT TO LABEL AS MISINFORMATION, I THINK THAT WE'RE GOING DOWN THE WRONG PATHWAY TO GETTING THROUGH THIS ACTUAL CRISIS.

YOU KNOW, HARRY, YOU'RE NEW TO OUR ROUND TABLE, SO I'D LIKE TO BRING YOU IN AND JUST GET YOUR THOUGHTS ON NOT ONLY WHAT JOSEPH SAID BUT THE FACT THAT THIS IS STILL AN ISSUE.

THANK YOU.

IT IS FORESEEABLE THAT THIS WAS STILL GOING TO BE AN ISSUE.

NO CITY IS AN ISLAND, EVEN IF NEW YORK HAS A BUNCH OF ISLANDS.

AND WE HAVE DONE BETTER WITH VACCINATION THAN THE NATIONAL AVERAGE, BUT PEOPLE ARE GOING TO COME IN AND OUT OF NEW YORK.

I THINK WHAT WOULD BE VERY HELPFUL WOULD BE MORE ASSERTIVE LEADERSHIP, WHICH I'M NOT SURE STARTS ACTUALLY WITH THE MASK MANDATE SINCE THAT HAS LIMITED IMPACT ON ALL THE PEOPLE THAT HAVE ALREADY BEEN VACCINATED.

I WOULD LIKE TO SEE A LITTLE MORE PUSH AND POTENTIALLY -- IT'S NOT QUITE CLEAR WHO HAS THE POWER TO DO THIS NOW WITH SOME OF THE EMERGENCY ORDERS GOING AWAY, BUT I DON'T SEE WHY THE MAYOR CAN'T PUSH FOR EVERYONE WHO IS GOING TO BE IN THE SCHOOL SYSTEM, TEACHERS, ADMINISTRATORS, SUPPORT WORKERS TO NEED TO BE VACCINATED TO DO THAT.

OFFICE WORKERS WHO ARE RETURNING, WHICH CAN BE A CITY ROLE OR THIS CAN BE A QUESTION OF EMPLOYERS IN CREATING THAT PRESS SO THAT PEOPLE HAVE BEEN RELUCTANT TO DO SO.

BECAUSE NO MATTER HOW BAD YOUR ACCESS TO HEALTH CARE IS GENERALLY, RIGHT NOW THEY'RE SAYING WE'LL COME TO YOUR HOME AND VACCINATE YOU, THE CITY IS, NO PROBLEM.

JUST CALL 311.

SO THE ISSUE HERE IS NOT ACCESS.

IT'S OTHER FORMS OF RESISTANCE.

AND WITHOUT STRIPPING AWAY ANYONE'S CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS, WE'RE GETTING INTO THAT, I DO THINK THERE ARE THINGS YOU CAN DO TO ENSURE THAT PEOPLE WHO ARE LIKELY TO SPREAD THIS DISEASE AND POTENTIALLY TO THEN SERIOUSLY SICKEN OTHER PEOPLE WHO HAVE NOT BEEN VACCINATED BECAUSE WE HAVE A CRISIS NOW AMONGST THE UNVACCINATED WOULD BE TREMENDOUSLY UNHELPFUL.

AS WE SAW A YEAR AGO WITH SHUTTING DOWN THE CITY, WITH GETTING TO CAUTION WITH MASKS, CLARITY ON THE TRAIN AND HOW ITS SPREAD, WE SEEM TO BE MOVING VERY SLOWLY AT A MOMENT WHERE PERHAPS URGENCY IS CALLED FOR.

AND, CERTAINLY, IF IT IS CALLED FOR, WE'RE NOT GOING TO KNOW UNTIL IT'S TOO LATE.

IF WE SORT OF CONTINUE ON THIS, WE'LL GET THERE WHEN WE GET THERE.

AND THE MAYOR IN PARTICULAR AS OTHERS ARE CALLING FOR MORE URGENCY.

de BLASIO LAST YEAR SAID WE GOT TO SHUT DOWN THE CITY.

AND CUOMO SAID, YOU DON'T MAKE THAT CALL.

I MAKE THAT CALL AND THEN DELAY IT ALMOST TWO WEEKS WHICH HAD TREMENDOUS ILL EFFECTS.

I'M HOPING WE CAN BE SMARTER AND BETTER THIS TIME BUT I'M SKEPTICAL.

ONE REASON IS WE JUST HAD A RACE WHERE NONE OF THIS CAME OCUP.

RESURGENCE OF THIS ONE IS NOT AN ISSUE AT ALL.

THAT'S A DISTURBING SIGN ABOUT WHAT WE LEARNED AND ABOUT GOING FORWARD.

THAT'S A REALLY FAIR QUESTION, THE FACT THAT THIS DIDN'T COME UP AT ALL IN THE MAYORAL RACE AND WE'RE LOOKING AT A SITUATION ABOUT WHO IS GOING TO BE IN CHARGE AS WE MOVE THROUGH THE REST OF THIS CAMPAIGN AND THE NEXT ADMINISTRATION.

YEAH.

I MEAN, I THINK IT IS REALLY INTERESTING THAT IT DID NOT COME UP ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL.

OBVIOUSLY THE NEXT MAYOR WILL TAKE OFFICE IN JANUARY AND PERHAPS THE HOPE IS THAT BY JANUARY 2022 WE'LL BE OUT OF THE WOODS ON THIS.

BUT OF COURSE THERE IS NO GUARANTEE THAT WE KNOW THAT.

BUT I THINK THAT OBVIOUSLY IT HAS BEEN DIFFICULT IN TERMS OF MESSAGING TO SORT OF BALANCE OUT THAT IDEA OF THE CITY IS REOPENING AGAIN.

NEW YORK IS BACK IN BUSINESS AND TRYING TO REINVIGORATE THE ECONOMY AGAIN.

AND THEN ALSO THAT CAUTION ABOUT THE NEW DELTA VARIANT AND HOW TO SORT OF WEIGH THOSE TWO SIDES.

I THINK, OBVIOUSLY, LIKE WE HAD THE HOMETOWN HEROES PARADE.

THERE IS THIS SENSE OF CELEBRATION, THIS SENSE OF, YOU KNOW, NEW YORK IS COMING BACK AND WE WANT PEOPLE TO GO BACK OUT AND LIVE THEIR LIVES AGAIN AND TOURISTS TO COME HERE AND THEN BALANCING THAT, I THINK, WITH THE MESSAGING OF THESE ADDITIONAL DANGERS POSED BY THE DELTA VARIANT CAN BE A DIFFICULT ONE TO MAYBE WALK THAT LINE.

AND I THINK THAT THAT'S MAYBE WHAT OUR ELECTED OFFICIALS ARE TRYING TO BALANCE RIGHT NOW.

AND IF PERHAPS THE MAYORAL CANDIDATE FELT THE SAME WAY, IT WAS A LOT OF FOCUS ON ECONOMIC RECOVERY, WHAT WE'RE GOING TO DO FOR SMALL BUSINESSES ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL.

THERE WAS A LOT OF THAT.

A LOT OF THE PUBLIC SAFETY CONCERNS AND DISCUSSIONS ABOUT THAT.

BUT HARRY IS RIGHT.

THERE WASN'T TALK ABOUT THE HEALTH INFORMATION OF COVID, OF THE POTENTIAL ONGOING ISSUES THAT WE MIGHT STILL SEE EVEN IN JANUARY WHEN THE MAJOR TAKES OFFICE.

I DON'T KNOW IF MAYBE THIS WILL CHANGE.

IT MIGHT CHANGE AS WE HEAD INTO THE NOVEMBER GENERAL ELECTION.

WE'RE SEEING THE NUMBERS CREEPING BACK UP A LITTLE BIT, BUT IT HASN'T BEEN SOMETHING THAT HAS BEEN A FOCAL POINT OF THE POLITICAL DISCUSSION REALLY AT ALL IN TERMS OF MAYORAL CANDIDATES.

LET ME POSE THIS QUESTION.

I WANT TO PREFACE THIS ACKNOWLEDGING NONE OF YOU ARE TRAINED HEALTH EXPERTS.

HOWEVER, SINCE COUNCILMAN LE VINE IS TALKING ABOUT THIS INCREASE IN CASES FROM 200 TO 400, WHICH IS DEFINITELY CONCERNING AND SOMETHING TO BE NOTED, HOWEVER, WHAT DOESN'T SEEM TO BE THE TOP HEADLINE IS THAT THE HOSPITALS ARE OVERWHELMING, THAT THEY'RE OVER FILLING UP, ET CETERA.

SO I'M WONDERING: SHOULD WE BE PAYING MORE ATTENTION TO THE HEALTH OF THE HEALTH CARE SYSTEM, PERHAPS AS OPPOSED TO THE INCREASE IN CASES BECAUSE, AGAIN, THAT'S WHAT REALLY THAT'S WHAT DROVE THE STAY-AT-HOME ORDERS TO BEGIN WITH LAST YEAR.

AND I WANT TO ADD TO THAT QUESTION: WHAT HAPPENS IF WE JUST SORT OF JUST LET THE VIRUS JUST GO?

I MEAN, WE HAVE A CERTAIN NUMBER OF PEOPLE WHO HAVE BEEN VACCINATED.

THERE IS SOME PEOPLE THAT PERHAPS FEEL AS IF I JUST GET IT AND GET MY OWN ANTIBODIES NATURALLY, THAT'S THE WAY TO GO.

WHAT HAPPENS IF WE JUST LEAVE IT?

WELL, LOOK, I JUST WILL CONTINUE TO REITERATE THAT I THINK THAT WE HAVE TO BE VERY CAREFUL THAT WE DO NOT BECOME THE VERY FEAR MONGERERS THAT WE WARNED PEOPLE ABOUT.

I THINK THAT WHEN WE LOOK AT WHAT HAS HAPPENED HERE, WE SHOULD BE CONCERNED ABOUT CASES GOING UP, ABSOLUTELY.

THERE IS STILL MUCH WE DON'T KNOW ABOUT THIS VIRUS.

WE DON'T KNOW HOW LONG ANTIBODIES LAST.

WE DON'T KNOW HOW LONG THE VACCINE WILL REMAIN TO BE EFFECTIVE, WHETHER SIX MONTHS, MAYBE NINE MONTHS, MAYBE LESS THAN THAT.

WE NOW SEE PEOPLE WHO HAVE GOT THE VACCINE STILL GETTING SICK.

AT THE END OF THE DAY, OUR OBJECTIVE IS TO HAVE PUBLIC HEALTH POLICIES TO MAKE SURE PEOPLE DON'T DIE AND OUR HEALTH CARE SYSTEM DOESN'T BECOME OVERWHELMED.

IN NEW YORK, THAT IS FAR FROM THE CASE.

IN FACT, WE HAVE SEEN THE OPPOSITE, AGAIN, AS WE HAVE SEEN FROM OUR OWN CITY DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, THE HOSPITALIZATION RATES REMAIN DOWN.

THE DEATHS REMAIN PRECIPITOUSLY DOWN FROM WHERE WE WERE.

IT APPEARS WHAT WE'RE DOING IS WORKING.

THE NEXT STEP WE NEED TO TAKE IS TO ACKNOWLEDGE THE HESITANCY.

AND WHAT HAS HAPPENED IS THAT INSTEAD OF ACKNOWLEDGING THE FACT THAT PEOPLE HAVE LEGITIMATE CONCERNS BASED OFF THE FACT THAT EVEN THE EXPERTS CANNOT GIVE US PRECISE ACCESS TO INFORMATION BECAUSE WE HAVE NEVER BEEN HERE BEFORE, WE HAVE VILLIFIED OUR NEIGHBORS.

WE HAVE TRIED TO LAY THE BLAME AT THE POLITICAL FEET OF OUR OPPONENTS.

AND, TO ME, WE DO A GREAT DISTURBANCE TO LOOK AT THIS BIPARTISAN LAND.

I WILL REMIND PEOPLE THAT OBVIOUSLY BLACK PEOPLE DO NOT MAKE UP A PRECIPITOUS AMOUNT OF THIS COUNTRY.

WHEN PER KAEP TA, PERCENTAGE-WISE, WE MAKE UP A LARGE PART OF THE PEOPLE NOT VACCINATED.

IT WILL BE HELPFUL TO LOOK AT THE FACT THAT THE SAME HESITANCY THAT WE SEE IN COMMUNITIES THAT ARE ON THE POLITICAL RIGHT IS THE SAME HESITANCY WE SEE IN THE COMMUNITIES ON THE POLITICAL LEFT.

SO I THINK IF WE CAN JUST ANALYZE THAT, STEP BACK AND START TALKING ABOUT THIS THROUGH A HUMAN LENS AND THROUGH THE LENS OF, SAY, WHAT WAS OUR PRIMARY OBJECTIVE.

LET US NOT HAVE TUNNEL VISION BUT LOOK AT AND SAY WHAT WAS OUR INITIAL OBJECTIVE, I THINK THAT WOULD BE A HEALTHIER WAY TO DIAGNOSE, HOW DO WE GET MORE PEOPLE TO BUY IN TO THE REALITY THAT IF MORE PEOPLE ARE VACCINATED, IT GIVES US A BETTER CHANCE OF GETTING THROUGH THIS BECAUSE IF VACCINATIONS WORKING AND MASKS WORK, THEN PEOPLE SHOULD HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO CHOOSE FOR THEMSELVES OR WE ALSO HAVE TO BE WILLING TO ACKNOWLEDGE THE HESITANCY THAT LEADS SOME PEOPLE NOT TO WANT TO GET VACCINATED.

HARRY, DO YOU THINK THAT THE HEALTH OF THE HEALTH CARE SYSTEM IS REALLY WHAT'S ALLOWING PERHAPS THE LACK OF URGENCY ON THE PART OF GOVERNMENT?

CERTAINLY.

AND IT'S WHAT CAUSED THE BELATED URGENCY LAST TIME AROUND.

THE HEALTH SYSTEM WAS GOING TO COLLAPSE UNDER THE WEIGHT OF SERIOUS CASES.

THERE IS THIS PUSH TO HAVE VENTILATORS HERE WHEN IT WASN'T AS CLEAR WHAT VENTILATORS WERE GOING TO HELP FOR.

TO BE BIPARTISAN ABOUT THIS, A YEAR AGO YOU HAD ANDREW CUOMO AND DONALD TRUMP WHO HAD VERY DIFFERENT PUBLIC PERSONAS, BUT BOTH OF THEM FOR MONTHS TALKING ABOUT HOW FEAR WAS MORE OF A THREAT THAN THE VIRUS.

THAT WAS ONE OF THEIR GO-TO LINES.

RIGHT NOW, WE DON'T WANT FEAR TO GET AHEAD OF THINGS.

THIS DOES SEEM, EVEN AS THE DELTA VARIANT IS SPREADING LIKE IT IS MORE CONTROLLABLE FOR A FEW REASONS.

YOU DO HAVE LOTS OF PEOPLE WHO ARE VACCINATED AND AREN'T OVERLOADING THE HEALTH CARE SYSTEM.

HOWEVER, THERE IS BIG, OPEN QUESTIONS ABOUT CONTINUING MUTATIONS AS THE VIRUS IS ALLOWED TO SPREAD.

THERE IS SOMETHING SELFISH, AND THIS IS A FIGHT THAT COMES UP IN EVERY PUBLIC HEALTH CRISIS WITH PEOPLE THAT DON'T WANT TO -- OR ARE HESITANT OR, YOU KNOW, DOWN RIGHT REFUSE TO GET VACCINATED, TO GET IMMUNIZED WITH WHAT HAPPENS WITH THE BROADER POOL.

AND WE JUST HAD A YEAR IN WHICH THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION AND SOME OF THE PEOPLE WHO WERE ADVISING IT WHO I THINK WERE ABOUT AS SCIENTIFICALLY AND MEDICALLY SERIOUS AS I AM, AND I'M NOT, WERE SAYING, HEY, WHY DON'T WE JUST LET THIS SPREAD AND THIS WILL DEAL WITH ITSELF.

AS BEST I UNDERSTAND IT AND FROM THE EPIDEMIOLOGISTS AND DOCTORS I'M TALKING TO, WE'RE NOWHERE NEAR THAT POINT, AND THE RISKS ARE VERY SIGNIFICANT EVEN WITH SO MANY PEOPLE VACCINATED, NOT LEAST BECAUSE OF THE POSSIBILITY OF NEW PATVARIANTS OF CONCERN.

EVERY TIME THE VIRUS SPREADS, IT GIVES ANOTHER CHANCE TO MUTATE AND DEVELOP.

IT WOULD BE GOOD IF WE HAD ENOUGH URGENCY TO GET AHEAD OF THAT INSTEAD OF LETTING THIS PLAY OUT.

AS MANY PEOPLE DID LAST YEAR, JUST SORT OF HOPING FOR THE BEST.

I'D LIKE TO BRING YOU IN AND GET YOUR THOUGHTS BEFORE WE MOVE ON.

I THINK IT IS INTERESTING.

ONE OF THE THINGS THAT WE HAVE HEARD, ONE OF MY REPORTERS RECENTLY DID A STORY ABOUT EFRPEF EFFORTS TO VACCINATE NEW YORKERS WHO ARE HOMELESS AND LIVING IN THE SHELTER SYSTEM, WHICH IS A DIFF DIFFERENT POPULATION TO VACCINATE.

OBVIOUSLY, THIS IS ANECDOTAL, SO WE CAN'T SAY WHY IT IS SCIENTIFIC OR WIDESPREAD, BUT SOME PEOPLE SPOKE TO IN THE SHELTER SYSTEM WHO SAID THEY WERE THINKING NOW ABOUT GETTING VACCINATED.

EVEN WHEN THEY WEREN'T THINKING ABOUT IT BEFORE, THEY HAD BEEN HESITANT FOR A LOT OF REASONS MENTIONED TO DO SO BUT THAT THE NEWS OF THE DELTA VARIANT AND ITS POTENCY AND IT'S MORE CONTAGIOUSNESS WAS ONE OF THE FACTORS THAT WAS MOTIVATING THEM TO THINK ABOUT IT MORE SERIOUSLY AND TO CONSIDER GETTING VACCINATED, SO I DO WONDER IF THAT'S A MENTALITY THAT MIGHT BE HAPPENING, YOU KNOW, MORE WIDESPREAD THAN JUST THOSE FEW PEOPLE.

THAT COULD BE SOME PUBLIC MESSAGING.

IT IS THIS UPTICK, AND MAYBE THAT COULD HELP TO DO AN EXTRA PUSH TO INSPIRE PEOPLE WHO WOULD HAVE BEEN NERVOUS ABOUT VACCINATION TO PULL THE TRIGGER ON IT NOW.

OF COURSE.

WELL, SINCE WE ARE TALKING ABOUT PUBLIC HEALTH AND IN A DIFFERENT, PERHAPS, WAY OF TALKING ABOUT THE HEALTH OF THE CITY, AS I MENTIONED IN THE INTRO, WE ARE STILL CONTINUING TO SEE HATE CRIMES HAPPEN ACROSS THE CITY.

VARIOUS DIFFERENT GROUPS WHO WE HAVE TALKED ABOUT WERE ALL AT RISK FOR DIFFERENT REASONS.

AND I'LL JUST ASK YOU: WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE FACT THAT WE ARE STILL STRUGGLING WITH THIS VERY PARTICULARLY POTENT ISSUE AND WHAT IS THAT TELLING YOU ABOUT THE HEALTH, EMOTIONAL HEALTH, SPIRITUAL HEALTH OF NEW YORK?

YEAH.

I MEAN, IT'S SOMETHING THAT WE HAVE BEEN SEEING THROUGHOUT THE PANDEMIC, ESPECIALLY THIS UPTICK IN HATE CRIMES, PARTICULARLY AGAINST ASIAN-AMERICAN NEW YORKERS.

IT IS OBVIOUSLY VERY DISTURBING.

THERE ARE A COUPLE INCIDENTS THAT HAPPENED EARLIER THAT ARE NOW BEING INVESTIGATED.

YEAH.

I DO THINK THAT IT DOES POINT TO -- YOU KNOW, I THINK IT MIGHT GO HAND IN AHAND WITH A LOT OF THE PUBLIC SAFETY CONCERNS THAT HAVE COME UP DURING THE PANDEMIC OF JUST LIKE BEING IN THIS VERY DIFFICULT TIME EMOTIONALLY, MENTALLY THAT A LOT OF PEOPLE ARE REALLY FEELING, YOU KNOW, I THINK MAYBE IT'S BEEN A HARD YEAR.

AND I THINK THAT CAN FEED INTO, PERHAPS, ALL OF THESE INCIDENTS THAT WE'RE SEEING IN TERMS OF THE EMOTIONAL HEALTH OF THE CITY.

AND I THINK, YEAH, IT IS OBVIOUSLY STILL A CONCERN.

EVEN AS WE'RE OPENING UP, WE'RE CONTINUING TO SEE THAT AND CONTINUING TO SEE CONCERNS AROUND GUN VIOLENCE AS WELL.

I THINK A LOT OF THAT MIGHT GO HAND IN HAND IN TERMS OF, YOU KNOW, I THINK A LOT OF THE DISCUSSION UNDER GUN VIOLENCE IN PARTICULAR WAS ABOUT THESE OTHER FACTORS THAT FEED INTO THAT, UNDERLYING FACTORS.

I DON'T KNOW IF THE SAME FACTORS FEED INTO BIAS CRIMES, BUT UNEMPLOYMENT AND A SENSE OF DESPERATION PEOPLE ARE FEELING AND OBVIOUSLY THE STATE OF THE MENTAL HEALTH SYSTEM IN NEW YORK AND THROUGHOUT THE COUNTRY AS WELL, WHETHER OR NOT THAT IS KIND OF PARALLEL, I'M NOT SURE.

BUT IT'S OBVIOUSLY SOMETHING THAT HAS CONTINUED TO HAPPEN.

AND I KNOW THAT BOTH THE CITY HAS DONE CAMPAIGNS TO TRY TO, LIKE PUBLIC AWARENESS CAMPAIGNS AROUND TOLERANCE AND THAT HATE HAS NO PLACE IN OUR CITY.

YOU HAVE PROBABLY SEEN THE POSTERS IN THE SUBWAY SYSTEM.

BUT WE CONTINUE TO SEE THESE REALLY DISTURBING INCIDENTS THAT OBVIOUSLY STRIKES FEAR INTO A LOT OF THE HEARTS OF CITY RESIDENTS, ESPECIALLY THOSE WHO BELONG TO SOME OF THESE GROUPS THAT ARE BEING TARGETED.

HOW ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE FACT THAT WE ARE CONTINUING TO STRUGGLE WITH THESE ISSUES THAT SEEM TO HAVE BEEN UNEARTHED WITH THE PRESSURE OF THE PANDEMIC?

CONCERNED THAT THE CONVERSATION AROUND THIS, THE NUMBERS ARE WAY UP.

I THINK HATE CRIMES ARE UP SOMETHING LIKE 110% THIS YEAR, HATE CRIMES AGAINST JEWS ARE UP 70%. WE HAVE SEEN THIS WAVE TARGETING ASIANS.

A LOT OF THE RESPONSE FROM CITY OFFICIALS HAS BEEN GLIB A FEW DIFFERENT WAYS.

THERE HAS BEEN A LOT OF TALK ABOUT TRUMP CREATING THIS WAVE OF HATE.

BUT FROM THE REPORTED CASES WE HAVE HAD, IT DOESN'T SEEM LIKE THAT ENTIRELY EXPLAINS OR ACCOUNTS FOR WHAT'S GOING ON HERE.

IT SEEMS LIKE A WAY OF PASSING THE BUCK WITHOUT DOING ANYTHING.

PSAs DON'T DO ANYTHING ABOUT PEOPLE WHO ARE SERIOUSLY EMOTIONALLY DISTURBED AND MENTALLY ILL AND AREN'T GETTING SERVICES AND CARE THAT THEY NEED, WHICH THE PANDEMIC HAS MADE VERY OBVIOUS.

AND THIS HAS BEEN A PRESSURE COOKER YEAR A WHOLE NUMBER OF DIFFERENT WAYS.

SO I'M CONCERNED THIS HAS HAPPENED.

I'M EVEN MORE CONCERNED BY THE IDEA THAT A YEAR FROM NOW THE PANDEMIC IS NONE.

IT'S JUST GOING TO UNHAPPEN AND WILL GO BACK TO PREVIOUS LEVELS NATURALLY, AS IT WERE.

AND I'M SIMPLY NOT SURE THAT THAT IS THE CASE.

AND QUITE OBVIOUSLY, THIS IS PART OF A LARGER DISCUSSION ABOUT POLICING MENTAL HEALTH, PUBLIC SAFETY AND TREATING PEOPLE AND PUTTING PEOPLE WHO ARE AT TIMES MENTALLY ILL, WHO CAN BE WILDLY ANTISOCIAL AND NEW YORKERS ARE CONCERNED ABOUT AND FINDING WAYS TO GET THEM HELP AND TO REMOVE THEM FROM THE LARGER POPULATION THAT DON'T INVOLVE TAKING ANTISOCIAL PERSON AND POLICING THEM.

TAKING ENTIRE NEIGHBORHOODS AND INDISCRIMINATELY OVERPOLICING THEM.

BUT WHAT WE'RE SEEING THIS YEAR IS VERY OMINOUS FOR WHERE THE CITY IS HEADED, AND I THINK THE DIRECTION IS SOMETHING YOU NEED TO LOOK AT AND ASK: HOW CAN WE GET THIS UNDER CONTROL?

HOW CAN WE BE MORE CARING AND CONDUCIVE TO PEOPLE WHO NEED HELP WHILE PROTECTS OTHER NEW YORKERS WHEN NECESSARY FROM THEM.

I DON'T THINK WE'RE STRUGGLING SERIOUSLY WITH THAT YET.

I THINK TRUMP IS A TERRIBLE PERSON AND A TERRIBLE MODEL FOR OTHER PEOPLE IN MY VIEW, A CONVENIENT EXCUSE FOR LEADING THAT LOCAL AND DIFFERENT CONVERSATION.

JOSEPH, WE HAVE HAD THIS CONVERSATION BEFORE, AND I KNOW THESE ARE ISSUES YOU TOUCHED ON IN TERMS OF HOW WE VIEW THESE THINGS AND WHAT IT IS THAT WE SHOULD ACTUALLY BE ADDRESSING.

SO I WOULD LIKE TO GIVE YOU THE LAST WORD.

YEAH.

I THINK I WOULD TEND TO AGREE WITH MY COLLEAGUES HERE.

LOOK, THIS IS A HUMAN ISSUE.

THIS IS A MATTER OF DIGNITY AND RESPECT AND ACKNOWLEDGING THAT THIS HAS BEEN A VERY TOUGH YEAR FOR PEOPLE.

WE'RE NOT GOING TO FIX THIS FOR THE PSA.

WE'RE NOT GOING TO FIX THIS WITH POSTERS.

NUMBER ONE, WE HAVE A NATION THAT DOESN'T CARE ABOUT POOR PEOPLE.

WE JUST FOUND OUT DOWN IN BALTIMORE, 41% OF ALL THE STUDENTS ATTENDING THE HIGH SCHOOL HAD A GPA BELOW 1.0.

SO WHAT TYPE OF DESPAIR DO YOU THINK THAT THAT HAS IN THE MINDS OF A GENERATION THAT FEEL LIKE THEY HAVE NO FUTURE BECAUSE SPEAKING WITH THAT TYPE OF EDUCATIONAL ACUMEN, THERE IS VERY LITTLE FUTURE THAT CAN BE HOPED FOR.

THAT IS A PLAGUE SPREADING ACROSS THIS COUNTRY LIKE LOCUSTS.

ONE GENERATION AFTER ANOTHER, ONE CHILD AFTER ANOTHER.

YOU COMPOUND THAT WITH PEOPLE WHO ARE LIVING IN HOMES THEY WILL SOON BE EVICTED FROM BECAUSE THEY HAVE NOT BEEN ABLE TO PAY THE MORTGAGE OR THE RENT.

AND ON TOP OF ALL OF THIS IS THE FACT THAT WE, PARTICULARLY IN THE MEDIA, I HAVE TO SAY, HAVE WOUND THE PEOPLE UP TO A FEVER PITCH, WHETHER IT'S THE PEOPLE WHO FEEL AS IF SOMEHOW THE VIRUS CAME FROM A LAB IN WUHAN, WHICH, AGAIN, FOR BETTER AND FOR WORSE LEADS PEOPLE TO FEEL AS IF I'M HAVING A TERRIBLE YEAR WHO CAN I POINT TO AND SAY YOU ARE TO BLAME.

PEOPLE THAT ARE TALKING ABOUT TRYING TO BE GOOD HEARTED PEOPLE WHO WANT TO SUPPORT A MOVEMENT THEY DO NOT UNDERSTAND, AND THAT'S WHY WE HAVE TURNED BROADWAY INTO SOME TYPE OF REENACTMENT FROM GA SA WHERE WE HAVE PEOPLE LITERALLY STANDING THERE WITH THE FLAG OF ISRAEL BEING BEATEN.

THIS IS WHAT IS HAPPENING IN THIS COUNTRY.

SO WE CAN'T JUST GET TO A POINT WHERE WE CAN ACKNOWLEDGE THE PAIN AND SUFFERING OF OUR NEIGHBOR, WHERE WE CAN ACKNOWLEDGE THE FACT THAT WE HAVE DONE OURSELVES A DISSERVICE BY GIVING PEOPLE A PERSON TO BLAME, AND THAT PERSON BEING THE INDIVIDUAL LIVING BESIDE YOU STRUGGLING WITH MANY OF THE SAME THINGS YOU ARE STRUGGLING FOR.

AND UNDERSTANDING THERE ARE PEOPLE IN GREAT MORAL CRISIS AND JUST MENTAL HEALTH CRISIS.

ALL OF THOSE THINGS ARE THE CONVERGENCE OF WHAT WE SEE.

THEY ARE THE CENTER.

THEY ARE NOT THE DISEASE.

BUT WE HAVE TO HEAL OUR OWN HEARTS AND OUR OWN MINDS IF WE'RE EVER GOING TO GET TO THE BOTTOM OF THAT.

I KNOW THAT SOUNDS FOR NEGABULO, BUT IT IS THE WORK THAT IS REQUIRED.

THAT IS THE COMFORT FOOD OF THE MASSES THAT ALLOW PEOPLE TO SLEEP BETTER AT NIGHT UNTIL WE GO BACK TO THE NORMAL LEVELS THAT WE PREVIOUSLY DISCUSSED.

UNFORTUNATELY, WE ARE GOING TO HAVE TO LEAVE IT THERE, BUT TO OUR GUESTS, THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH FOR JOINING US ON THE MONDAY FRONT PAGE FORECAST ON 'METROFOCUS'.

THANK YOU.

THANK YOU, JENNA.

> 'METROFOCUS' IS MADE POSSIBLE BY -- SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III.

SYLVIA A. AND SIMON B. POYTA PROGRAMING ENDOWMENT TO FIGHT ANTI-SEMITISM.

THE PETER G. PETERSON AND JOAN GANZ COONEY FUND.

BERNARD AND DENISE SCHWARTZ.

BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG.

THE AMBROSE MONELL FOUNDATION.

AND BY -- JANET PRINDLE SEIDLER.

JODY AND JOHN ARNHOLD.

CHERYL AND PHILIP MILSTEIN FAMILY.

JUDY AND JOSH WESTON.

DR. ROBERT C. AND TINA SOHN FOUNDATION.

THE JPB FOUNDATION.

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