MetroFocus: September 20, 2021

FRONTPAGE FORECAST: BOOSTERS, RADICALS & HEADLINES

We’ll take you inside President Biden’s plan to roll out Covid booster shots and the opposition. Then we’ll assess this weekend’s protests in defense of those charged in January’s deadly insurrection at the Capitol. Plus, we’ll bring you the latest headlines you’ll need to start your week with progressive political strategist and President of Trip Yang Strategies, Trip Yang, CUNY faculty member and former President of the New York City Board of Elections JC Polanco and deputy editor at The City, Alyssa Katz.

TRANSCRIPT

> THIS IS 'METROFOCUS' WITH RAFAEL PI ROMAN, JACK FORD, AND JENNA FLANAGAN.

> '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.

> GOOD EVENING.

AND WELCOME TO 'METROFOCUS' FRONT PAGE FISCAL.

I'M JENNA FLANAGAN.

THIS IS OUR LOOK AHEAD AT THE MAJOR STORIES THAT WILL DRIVE THE NEWS THIS WEEK, AND THEIR POSSIBLE IMPACT ON THE TRI-STATE AREA.

AND WE BEGIN TONIGHT WITH THE STORY SO MANY OF US ARE TALKING ABOUT.

AND THAT'S THE PLAN TO ROLL OUT COVID BOOSTER SHOTS.

JUST LAST FRIDAY, A KEY ADVISORY PANEL ESSENTIALLY TOLD THE WHITE HOUSE, NOT SO FAST, REJECTING A PROPOSAL TO GIVE THE EXTRA VACCINE DOSE ACROSS THE BOARD.

THE VOTE, HOWEVER S FAR FROM THE FINAL WORD ON ALL OF THIS.

SO WHAT CAN WE EXPECT THIS WEEK FROM THE FDA AND THE CDC?

HOW COULD THIS IMPACT NEW YORK'S ROLLOUT?

AND IS PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN MOVING TOO FAST?

WE'LL ALSO DISCUSS WHERE THE COUNTRY GOES FROM HERE AFTER SATURDAY'S RALLY IN WASHINGTON, D.C.

THE EVENT REPORT LEAD DREW MORE POLICE THAN PROTESTERS AND WAS HELD IN DEFENSE OF THOSE CHARGED IN JANUARY'S DEADLY INSURRECTION AT THE CAPITOL.

SO LET'S GET STARTED.

BACK WITH THEIR TAKE ON THE HEADLINES AND WHAT ELSE DRIVES THE NEWS THIS WEEK ARE OUR RETURNING GUEST JC PILL ANCO, COMMENTATOR EXTRAORDINARY AIR, AND FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE NEW YORK CITY BOARD OF ELECTIONS.

JC, ALWAYS GREAT TO HAVE YOU ON THE SHOW.

I AM HAPPY TO BE HERE.

THANKS SO MUCH, JENNA?

WE ARE ALSO JOINED BY TRIPP YEN, A POLITICAL STRATEGIST WHO HAS WORKED WITH SOME OF THE BIGGEST POLITICAL NAMES IN NEW YORK CITY POLITICS.

TRIPP, WELCOME TO 'METROFOCUS.'

THANK YOU, JENNA.

IT IS AN HONOR TO BE HERE WITH EVERYBODY.

WE ARE ALSO JOINED BY ALISSA KATZ.

ALISSA IS DEPUTY EDIT AR AT THE CITY, THE NON-PROFIT NEWS OUTLET COVERING THE CITY.

GLAD TO BE BACK.

THANK YOU.

ABSOLUTELY.

> LET'S START OF COURSE WITH THE ISSUE AROUND THE BOOSTERS.

ALISSA, I GUESS I WANT TO START WITH YOU AND JUST SORT OF GET YOUR TAKE ON WHAT THE FDA ADVISORY COMMITTEE'S DECISION IS REGARDING THIS BOOSTER SO FAR AND WHY THERE IS FRICTION WITH THE WHITE HOUSE.

YOU KNOW, THIS IS AN FDA ADVISORY PANEL THAT LOOKED AT WHAT IS FAIRLY LIMITED DATA THAT'S AVAILABLE SO FAR.

MUCH OF THAT DATA COMES FROM ISRAEL, WHICH IS A BIT AHEAD OF THE CURVE, BY ABOUT A MONTH, OF THE U.S. IN TERMS OF EXPERIENCE BOTH WITH VACCINATIONS AND WITH A PRETTY WIDESPREAD BOOSTER PROGRAM.

ESPECIALLY I THINK AIMED AT OLDER FOLKS, BUT MORE WIDELY AVAILABLE.

IN THIS -- THIS FDA ADVISORY PANEL LOOKED AT THE DATA AND SAID WE NEED TO KNOW MORE BUT WE WILL FOR NOW RECOMMEND OR ENCOURAGE BOOSTERS FOR PEOPLE 65 AND OVER OR PEOPLE WITH MEDICAL CONDITIONS.

THEY DIDN'T GET TOO SPECIFIC ABOUT THOSE CONDITIONS.

IT'S GOING TO BE REALLY UP TO DOCTORS IN MANY CASES TO DECIDE WHAT THOSE ARE.

AND THAT'S IN ADDITION TO BOOSTERS THAT WERE ALREADY BASICALLY CLEARED BY THE FDA FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE SERIOUSLY IMMUNOCOMPROMISED LIKE FOLKS WHO HAD ORGAN TRANSPLANTS, WHOSE SOMETIMES ARE VERY, VERY WEAK AND NEED CONTINUAL PRIMING.

THE QUESTION BECOMES WHAT HAPPENS TO THE BROADER POPULATION, INCLUDING MANY PEOPLE WHO ARE CONCERNED ABOUT THE POSSIBILITY -- IT IS ONLY A POSSIBILITY, RIGHT?

AGAIN THE DATA IS LIMITED.

THE POSSIBILITY THAT VACCINATIONS COULD GROW LESS EFFECTIVE OVER TIME AGAINST THEIR PURPOSE OF PREVENTING HOSPITALIZATION AND SERIOUS ILLNESS?

THAT'S -- VACCINES ARE GENERALLY VERY EFFECTIVE, BUT THERE IS CERTAINLY A LOT OF DEMAND FOR BOOSTERS.

AND PRESIDENT BIDEN AND THE FDA WILL CONTINUE TO BE UNDER A LOT OF PRESSURE TO PROVIDE THEM.

OF COURSE.

AND NOW TRIPP, I WANT TO BRING YOU IN AND JUST SAY EQUITY SEEMS TO BE THE NAME OF THE GAME AT LEAST FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE INTERESTED IN GETTING THE VACCINE.

I WANT TO BE CLEAR WITH THAT.

BUT IN A SEEMS TO BE THE NUMBER ONE CRITICISM IS THAT YOUR -- AS SOMEONE HAS PUT IT, YOU ARE LIVING LIFE PRESERVERS TO PEOPLE WHO ALREADY HAVE LIFE JACKETS.

YEAH.

I THINK THAT -- WE KNOW THAT DIFFERENT PARTS OF THE CITY WITH DIFFERENT ZIP CODES HAVE HAD DIFFERENT VACCINATION RATES OVER THE LAST COUPLE MONTHS.

ON THE BROADER TOPIC OF VAC NATIONS, I THINK WE REALLY NEED AN ALL OF THE ABOVE APPROACH.

WE CERTAINLY NEED MORE VACCINATIONS, YOU KNOW, IN EVERY ZIP CODE IN NEW YORK CITY, ACROSS THE COUNTRY.

WHEN YOU WILL BE AT POLICY ANNOUNCEMENTS REGARDING VAC NATIONS IN CITY SCHOOLS, IT'S APPARENT WE NEED TO HAVE MORE INCREASED TESTING AS WELL, OF STUDENTS.

FRANKLY ONE OF THE THINGS THAT IS NOT TALKED ABOUT ENOUGH IS THAT A LOT OF THE TIMES, BECAUSE OUR VACCINATION RATES ARE GENERALLY HIGHER THAN THEY ARE IN THE REST OF THE COUNTRY, WHAT WE SHOULD HAVE IS WE SHOULD HAVE REQUIRED VACCINATIONS FOR AIRPLANES, FOR FLIGHTS IN THIS COUNTRY.

THAT'S SOMETHING THAT DR. FAUCI HAS RECOMMENDED.

FOR EXAMPLE, A LOT OF FOLKS WHO ARE UNVACCINATED ARE FLYING INTO NEW YORK.

AND THAT IS HELPING THE SPREAD OF THE VIRUS HERE.

WE REALLY NEED ALL OF THE ABOVE IN TERMS OF THE APPROACH TO CONTINUE TO COMBAT COVID AND THE RISING DELTA VARIANT.

JC WE HAVE HAD A CHANCE TO TALK A LOT ABOUT THE ROLLOUT OF THE VACCINES AND HOW THEY ARE REACHING EVERYONE.

BUT -- SO THERE IS NEWS THIS BOOSTER.

I AM SURE THERE ARE A LOT OF NEW YORKERS WHO ARE EAGER TO GET IT.

BUT THEN YOU HEAR THAT THE CDC -- EXCUSE ME, THE FDA IS SAYING, WAIT, NOT SO FAST.

IS THERE A CONCERN THAT THIS IS CAUSING FURTHER CONFUSION, AND PERHAPS DISTRUST WHEN THAT ALREADY SEEMS TO BE THE ISSUE, ESPECIALLY FOR A LOT OF COMMUNITIES OF COLOR?

FIRST, YOU KNOW, THIS HAS BEEN AN ONGOING LEARNING PROCESS FOR THE CDC, THE FDA, FOR ALL AMERICANS.

WE HAVE HAD TO CALL MANY INAUDIBLE IN THE LAST 18 MONTHS AS MORE INFORMATION COMES TO LIMT I KNOW I WAS EXCITED TO GET A BOOSTER AS SOON AS I HEARD WE COULD GET BOOSTERS.

TALK ABOUT FIRST-WORLD PROBLEMS, RIGHT?

ALL THE COUNTRIES AROUND THE WORLD THAT WISH THEY HAD EVEN HAD ONE OF THESE, WE CAN HAVE TWO AND WANT ANOTHER ONE.

THAT'S A DEBATE.

I THINK WE ARE CONTINUING TO LEARN IF THE FDA SAID HEY, NOT SO FAST WE HAVE GOT TO THE FOLLOW THE SCIENCE, AND ALTHOUGH PRESIDENT BIDEN MAY HAVE A CONCERN ABOUT THE SPREAD OF THE DEALT & AND OTHER VARIANTS THAT ARE COMING DOWN THE PIKE HE DOESN'T WANT TO SEE AN UPTICK UNDER HIS PRESIDENCY.

HE IS BATTLING DWINDLING POLL NUMBERS.

HE IS BEING ACCUSED OF NOT HANDLING THE COVID CRISIS AS WELL AS HE PROMISED DURING THE CAMPAIGN.

HE WANTS TO GO ON THE RECORD AS HAVING DONE EVERYTHING POSSIBLE SO HE STOPS IT AND SO NO ONE CAN BLAME HIM OR HIS ADMINISTRATION FOR NOT DOING ENOUGH.

I THINK HE WANTS TO HAVE ALL OF THE BOXES CHECKED.

I THINK THAT'S WHY EARLY ON WE SAW A BIG PUSH FOR NOT ONLY THE VAX NAGSZ, BUT THE BOOSTER.

AS WE ARE GETTING MORE AND MORE INFORMATION WE ARE GOING TO SEE THAT, PERHAPS THOSE OF US WHO HAVE HAD THE VACCINE AND ARE NOT IMMUNOCOMPROMISE, DON'T REALLY NEED THE BOOSTER.

I THINK THE FDA IS SAYING, WE DON'T NEED IT, NOT SO FAST, THEN THE PRESIDENT MAY GO AGAINST THE FDA AND HENCE AGAINST THE SCIENCE AND THAT MAY LEAD TO FURTHER FOOCHLGS ONE THING THAT'S FOR SURE, WE HAVE TO FOCUS ON THE BLACK AND LATINO POPULATION AROUND THE COUNTRY, WHO IS HESITANT ON THE VACCINE, WHO DOES NOT WANT THE VACCINE, AND WHO CAN LOOK AT HISTORY AS TO REASONS WHY THEY DON'T TRUST THE VACCINE.

THEY WILL MENTION THINGS LIKE THE TUSKEGEE EXPERIMENT NOT UNDERSTANDING THAT WAS MEDICATION THAT WAS PREVENTED FROM BEING TAKEN AS OPPOSED TO -- IN OTHER WORDS, WITHHOLDING MEDICATION AS OPPOSED TO GIVING MEDICATION THAT WOULD HURT PEOPLE.

THEY WOULD LOOK AT PUERTO RICO AND EXAMINE HOW VACCINES WERE USED TO ACTUALLY CREATE INFERTILITY AMONG WOMEN IN PUERTO RICO TO SOMEHOW CONTROL THE POPULATION AND POINT TO HISTORY AND SAY, THIS IS WHY WE DON'T TRUST IT.

BUT THE FACT OF THE MATTER IS, THIS IS A NEW ERA.

WE HAVE STAINS ON OUR HISTORY, BUT WE HAVE LEARNED FROM THAT.

AND THIS VACCINE HAS PROVEN TO BE SAFE AND EFFECTIVE.

IT MAYBE A WAY FOR US TO DECREASE MORTALITY RATES AND HOSPITALIZATION.

I THINK IT IS TIME TO EXAMINE -- NOT JUST IN RED STATES.

WE HAVE A PROBLEM IN MISSISSIPPI AS YOU SAW OVER THE WEEKEND BUT WE NEED TO FOCUS ON THE BLACK AND LATINO POPULATION, EVEN HERE IN NEW YORK CITY AND MAKE SURE THEY ARE GETTING VACCINATED IN BETTER NUMBERS.

I WANT TO EXPAND ON THAT.

JUST TODAY THERE WAS WORD AT LEAST PFIZER HAS SAID THEY HAVE DETERMINED THAT THEIR VACCINE, IN A SMALLER DOSE, IS GOING TO BE SAFE FOR CHILDREN AGES 5 TO 11, THUS EXPANDING THE NUMBER OF CHILDREN THAT CAN GET THE VACCINE.

BUT IF YOU ALREADY HAVE COMMUNITIES WHERE THE ADULTS ARE SAYING NO, I DON'T TRUST, AND I DON'T FEEL SAFE, WHAT IS THE LIKELIHOOD THAT CHILDREN WHO, AGAIN, BEING IN SCHOOLS AND THERE IS ALREADY, YOU KNOW, PERHAPS EITHER MANDATORY TESTING OR MANDATED VACCINES, DEPENDING ON YOUR DISTRICT, FOR THE TEACHERS IN THE BUILDINGS -- WHAT ARE THE CONCERNS ABOUT CHILDREN BEING ABLE TO GET THE VACCINE IF THERE IS ALREADY AN ESTABLISHED LEVEL OF DISTRUST?

JENNA, WE HAVE PARENTS WHO DON'T EACH WANT TO HAVE MASKS ON THEIR CHILDREN AND THEY ARE POINTING TO DATA.

THIS IS THE ISSUE WE ARE HAVING RIGHT NOW.

I KNOW I AM GOING TO GET A LOT OF PUSHBACK ON THE CENTRIST ISLE WHERE I SIT BUT THE FACT IS YOU CAN MANIPULATE DATA TO FED YOUR NARRATIVE.

SOME OF THE DATA SHOWS CHILDREN ARE UNLIKELY TO GET SICK FROM COVID.

IF YOU LOOK AT THOSE NUMBERS IN A VACUUM THEN YOUR NARRATIVE IS OKAY AS FAR AS NOT WANTING YOUR CHILDREN TO EVEN BE MASKED.

FORGET ABOUT VACCINATION.

BUT THE FACT OF THE MATTER IS IF WE DON'T WANT OUR SCHOOLS TO CLOSE AGAIN F WE DON'T WANT TO GO THROUGH THE HORRORS THAT PARENTS LIKE MYSELVES WENT THROUGH IN THE LAST 18 MONTHS AS YOU ARE CHILDREN REGRESSED IN THEIR ACADEMIC ABILITY, WE WANT TO MAKE SURE THEY DON'T INFECT THE TEACHER.

IN ONE SCHOOL IN NEW YORK CITY WE HAVE OVER A DOZEN TEACHERS THAT ARE NOW COVID POSITIVE.

WE NEED TO FIND A WAY NOT TO ALLOW OUR TEACHERS TO GET SICK AND HAVING THE ENTIRE DISTRICT CLOSE.

I AM CONCERNED ABOUT THIS.

I HOPE CENTRIST AND REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRATS GUT OUT OF THEIR POLITICAL TRIBES AND MAKE SURE WE DON'T CLOSE SCHOOLS.

I HAVE TO JUMP IN ON TWO POINTS.

THE INFECTION IN HARLEM, THE INFECTIONS WERE BETWEEN TEACHERS WHO HAVE BEEN ELIGIBLE FOR VACCINATION SINCE JANUARY.

THE OTHER THING THAT CHANGED TODAY THAT IS SO CRUCIAL AND IS GOING TO HAVE TO BE WEIGHED CAREFULLY AGAINST ANY PRESSURES TO VACCINATE CHILDREN AGED 5 THROUGH 11 IS THAT THE MAYOR ANNOUNCED NEW YORK CITY PUBLIC SCHOOLS, UNVACCINATED CHILDREN WON'T HAVE TO QUARANTINE AS LONG AS THEY WERE MASKED AND AS LONG AS THEY ARE THREE FEET FROM SOMEONE WITH A POSITIVE TEST.

THIS IS A GAME CHANGER AND A REMARKABLE TURNAROUND FOR THE MAYOR PRESUMABLY WITH THE SUPPORT OF THE UNITED FEDERATION OF TEACHERS IN EXCHANGE FOR MORE FREQUENT TESTING OF 10% OF THE SCHOOL POPULATION.

WHAT IT MEANS IS THE QUARANTINE DISRUPTIONS -- IF THE CITY STAYED ITS COURSE WE WOULD HAVE HAD SCHOOL SHUT DOWNS AND IT WOULD BE UNTENABLE.

THE QUESTION BECOMES ONCE THE PFIZER VACCINE IS IN FACT APPROVED FOR YOUNGER CHILDREN, DO WE MOVE INTO A PHASE WHERE WE, IN FACT, STRONGLY ENCOURAGE OR MANDATE VACCINATIONS FOR YOUNG PEOPLE WHO AS YOU JUST SAID JC ARE RELATIVELY UNLIKE WILL HE TO GET SICK OR POT POTENTIALLY INFECT OTHERS BECAUSE OF THE WAY THE VIRUS WORKS.

MANY FAMILIES WILL CHOOSE TO GET THEIR CHILDREN VACCINATED.

MANY HAVE BEEN DESPERATE SO THEY CAN REUNITE WITH ELDERLY RELATIVES, GET THEIR LIVES BACK ON TRACK, NOT HAVE TO LIVE IN FEAR FOR THEMSELVES AND INFECTIONS OF OTHERS AROUND THEM.

THAT'S DIFFERENT THAN ANY KIND OF WIDESPREAD MASS VACCINATION REQUIREMENTS THAT MAY BE -- YOU KNOW, THAT WE MAY SEE PRESSURE TO HAVE AS WELL.

TRIPP, FOR YOU, AGAIN, IS THERE ANY SORT OF CONCERN THAT PERHAPS THERE WOULD BE A GROWING EQUITY ISSUE IF THEY DECIDE TO MANDATE?

I MEAN THERE ARE MANY OTHER VACCINES CHILDREN ARE REQUIRED TO GET TO ATTEND PUBLIC SCHOOLS.

IF THIS BECOMES SOMETHING ELSE THAT GETS MANDATED, COULD WE SEE DISPARITIES AT LEAST FOR CHILDREN WHOSE PARENTS SAY NO, I DON'T WANT THIS FOR MY KID?

I THINK THAT'S A FRANKLY TOPICAL ISSUE OF CHILDREN NOT HAVING THE SAME PROCESS AND HEALTH CARE SYSTEM THAT THEIR PARENTS HAVE.

WHEN WE LOOK BACK AT THE BEGINNING OF COVID, LAST SPRING MANY STUDENTS DIDN'T GET THE SAME ACCESS TO LAP TOPS AND OTHER EQUIPMENT FOR REMOTE LEARNING IF THEY WERE IN POORER ZIP CODES.

EQUITY IS A VERY, VERY CONCERN ON THIS.

I ALSO THINK, FRANKLY, THAT WEEKLY TESTING OF 10% OF STUDENTS JUST ISN'T ENOUGH.

I THINK IT'S A START BUT WE HAVE TO HAVE MUCH MORE THAN THAT.

THERE IS MORE THAT NEEDS TO BE DONE HERE.

> OF COURSE.

I WANT TO PIVOT TO ONE OF THE OTHER BIG ISSUES.

THAT OF COURSE WAS THE PROTEST, RALLY, I AM NOT SURE WHAT TO CALL IT, THAT TOOK PLACE IN D.C.

IT IS NOT SO MUCH THE ISSUE OF THAT EVENT TAKING PLACE BUT THE FACT THAT THE BIG LIE, AS SO MANY PEOPLE DESCRIBED IT CONTINUES TO STAY WITH US AND SEEMS TO BE AN INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT RALLYING POINT AT LEAST FOR A LOT OF THE CONSERVATIVE AND REPUBLICAN BASE.

JC, I WANT TO START WITH YOU AND JUST GET YOUR TAKE ON THE FACT THAT THIS HAPPENED -- IT DIDN'T SEEM TO DRAW AS MANY PEOPLE, BUT THAT DOESN'T SEEM TO BE AN INDICATOR THAT PEOPLE DON'T BELIEVE IN THE CAUSE BEHIND IT, EVEN THOUGH AS MANY PEOPLE DIDN'T SHOW UP.

WELL, WE HAVE TO REMEMBER THAT THERE ARE MILLIONS OF AMERICANS WHO JUST DON'T TRUST THE GOVERNMENT, DON'T JUST SYSTEMS, DON'T JUST INSTITUTIONS.

AND I'M NOT SURPRISED AT ALL THERE ARE A LOT OF PEOPLE THAT STILL BELIEVE THAT.

THEY ARE THE SAME PEOPLE THAT BELIEVE THAT -- THERE ARE MANY PEOPLE THAT BELIEVE THAT THE VACCINES FOR EXAMPLE, THAT WE WERE JUST TALKING ABOUT HAVE NEFARIOUS ELEMENTS IN IT, MICROCHIPS AND IT IS DESIGNED TO HURT YOU AND MONITOR YOU.

PEOPLE BELIEVE SOME REALLY WEIRD THINGS.

I AM JUST HAPPY TO KNOW THAT THIS RALLY WAS NOT A BIG ONE.

I THINK IT GOES TO SHOW YOU THE EFFECTS OF SOCIAL MEDIA AND THE EFFECTS OF HOW SOCIETY VIEW JANUARY 6th AND SAW IT AS SOMETHING THAT, YOU KNOW, IF YOU PARTICIPATED IN THIS, WE ARE GOING TO FIND YOU AND WE ARE GOING TO PRESS CHARGES AGAINST YOU.

FRANKLY, WHO WANTS TO PARTICIPATE IN A RALLY THAT'S DESIGNED TO DEFEND THE PEOPLE THAT PARTICIPATED IN JANUARY 6th?

DO YOU WANT TO HAVE YOUR FACE ON SOCIAL MEDIA WITH YOUR NAME AND EMPLOYER AND HAVING MARCHED?

I THINK IT'S A GOOD THING THAT WE HAD MORE COPS THERE THAN PEOPLE.

AND PERHAPS, JUST MAYBE, WE ARE NOW TURNING THE PHAGE AND HOPEFULLY SEEING A TIME WHEN THIS NEVER HAPPENS AGAIN.

I WANT TO JUMP IN THERE A LITTLE BIT AND JUST SAY THAT IT IS VERY -- FROM MY STANDPOINT AS A DEMOCRAT WHERE WHEN YOU LOOK AT POLLING MOST REPUBLICANS STILL DO NOT BELIEVE THAT PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN LEGITIMATELY WON THE ELECTION.

DESPITE THAT, MOST REPUBLICAN LEADERS, INCLUDING DONALD TRUMP HIMSELF, HAVE KEPT THEIR DISTANCE FROM THE RALLY, HOWEVER YOU WANT TO CALL IT, THIS PAST WEEKEND.

YOU KNOW, REPUBLICANS KNOW THAT THIS IS, QUITE FRANKLY, AN ACHILLES HEEL, AN ARGUMENT AGAINST THEM, LEADING UP TO NEXT YEAR'S MID TERMS WHEN THEY ARE GOING TRY TO RETAKE THE HOUSE AND THE SENATE.

THIS IS ONE OF THE STRONGEST ARGUMENTS THE DEMOCRATS HAVE TO USE AGAINST THEM, REPUBLICAN LEADERS, CONGRESSIONAL LEADERS ON UP TO FORMER PRESIDENT TRUMP HAVE NOT DENOUNCED LOUDLY ENOUGH WHAT HAPPENED ON JANUARY 6th WHEN THESE RIOTERS STORMED THE CAPITAL.

A HUGE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN NOW AND JANUARY 6th IS YOU DIDN'T HAVE A PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES FIRING EVERYBODY UP.

AND NOT SO COVERTLY SAYING, OKAY, LETS, YOU KNOW, GO DO THIS AND GO TO THE CAPITOL AND MARCH ON THE CAPITOL.

THERE IS SOMETHING ABOUT THE INTOXICATING POWER OF DONALD TRUMP AND THE WAY IN WHICH PEOPLE WHO WERE VERY DEVOTED TO HIS DISRUPTIVE AND DARK VISION HOW POLITICS SHOULD WORK IN THE UNITED STATES, LIKE HOW MUCH -- REALLY A PIED PIPER EFFECT.

I THINK YOU TAKE HIM OUT OF THE PICTURE -- REALLY, HE IS BEHIND THE SCENES AND STILL SAYING THAT THE ELECTION WAS STOLEN.

BUT THAT'S VERY DIFFERENT THAN HIM BEING A GIANT PRESENCE ON GIANT SCREENS ON THE NATIONAL MALL.

THANK GOODNESS FOR THAT.

JENNA, IF I MAY.

ONE OF THE BENEFITS OF BEING A CENTRIST AND LOOKING AT BOTH SIDES OF THIS ISSUE, DEMOCRATS ARE HOPING THAT THE INSURRECTION WILL HELP THEM KEEP THE SENATE SEATS AND WIN STATES ACROSS THE COUNTRY AND IN THE GOVERNOR'S MANSION.

IT APPEARS IT IS GETTING FURTHER AWAY FROM THE LIMELIGHT AND MORE OF THE FOCUS IS YOU NO ON THE ADMINISTRATION AND WHAT IS HAPPENING.

I THINK TRIPP IS RIGHT AS FAR AS WHAT IS HAPPENING AND WHERE SOME OF THE FOCUS WAS.

WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT NOVEMBER, 2022, A LOT OF THE COMMERCIALS ARE NOT GOING TO HAVE THE SAME AFFECT, THOSE REGARDING JANUARY 6th WON'T HAVE THE SAME EFFECT.

NOT AS MUCH AS THE DEBACLE WITH THE AFGHANISTAN WITHDRAWAL.

LOOKING AT THINGS LIEU THE POLITICAL LESBIANS WE ARE GOING TO LOOK AT WHAT HAPPENED IN AFGHANISTAN, WHAT IS HAPPENING NOW WITH COVID, WHAT IS HAPPENING WITH THE ECONOMY AND JANUARY 6th WON'T BE AS MUCH A FACT NEURO 2022.

I THINK THAT POLITICALLY -- I AM SEEING THAT AND IT HURTS ME BECAUSE I KNOW PEOPLE DIED BECAUSE OF JANUARY 6th.

BUT POLITICALLY SPEAKING I THINK THAT GOES AGAINST WHAT THE DEMOCRATS WERE HOPING TO HAVE IN NEXT YEAR'S ELECTION TO KEEP THE MAJORITY IN CONGRESS.

I WILL ACTUALLY MENTION BRIEFLY AS A REPLY TO JC, I THINK YOU ARE PARTIALLY RIGHT.

BUT IN REALITY I THINK WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN IN NOVEMBER 2020 ISATES NOT A REFERENDUM ON THE BIDEN ADMINISTRATION'S FIRST YEARS, BUT IT IS ALSO A REFERENDUM ON THE POPULARITY OR ENDURING POPULARITY OR UNPOPULARITY OF DONALD TRUMP AS WELL.

I THINK INCIDENTS LIKE JANUARY 6th VERY SIGNIFICANTLY REDUCED HIS POLLING NUMBERS.

WE WILL SEE IF IT THE HAS A LONG-TERM EFFECT.

BUT IF DONALD TRUMP IS STILL UNPOPULAR IN MANY OF THE BATTLEGROUNDS CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICTS THAT'S A GOOD ARGUMENT FOR DEMOCRATS WANTING TO RUN AGAINST DONALD TRUMP.

ALISSA, DO YOU WANT THE JOIN IN?

SURE.

I DO THINK THAT TRUMP RETAINS A LOT OF POPULARITY IN A LOT OF CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICTS, AND WHERE WE ARE ALSO GOING TO HAVE REDISTRICTING REALLY CHANGING THE MAP IN A LOT OF PARTS OF THE COUNTRY EVEN THOUGH A LOT OF THESE STATES ALREADY HAD A LOT OF GERRYMANDERED DISTRICTS WE HAVE A SIGNIFICANT NUMBER OF REPUBLICAN-CONTROLLED STATE LEGISLATURES.

IT CUTS BOTH WAYS, TRUMP MAY BE DEEPLY UNPOPULAR IN A LOT OF DEMOCRATIC-HELD DISTRICTS BUT YOU ARE GOING TO SEE A REAL GROUND WAR TO GET THESE REPUBLICAN SEATS SOLIDIFIED AND KIND OF CLUSTER DEMOCRATS TOGETHER IN PLACE WHERE IS THEIR VOTES REALLY WON'T COUNT AS MUCH.

I THINK THAT THAT'S REALLY -- YOU KNOW, ALL OF THIS OTHER STUFF IS -- IT IS NOT KMETTIC, IT WILL SWING VOTES SOME WAY OR ANOTHER BUT GERRYMANDERING WILL REALLY SET THE STAGE IN 2022.

WE ARE STARTING TO SEE THAT PLAYING OUT IN NEW YORK ON THE DEMOCRATIC SIDE, BUT MORE SEATS ARE REPUBLICAN CONTROLLED RIGHT NOW.

OF COURSE.

NOT TO FORGET THAT BEFORE WE GOT TO 2022, WE DO STILL HAVE NOVEMBER OF THIS YEAR W THE MAYORAL ELECTION.

I KNOW THAT IN NEW YORK CITY MANY PEOPLE CONSIDERED IT A DONE DEAL AFTER THE DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY.

BUT WE ARE STILL -- THIS RACE IS STILL PLAYING OUT.

I AM WONDERING IF THERE IS ANYTHING, ANY ATTENTION-GRABBING HEADLINES, LET'S SAY, THAT HAS GOTTEN ANYBODY'S ATTENTION FOR A RACE THAT PERHAPS A LOT OF PEOPLE HAVE ALREADY WRITTEN OFF AS BEING DECIDED.

JC, I'LL START WITH YOU.

YOU KNOW, IT'S TOUGH FOR A REPUBLICAN TO WIN IN NEW YORK CITY.

THIS IS NO LONGER 1991, '93, '97.

I MEAN, THE NUMBERS ARE JUST REALLY HARD TO OVERCOME.

NONETHELESS ON THE REPUBLICAN SIDE HE IS RUNNING AGAINST A CENTRIST DEMOCRAT, TOUGH ON CRIME DEMOCRAT, TOOK A LOT OF THE MESS -- HE IS GETTING A LOT OF PRESS.

HE IS GOING TO AREAS WHERE CRIME IS HAPPENING IN THE BRONX, FOR EXAMPLE, AND HE IS COMMANDING CAMERAS AND MAKING A POINT THAT SOMETHING NEEDS TO HAPPEN -- WE ARE SEEING THERE IS A CONVERSATION TAKING PLACE REGARDING ISSUES THAT ARE AFFECTING OUR COMMUNITY IN NEW YORK CITY.

I THINK THAT'S A GOOD THING.

JCLY WAUGH IS RUNNING AGAINST THE DEMOCRATIC.

ERIC ADAMS NUMBER ONE MESSAGE IN THE DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY WAS WE NEED TO HAVE, YOU KNOW, STRONGER, TOUGH ON CRIME POLICIES WHILE ALSO REFORMING SOME OF THE ABUSIVE PRACTICES OF THE PLENTY IN THE PAST.

THAT TAKES A LOT OF THE CUDGEL AWAY FROM THE STANDARD REPUBLICAN ARGUMENT.

FRANKLY N THIS CITY WITH SEVEN TO ONE REGISTERED DEMOCRATS TO REPUBLICANS, I DON'T THINK IT WOULD HAVE MATTER IF deBLASIO WAS ON THE TICKET AGAIN.

THE DEMOCRATS WOULD HAVE WON BY A LARGE MARGIN.

THE DIFFICULTY FOR CURTIS IS ONE HE IS RUNNING AGAINST A DEMOCRATIC OPPONENT WHO IS TAKING HIS ARGUMENT AWAY FROM CENTRAL GOVERNMENT SAFETY.

ALSO, CURTISLY WAUGH FOR ONE REASON OR ANOTHER DOES NOT SEEM TO BE TAKEN AS SERIOUSLY BY THE REPUBLICAN INSTITUTIONAL POLITICAL ESTABLISHMENT IN THIS TOWN THAN LOADA WAS IN 2013 OR HACK US WAS IN 2017.

I AM STILL TRYING TO FIGURE OUT THE REASON WHY BUT IT SEEMS THAT PAST REPUBLICAN NOMINEES HAD A DIFFERENT LEVEL OF CREDIBILITY WITHIN THEIR OWN PARTY LEADERS.

I AM DUTY-BOUND TO TALK ABOUT A STORY WE HAVE POSTED TODAY ON MY WEBDS IN NYC ABOUT ERIC ADAMS.

IT IS ABOUT SOME OF HIS PERSONAL AFFAIRS.

IT RAISES QUESTIONS OF NOT ONLY HOW HE MANAGES HIS OWN LIFE BUT REVISITING QUESTIONS ABOUT WHERE DOES HE ACTUALLY LIVE?

THAT IS THAT HE HAD RE-FILED HIS INCOME TAXNESS AFTER THE CITY AND POLITICO FLAGGED THAT THEY HAD NOT PROPERLY REPORTED HIS REDUCTIONS AS A LANDS LORD.

WHEN HE FILED THEM, HE DIDN'T INDICATE TO THE IRS THAT HE IN FACT LIVED AT THIS PROPERTY AND THEREFORE TOOK DEDUCTIONS HE MAY NOT HAVE BEEN ENTITLED TO.

THERE IS ALSO QUESTIONS ABOUT HIS ACCOUNTANT WHO IS NOT ONLY NOT A CPA BUT WAS ACCUSED OF EMBEZZLEMENT BY A HARLEM CO-OP WHERE HE HAD BEEN LIVING FOR A LOT OF YEARS AND THEY ENDED UP KICKING HIM OUT.

THERE ARE A LOT OF QUESTIONS.

I ENCOURAGE YOU TO READ THE STORY AND THINK ABOUT WHAT KINDS OF MANAGEMENT DECISION AS MAYOR LIKE THIS WOULD MAKE.

I THINK IT RAISESERS IS ISSUE.

QUICKLY.

WE HAVE ABOUT A MINUTE LEFT BUT I WANT TO GET FROM EVERYBODY YOUR THOUGHTS ON WHAT IS THE STORY LINE YOU ARE GOING TO BE LOOKING TO FOLLOW THIS WEEK.

ALISSA, WE WILL START WITH YOU.

I AM GOING TO BE LOOKING ABOUT HOW THE MAYOR'S ANNOUNCEMENT ABOUT SCHOOL QUARANTINE POLICIES IS GOING TO PLAY OUT.

I THINK IT IS GOING TO MAKE CERTAIN PARENTS, INCLUDING IN MY HOUSEHOLD VERY, VERY HAPPY THAT KIDS CAN REALLY BE IN SCHOOL.

THAT WAS A MESSAGE WE HEARD CONSISTENTLY FROM THE MAYOR AND SCHOOL CHANCELLOR TODAY.

BUT YOU ARE GOING TO HAVE A NUMBER OF FAMILIES AS WELL OF ELEMENTARY KIDS WHO ARE GOING TO BE CONCERNED AND CONTINUE TO BE CONCERNED ABOUT COVID REGARDLESS OF THE MAYOR'S ASSURANCES.

I WILL BE WATCHING THAT CLOSELY.

TRIPP?

I WILL BE LOOKING AT THE BUFFALO MAYOR'S RACE.

IT HAS GOTTEN A SIGNIFICANT AMOUNT OF ATTENTION WITH THE INCUMBENT DEMOCRAT BROWN RUNNING AS A WRITE-IN CANDIDATE AGAINST THE NOMINEE.

WALTON.

I THINK THAT RACE IS A GOOD TEST OF WHERE THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY IS, AND NOT ONLY WESTERN NEW YORK BUT HOW ACCESSIBLE THE PROGRESSIVE WING OF THE PARTY IS TO MANY OF THESE DEMOCRATIC INSTITUTIONAL LEADERS.

JC, LAST WORD.

20 SECONDS.

I WANT TO MAKE SURE WE KEEP OUR EYE ON HOW THE GOVERNMENT TREATS THE HAITIANS THAT ARE HERE, HOW THEY ARE GOING ABOUT DEPORTING THEM NOW THAT THEY ARE TEMPORARY LEGAL STATUS IS UP IN QUESTION.

THE HAITIAN COMMUNITY IS IMPORTANT TO US IN NEW YORK CITY, AROUND THE COUNTRY, ESPECIALLY DURING THE COVID CRISIS.

I THINK IT IS TIME FOR TO GOVERNMENT TO DO SOMETHING TO PROTECT THEM FROM IMMEDIATE DEPORTATION.

ALL RIGHT, LISTEN, I WANT TO THANK MY ROUND TABLE TONIGHT.

JC, TRIPP, AND ALISSA.

THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH FOR JOINING US ON THE 'METROFOCUS' MONDAY ROUND TABLE.

> '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.

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