Metrofocus: July 18, 2022

FRONTPAGE FORECAST 

In this week’s look ahead at the major headlines, New York City struggles to keep up with demand for the monkeypox vaccine as the five boroughs account for nearly a third of all cases in the country. Then, the Tri-State battles a sixth wave of Covid and the reluctance of many individuals to mask up despite it being the most transmissible omicron variant yet. And, the push for a Stand Your Ground law intensifies after a Manhattan bodega worker is charged with second-degree murder for fatally stabbing a man who confronted him at work. Joining us tonight to discuss these issues and what’s next for the Tri-State region are: infectious disease expert and former NBC News chief medical correspondent, Dr. Bob Arnot; political strategist and former executive director of the New York City Council Black, Latino and Asian Caucus, Na’ilah Amaru; and public policy commentator and former NYC Board of Elections President, J.C. Polanco.

TRANSCRIPT

> TONIGHT ON THE FRONT PAGE FORECAST, MONKEYPOX CASES SURGE IN NEW YORK CITY.

AND A PUSH FOR STAND YOUR GROUND LAW AS A BODEGA WORKER IS CHARGED WITH MURDER.

'METROFOCUS' STARTS RIGHT NOW.

♪♪

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

> 'METROFOCUS' IS MADE POSSIBLE BY -- SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III, THE PETER G. PETERSON AND JOAN GANZ COONEY FUND, BERNARD AND DENISE SCHWARTZ, BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG, THE AMBROSE MONELL FOUNDATION.

AND BY --

> GOOD EVENING, AND WELCOME TO 'METROFOCUS.'

I'M JENNA FLANAGAN.

THIS IS OUR LOOK AHEAD AT THE MAJOR HEADLINES AND THEIR IMPACT ON THE TRISTATE AREA.

TONIGHT, NEW YORK CITY IS BRACING FOR THE DELIVERY OF THOUSANDS OF MORE DOSES OF THE MONKEYPOX VACCINE AS HEALTH OFFICIALS STRUGGLE TO KEEP UP WITH THE SURGING DEMAND.

AND THE CITY ACCOUNTS FOR NEARLY A THIRD OF THE NATION'S CASES.

NEW YORK IS ALSO CONTENDING WITH A SIXTH WAVE OF COVID AND THE RELUCTANCE AMONG MANY NEW YORKERS TO MAC UP.

THIS DESPITE THE MOST TRANSMISSIBLE OMICRON VARIANT YET AND ITS ABILITY TO OVERCOME IMMUNITY FROM PAST INFECTIONS AND VACCINES.

AND WE CAN'T FORGET ABOUT THE PUSH TO PASS STAND YOUR GROUND LEGISLATION AFTER A MANHATTAN BODEGA WORKER WAS CHARGED WITH MURDER FOR FATALLY STABBING A MAN WHO CONFRONTED HIM AT WORK, SETTING OFF A HEATED DEBATE ABOUT WHAT CONSTITUTES SELF-DEFENSE.

FOR MUCH MORE ON THESE STORIES AND THEIR TAKE ON WHAT ELSE COULD DRIVE THE NEWS THIS WEEK, LET'S WELCOME BACK TONIGHT'S ROUND TABLE OF EXPERTS.

UP FIRST, WE'D LIKE TO WELCOME DR. BOB ARNOT.

HE'S AN INFECTIOUS DISEASE EXPERT AND FORMER NBC NEWS CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT.

WELCOME, AND THANK YOU FOR JOINING US ON 'METROFOCUS.'

DELIGHTED TO BE ON 'METROFOCUS.'

IT'S MY FAVORITE SHOW OF ALL.

THANK YOU.

YOU'RE WELCOME.

WE'D ALSO LIKE TO WELCOME BACK NA'ILAH AMARU, A DEMOCRATIC POLITICAL STRATEGIST AND FORMER EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE NEW YORK CITY COUNCIL'S BLACK, LATINO, AND ASIAN CAUCUS.

NA'ILAH, GREAT TO HAVE YOU BACK.

THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME.

TO END OUT OUR ROUND TABLE AND SOME NEWS, WE'D LIKE TO WELCOME BACK JC POLANCO.

JC IS A PUBLIC POLICY COMMENT TATER AND AN ATTORNEY, AND HE'S ALSO THE NEW CEO FOR THE COUNCIL ON LEGAL EDUCATION OPPORTUNITY.

JC, CONGRATS ON THE NEW POSITION.

THANK YOU.

I'M SO EXCITED TO HAVE STARTED LAST WEEK, AND I'LL REALLY VERY EXCITED TO BE HERE WITH YOU, JENNA.

YOU KNOW WHAT?

JC, WITH THAT WE'RE GOING TO JUMP RIGHT INTO THE BIG ISSUE, OR AT LEAST OUR TOP ISSUE RIGHT NOW WITH YOU, AND THAT IS THE WAY THIS CITY HANDLED THE VACCINE ROLLOUT FOR MONKEYPOX.

NOW, ALL PERHAPS JOKES AND SNICKERING ASIDE FROM THE WEIRD NAME, THIS IS A TRANSMISSIBLE DISEASE AT LEAST FROM WHAT WE'VE HEARD FROM CLOSE PROXIMITY.

THE ISSUE SEEMS TO BE THE WAY THE CITY IS HANDLING THE VACCINE ROLLOUT, WHICH IT SEEMS THEY SHOULD BE GOOD AT SINCE HE JUST DID THIS.

I HAVE A JD, NOT AN M.D.

THIS IS A SERIOUS ISSUE.

SO MANY NEW YORKERS DEPENDING ON THIS VACCINE.

CAUGHT THEM A LOT BY SURPRISE.

I'VE SEEN ON SOCIAL MEDIA AND FRIENDS TRYING TO GET APPOINTMENTS, THEY'RE DESPERATE, ANGRY.

THEY FEEL THE CITY SHOULD HAVE HAD ARSENALS OF THESE VACCINES AVAILABLE, AND UNFORTUNATELY THAT'S NOT THE CASE.

WE HAVE TO BE HONEST, WE HAVE A LARGE SEGMENT OF OUR POPULATION IN NEW YORK CITY THAT IS SUSCEPTIBLE TO THIS AND ANGRY AT QUITE FRANKLY, THE CITY, STATE, AND FEDERAL ADMINISTRATION.

SO IT'S IMPORTANT, AT LEAST FROM A PUBLIC POLICY PERSPECTIVE THAT THESE NEW YORKERS FEEL THE GOVERNMENT HAS THEIR BACK, BECAUSE THEY'RE AN IMPORTANT PART AN OUR CITY.

OF COURSE.

NOW, DR. BOB, I WANT TO GET INTO -- DID I GET IT RIGHT?

IS THIS TRANSMISSIBLE BY PROXIMITY, OR IS IT AS TRANSMISSIBLE AS OMICRON AS WE'VE HEARD?

WHO IS MOST AT RISK FOR MONKEYPOX, AND WHO SHOULD BE MOST CONCERNED ABOUT MAKING SURE THEY GET VACCINATED?

SO, IT'S A REALLY GOOD QUESTION.

IT'S SUSTAINED CLOSE CONTACT.

IT'S REALLY THE VERY BEST WAY TO SAY IT.

IF YOU HAVE SOMEONE WHO HAS A RASH AND YOU HAVE CLOSE CONTACT WITH THEM, THEY CALL IT AN INTERESTING THING -- NOT A SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED DISEASE, BUT A SEXUALLY ASSOCIATE DISEASE.

THAT MEANS DURING SEX, VERY LONG PROLONGED CONTACT, OR OUTSIDE OF SEX IF YOU'RE CLOSE TO SOMEBODY, SOMEBODY'S FACE FOR A PROLONGED TIME.

ALSO LIKE SMALLPOX.

IF YOU HAVE SHEETS INFECTED, THE SCABS OPENED UP, YOU HAVE TO BE CAREFUL THERE, IF YOU HAVE UTENSILS.

IT'S QUITE INFECTIOUS.

RIGHT NOW IT HAS BEEN SEX BETWEEN MEN, MULTIPLE PARTNERS, IN AREAS WHERE THERE'S MONKEYPOX.

BUT LIKE A LOT OF PANDEMICS, WE TEND TO LABEL, YOU KNOW, A VICTIM, AND WE TEND TO BE WRONG.

IT TENDS TO SPREAD THROUGH A MUCH WIDER OPLATION.

THAT'S WHAT WE'RE SEEING RIGHT NOW.

IF ANYBODY HAS SCABS OR HAS THE RASH, IT IS HIGHLY INFECTIOUS.

AND WHAT'S CHANGED -- THERE'S A WONDERFUL 'NEW YORK TIMES' ARTICLE SAYING, WE HAVE POSITION THIS IS A MILD DISEASE.

HASN'T KILLED ANYBODY YET.

MAYBE NOT SUCH A BIG DEAL.

BUT IT IS A BIG DEAL.

MEN IN NEW YORK ARE FINDING IT EXTREMELY PAINFUL.

I THINK WE ALL WENT THROUGH THE RIGMAROLE TO TRY TO GET VACCINES FOR COVID AND WHAT NOT, AND DIALING DIFFERENT NUMBERS AND WEBSITES.

EXTREME FRUSTRATION ON THE PART OF MANY MEN IN NEW YORK CITY WHO HAVE GOOD HEALTH INSURANCE, GOOD JOBS, THEY WORK HARD, THEY HAVE PRIVATE HEALTH INSURANCE.

THEY CALL THE HEALTH DEPARTMENT, DON'T GET CALLED BACK.

TRY A WEBSITE.

DOESN'T WORK TO GO TO SOME PLACE TO GET A VACCINE.

REAL FRUSTRATIONER BECAUSE IT IS A VERY, VERY PAINFUL DISEASE.

TWO KEY THINGS -- OUR VACCINES ARE NOT DESIGNED FOR MONKEYPOX.

THEY'RE DESIGNED FOR SMALLPOX.

THEY APPARENTLY WORK.

TROUBLE IS WE'RE BEHIND THE CURVE IN DISTRIBUTING THEM.

WHAT NO ONE'S SAYING IS IT'S FOUR TO SIX WEEKS UNTIL YOU'RE FULLY INOCULATED.

AND THE INCUBATION FOR THE DISEASE IS FOUR TO SEVEN DAYS.

AS TONY FAU SI SAID THIS MORNING, FORMER FDA CHIEF SAID THIS MORNING, THE CAT'S REALLY OUT OF THE BAG.

IT'S NOT GOING TO BE CONTAINED, AND WE DO HAVE WHAT LOOKS LIKE AN EXPONENTIAL SPREAD NOW IN NEW YORK CITY.

SO, THE KEY THING IS STREAMLINING THIS SO WE DON'T HAVE PEOPLE IN A LOT OF PAIN, A LOT OF DISTRESS WHO JUST AREN'T GETTING THE HELP THEY NEED AND DESERVE.

ONE MORE QUESTION ABOUT THE MONKEYPOX MEDICALWISE, IS THERE A CHANCE IT COULD BE AT ALL LIKE WHAT WE'VE SEEN WITH SOME OF THE OMICRON VARIANTS OF COVID WHERE YOU COULD BE CONTAGIOUS BUT NOT HAVE ANY SYMPTOMS?

MEANING YOU COULD UNINTENTIONALLY BE SPREADING IT?

OR IS THAT NOT THE CASE WITH MONKEYPOX?

YOU KNOW, IT IS SUCH A GOOD QUESTION, AND BECAUSE OF THAT LONG INCUBATION PERIOD, YOU MAY BE INFECTIOUS.

THEY TEND TO SAY, IF YOU LOOK AT IT, YOU'RE GOING TO HAVE WHAT LOOKS LIKE A PUS YULE OR PAPULE, HAS PUS IN THE CENTER OF IT.

IF YOU HAVE THOSE, RASHES, THAT'S WHEN YOU'RE MOST INFECTIOUS.

WE DON'T KNOW WHAT'S HAPPENING IN THE 7 TO 14 WINDOW BEFORE YOU HAVE SYMPTOMS.

AS YOU CAN IMAGINE, PEOPLE GET VACCINES THAT AREN'T GOING TO WORK FOUR TO SIX WEEKS, 7 TO 14 DAY INCUBATION PERIOD.

MEANS THIS IS SPIRALING OUT OF CONTROL EVEN WITH HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF VACCINES PROMISED BY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT.

BEG ISSUE.

NA'ILAH, I WANT TO GO BACK TO YOU AND ASK, WAS THIS A CASE PERHAPS OF THE CITY BEING CAUGHT OFF GUARD?

OR IS THIS SOMETHING WHERE PERHAPS SOMEBODY MAYBE DROPPED THE BALL AND DIDN'T TAKE IT AS SERIOUSLY AS IT NEEDED TO BE?

SO, I DON'T HAVE A JD OR AN MD, BUT IT DOESN'T TAKE ONE TO RECOGNIZE THAT'S AN ABSOLUTE FAILURE OF GOVERNMENT FOR NOT BEING PREPARED WITH A BETTER ROLLOUT AND POPULATION FOR THE MONKEYPOX.

AS IT WAS POINTED OUT, WE ARE GOING INTO OUR THIRD YEAR OF A PANDEMIC SUMMER, AND SO YOU WOULD THINK THAT ALL LEVELS OF GOVERNMENT WOULD HAVE SOME TYPE OF SYSTEMS IN PLACE WHEN IT COMES TO MONITORING, VACCINATION ROLLOUTS, WHEN IT COMES TO MAKING SURE THE VACCINATIONS ARE DISTRIBUTE IN THE AN EQUITABLE WAY.

I THINK IT'S IMPORTANT THE NOTE HOW INEQUITIES IN THE VACCINATION PROCESS HAVE ALSO BEEN SHOWING THEMSELVES IN TERMS OF NEW YORK CITY CASES, AND SO WITH THAT SAID, I THINK THAT IT IS ABSOLUTELY A FAILURE OF GOVERNMENT REGARDLESS OF WHETHER OR NOT THIS IS UNEXPECTED.

IT IS GOVERNMENT'S JOB TO BE PREPARED AND PLAN FOR THESE TYPES OF SITUATIONS.

ALL RIGHT, WELL, THEN, JC, I WANT TO GO BACK TO YOU.

AND FULLY ACKNOWLEDGING NO ONE ON THE PANEL IS A PSYCHOLOGIST, HOWEVER, WE ARE SEEING WITH THIS THIRD WAVE OF AN OMICRON VARIANT A LOT OF RESISTANCE ON THE PART OF A LOT OF NEW YORKERS TO MASKING UP AGAIN.

PEOPLE SEEM TO BE, FOR LACK OF A BETTER DESCRIPTION, JUST OVER IT.

SO, IS THIS SOMETHING THAT SHOULD BE CONSIDERED TO BE ENFORCED AS WE START TO GET READY TO GO INTO ANOTHER FALL WHERE, OF COURSE, PEOPLE WILL BE INDOORS, THE VIRUS IS MUCH MORE LIKELY TO BECOME TRANSMISSIBLE?

OR DO WE ALLOW PEOPLE TO JUST MAKE THEIR OWN DECISIONS AND HOPE FOR THE BEST?

THAT'S A GREAT QUESTION.

I REALLY THINK THAT IF IT COMES TO IT, THE CITY WILL ABSOLUTELY ENFORCE A MAC UP MANDATE AGAIN, AND I THINK IT WOULD.

IT WILL FORCE IT.

THE PROBLEM, AS YOU KNOW, IS THAT THAT WOULD BE DEVASTATING FOR BUSINESSES ACROSS THE CITY WHO ARE ALREADY SUFFERING.

THAT WILL BE A LOT MORE SHUTDOWNS ACROSS OUR CITY FOR PEOPLE THAT WANTED TO OPEN UP A BUSINESS OR KEEP A BUSINESS GOING, OR EVEN FOR THEIR JOBS.

AND I DON'T THINK THE APPETITE IS THERE FOR ANOTHER MANDATE.

AND I THINK THAT'S SOMETHING THAT OUR DECISION-MAKERS ARE GOING TO TAKE INTO ACCOUNT BEFORE LEADING US INTO ANOTHER MANDATE ON MASKS.

THE TRUTH OF THE MATTER IS THAT A MAJORITY OF NEW YORKERS ARE VACCINATED.

THOSE THAT NEED TO BE BOOSTED UP ARE.

SOME OF US ARE WAITING FOR OUR SECOND BOOSTERS.

WE HAVE TO KEEP ENCOURAGING VACCINATION, BECAUSE THAT TRULY IS GOING TO ELIMINATE DEATHS OR REDUCE THE NUMBER OF DEATHS BECAUSE OF COVID.

BUT I DON'T THINK THE APPETITE IS THERE TO TELL NEW YORK CITY THAT THEY HAVE TO MASK UP AGAIN OR ENFORCE MANDATES BEFORE WE GO INTO RESTAURANTS AND STORES.

IT JUST ISN'T.

MAY SOUND GOOD ON PAPER AND MAY MAKE SENSE TO STOP THE SPREAD, BUT NEW YORKERS DON'T WANT TO HEAR ABOUT THIS AGAIN AND THEY DON'T WANT TO HEAR ABOUT THEIR CHILDREN IN SCHOOLS HAVING TO DEAL WITH MASKING UP OR SHUTTING DOWN.

NA'ILAH I WANT TO GET YOUR TAKE ON ANY POLICIES TO COME WITH THE FALL APPROACHING AND THEN OF COURSE THE SUBSEQUENT WINTER.

I THINK THE FACT THAT THE CITY HAS GOTTEN RID OF ITS HIGH ALERT SYSTEM IN THE MIDST OF A SPIKE WITH THE B 5 VARIANT IS INDICATIVE OF THE FACT THAT THE CITY IS TRYING TO MOVE FORWARD AND ADJUSTING FROM WHAT USED TO BE, YOU KNOW, MASK MANDATES WHEN WE WERE IN THE FIRST YEAR OF THE FIRST COVID WAVE TO NOW GOING INTO OUR SIXTH WAVE, THAT THE CITY IS MOST LIKELY NOT GOING TO GO BACK TO MORE STRINGENT STANDARDS, SUCH AS MASK MANDATES AND REALLY JUST TRYING TO PUSH PAST AND ACCOMMODATE, YOU KNOW, AS BEST AS IT CAN WITH THIS SIXTH WAVE.

BUT I WOULD AGREE WITH JC'S ASSESSMENT IN THAT THE POLITICAL WILL FOR STRICTER STANDARDS, SUCH AS A MASK MANDATE, WE'RE NOT GOING BACK TO THOSE DAYS, BECAUSE IT'S JUST NOT GOING TO HAPPEN.

DR. BOB, NOW I WANT TO BRING YOU IN AND GET YOUR TAKE ON THE -- I GUESS THE WISDOM BEHIND THE NOTION OF, AT THIS POINT, THERE'S JUST NOT THE APPETITE.

THERE'S THE POLITICAL APPETITE.

THE PUBLIC'S OVER IT.

WE'RE GOING TO LET PEOPLE MAKE THEIR OWN DECISIONS WHILE STILL ENCOURAGING VACCINES, ET CETERA.

DR. BOB, DID WE LOSE YOU?

I JUST HAD MYSELF MUTED.

SO, I JUST THINK FROM THE VERY BEGINNING OF THE PANDEMIC, WE REALLY HAD THIS WRONG.

UP IN VERMONT WHERE I WAS HELPING THE SCHOOLS, WE SAID, THIS IS AN AIRBORNE VIRUS, WE NEED TO TEST THE AIR.

USED A METER, VERY EXPENSIVE.

TESTED THE HALLWAY, BATHROOM.

GOT HIGH QUALITY MASKS WITH HIGH FILTRATION.

WE DIDN'T SHUT DOWN AT ALL.

WE WERE OPEN FOR TWO YEARS.

KIDS HAD A GREAT TIME.

FUNDAMENTALLY, THOSE IN CHARGE OF PUBLIC POLICY DIDN'T UNDERSTAND A VERY KIND OF OBSCURE AREA CALLED FLUID MECHANICS.

HOW DOES THE BODY MIX IN THE AIR?

THE BOTTOM LINE IS WE NEED TO PAY ATTENTION TO VENTILATION.

IF YOU HAVE GREAT VENTILATION THE MASKING IS LESS IMPORTANT.

SOMEBODY CALLED IT DECORATIVE FACIAL WEAR.

BECAUSE IT WASN'T MASKING.

THESE DRIPPING, STOPPING WET CLOTH THINGS THAT ARE OF NO BENEFIT AT ALL.

EITHER WEAR A GOOD MASK OR NOT.

BECAUSE THESE AREN'T LETHAL AND NOBODY'S GETTING SICK, NOBODY'S GOING TO PAY ATTENTION.

IT'S ONLY IF YOU HAVE ANOTHER VARIANT THAT'S LETHAL THAT PEOPLE GET ALL CHARGED UP ABOUT THIS.

I THINK JUST A HUGE NUMBER OF POLITICAL MISSTEPS HAVE TURNED A LOT OF PEOPLE OFF, AND I DON'T KNOW ANYBODY THAT'S MASKING ANYMORE OR PAYING ATTENTION, BECAUSE FORTUNATELY WE HAVE THIS OMICRON VARIANT.

JUST ONE VERY INTERESTING THOUGHT I WANT TO SHARE WITH YOU, AND THAT IS AS YOU KNOW, OMICRON CAME FROM SOUTH AFRICA.

25 MILLION HIV/AIDS PATIENTED.

7 MILLION TREATED PROPERLY.

IT WAS INCUBATED THERE.

I THINK WE OWE THE HIV/AIDS PATIENTS A TREMENDOUS AMOUNT OF GRATITUDE.

THEY HARBORED THIS VIRUS FOR LONG PERIODS OF TIME.

BY HARBORING THIS, THEY HAVE INCUBATED A NEW FAR, FAR LESS LETHAL VERSION.

WHEN I HAD COVID A COUPLE MONTHS AGO, I DIDN'T KNOW I HAD IT.

A DEBT OF GRATITUDE TO THE POOR PATIENT WHO IS POORLY SERVED, SUCH INFECTIVE TREATMENT OF THE DISEASE FOR GIVING US A VARIANT WE CAN FINALLY LIVE WITH.

THAT'S A VERY UNIQUE TAKE ON IT THAT I DON'T THINK I'VE EVER HEARD BEFORE.

I DO WANT TO LEAVE THIS SUBJECT, THOUGH, AND TURN TO SOMETHING WE'VE SPOKEN ABOUT SO MANY TIMES ON THIS SHOW.

JC, I'M GOING START WITH YOU.

OF COURSE, THE STORY ABOUT THE BODEGA WORKER WHO WAS CHARGED WITH MURDER FOR FATALLY STABBING SOMEONE WHO CONFRONTED HIM AT WORK.

WE KNOW THAT CRIME -- WE'VE SEEN VIOLENT CRIME INCREASE AT LEAST WITHIN THE CITY, AND A LOT OF PEOPLE ARE ALREADY ON EDGE FOR SO MANY REASONS.

GIVEN THE LARGER POLITICAL CLIMATE AROUND GUNS AND PARTICULARLY IN NEW YORK CITY, IS A STAND YOUR GROUND LAW THE RIGHT DIRECTION FOR NEW YORK CITY TO GO?

THAT'S AN INTERESTING QUESTION.

THIS STAND YOUR GROUND STUFF THAT I CONTINUE TO SEE IN THE NEWS AS IT PERTAINS TO NEW YORK I THINK IS OVERBLOWN, AND I THINK ANYONE PUSHING FOR IT HAS TO STOP.

WE ALREADY HAVE PENAL CODE 35.15 FOR YOUR VIEWERS THAT WANT TO GO READ IT THAT GOVERNS SELF-DEFENSE IN NEW YORK.

SELF-DEFENSE IS IN THE BOOKS.

SELF-SELF-DEFENSE AN AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE TO WHAT WE'RE WATCHING NOW.

AND THE IDEA THAT WE'RE GOING TO PUSH SOMETHING FROM FLORIDA THAT BECAME VERY POPULAR UNDER THEN GOVERNOR JEB BUSH HERE IN NEW YORK CONSIDERING ALL THE THINGS THAT HAVE HAPPENED BECAUSE OF STAND YOUR GROUND LAWS IN FLORIDA, IF ANYBODY THINKS NEW YORK HAS A POLITICAL APPETITE FOR THAT, I'VE GOT A BRIDGE TO TELL YOU FOR ABOUT 25 BUCKS THAT CONNECTS BRAZILIAN TO MANHATTAN.

IT WILL NEVER PASS THE LEGISLATURE AND GET SIGNED INTO LAW.

WHAT WE'RE DOING IS DISTRACTING FROM THE ISSUE.

WE HAVE HIGH CRIMES IN NEW YORK CITY, AND WE'RE LYING TO NEW YORKERS.

BECAUSE WE ALREADY HAVE SELF-DEFENSE CODIFIED IN THE BOOKS.

I JUST WANT TO -- CAN I JUST JUMP IN FOR A SECOND HERE?

WHAT'S INTERESTING IS, SEE, I THINK STAND YOUR GROUND IS A TERRIBLE, TERRIBLE PHRASE, AND HERE'S WHY.

I SPENT A COUPLE YEARS WITH MARINES AND SPECIAL FORCES IN AFGHANISTAN AS AN EMBEDDED CORRESPONDENT, AND THEY HAD NEVER STAY AND FIGHT.

IF THEY WERE AT THEIR BASE AND SOMEONE ATTACKED THE U.S.

MARINES, THEY JUST LEFT.

I THINK THE IDEA THAUR STANDING YOUR GROUND AND YOU HAVE A WEAPON AND YOU'RE GOING TO KILL SOMEBODY IS TOTALLY FLAWED.

THE STATE HAS A VERY INTERESTING TAKE ON THAT.

THEY SAY, YOU HAVE AN OBLIGATION TO RETREAT.

OBVIOUSLY IF YOUR FAMILY NEEDS TO BE PROTECTED IT'S ANOTHER THING.

IF YOU'RE IN AN ALTERCATION AND YOU HAVE A WEAPON THAT COULD KILL THAT PERSON, YOU HAVE TO OBLIGATION TO WALK AWAY.

IF YOU'RE ON THE FRONT STOOP SOMEONE COMES ON YOUR LAWN, YOU KILL THEM, COMPLETELY THE WRONG THING.

YOU RAISE GREAT POINTS, JC.

PEOPLE NEED TO UNDERSTAND IT'S NOT A STAND YOUR GROUND DEFENSE.

IF THE MARINE CORPS CAN WALK AWAY FROM A FIGHT, I THINK WE CAN TOO, WHICH IS THE KEY ISSUE.

I WANT TO GO BACK TO AT LEAST THIS PARTICULAR CASE AND THIS BY ALL -- BY EVERY UNDERSTANDING WAS SOMEONE WHO WAS ATTEMPTING TO DEFEND THEIR BUSINESS AND THEIR LIVELIHOOD, AGAIN IN AN ECONOMIC CLIMATE WHERE SO MANY PEOPLE ARE AGAIN ON EDGE FOR A LOT OF REASONS.

NA'ILAH, I WANT TO BRING YOU INTO THE CONVERSATION AND JUST ASK YOU, YOU KNOW, WHAT PERHAPS IS A DIRECTION THAT THE CITY COULD TAKE TO HELP SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS FEEL LIKE THEY HAVE SOME AUTHORITY OVER THEIR BUSINESSES?

ABSOLUTELY.

SO, I THINK -- I'M NOT QUITE SURE THAT THE PROCESS -- AGAIN, I DON'T HAVE A LEGAL BACKGROUND -- AS TO WHY THE BODEGA OWNER WAS CHARGED WITH SECOND-DEGREE MURDER FROM THE MANHATTAN D.A. WITH THEIR -- WHAT THE ARGUMENT IS IS THAT IT WAS SELF-DEFENSE.

BUT I THINK THERE'S CERTAINLY AN ARGUMENT TO BE MADE WHEN IT COMES TO THERE IS THIS NEED FOR PEOPLE WHO, YOU KNOW, FEEL THAT CRIME IS UP, SITUATIONS LIKE THESE HAPPEN.

WHAT ARE THE PROTECTIONS THAT THE CITY CAN PROVIDE?

WHAT ARE THE THINGS THAT NEED TO BE DONE IN ORDER TO MAKE SURE THAT BODEGA OWNERS CAN FEEL SAFE AND CAN PROTECT THEIR BUSINESSES AND THEIR LIVES WHEN -- IN THE SITUATIONS THAT THEY ARE THREATENED, AS WAS THE CASE WITH THE BODEGA OWNER WHO WAS VERY CLEARLY THREATENED AND FEARED FOR HIS LIFE.

JENNA, ANOTHER POINT, JUST LAST OCTOBER, A BODEGARO WAS KILLED.

TOUGH JOB.

UNFORTUNATELY SPIKES IN CRIME, THEY HAVE BEEN KILLED AND A LOT OF PEOPLE HAVE BEEN KILLED AT BODEGAS.

IT'S NOT LIKE IT'S THE BOTANICAL GARDENS HE WAS WORKING IN.

THAT'S ONE.

NUMBER TWO, WE DEBATED A GREAT DEAL ABOUT WILL SMITH AND THE I SAID IN SOCIAL MEDIA THAT THERE'S A DANGER ABOUT HAVING THIS IDEA THAT YOU'RE GOING TO HAVE A GUY STAND UP IF THE WOMAN, AND HE'S GOING TO STAND UP AND SMACK CHRIS ROCK IN THE FACE BECAUSE HE'S STANDING UP.

THAT'S A PROBLEM.

IT SENT THE WRONG MESSAGE TO OUR COMMUNITIES.

WHAT WE SAW HERE WAS A WOMAN SAY, I'M GOING TO GET MY BOYFRIEND.

HE'S GOING TO SHOW YOU.

SHE WENT OUT THERE AND GOT THIS MAN TO COME AND HARASS MR. ABBA AND THREATEN HIM.

WE HAVE TO STOP THIS NONSENSE AND STOP APPLAUDING THAT NONSENSE BECAUSE AT THE END OF THE DAY IT DOESN'T END RIGHT, AND UNFORTUNATELY, TWO FAMILIES ARE SUFFERING -- THREE, ACTUALLY, SUFFERING BECAUSE OF THE ACTIONS THAT TOOK PLACE THAT NIGHT.

OF COURSE, OF COURSE.

I WANT TO THANK EVERYBODY FOR THEIR INSIGHTS ON THOSE SUBJECTS.

WE HAVE EXTRA TIME FOR SOMETHING WE RARELY HAVE EXTRA TIME FOR, AND THAT IS, WHAT ARE THE STORIES AND NARRATIVES YOU'RE GOING TO BE FOLLOWING FOR THE COMING WEEK?

NA'ILAH, WHAT IS GOING TO BE SOMETHING YOU'RE GOING TO BE WATCHING AS IT DEVELOPS AS THIS WEEK UNFOLDS?

SO, I AM WATCHING THE NEW YORK 10 AND ALSO KEEPING A EAR TO THE GROUND TO THE NEW YORK CITY REDISTRICTING LINES.

OF COURSE, AND REMIND EVERYBODY, WHEN IS THAT ELECTION COMING UP AGAIN?

AUGUST 23rd, EVERYBODY.

AND VOTING STARTS EARLY, AND YOU CAN ALSO OF COURSE VOTE ABSENTEE IF YOU'LL NOT BE IN TOWN ELECTION DAY.

WE HAVE DISCUSSED -- AS JC NOTED WE DON'T ALWAYS HAVE TO BEST TURNOUT, SO IT'S IMPORTANT FOR PEOPLE TO KNOW THERE IS ANOTHER ELECTION BEFORE WE GET TO NOVEMBER.

DR. BOB, I'M CURIOUS, FROM A HEALTHWISE, OR JUST IN GENERAL, WHAT ARE SOME OF THE STORIES THAT ARE REALLY GRABBING YOUR ATTENTION?

THE NUMBER ONE THING I'M FOCUSING ON RIGHT NOW IS UKRAINE.

BIGGEST TRAGEDYWISE.

I'M A DIRECTOR OF HEALTH TECH WITHOUT BORDERS, A WONDERFUL GROUP RUN BY A RUSSIAN AND UKRAINIAN WOMAN.

AND WE HAVE PROVIDED 70,000 VISITS SO FAR, TELEMEDICINE VISITS.

WE HAVE A NEW THING CALLED HOLLOW VISION, WHICH MICROSOFT IS HELPING US WITH, SO A DOCTOR IN UKRAINE CAN BE HELPED BY A DOCTOR, SAY, AT HARVARD MEDICAL SCHOOL.

WE'RE LOOKING AT PORTABLE MEDICAL RECORDS.

WE'RE REALLY BRINGING A LOT OF TECH TO THE FIGHT IN UKRAINE, AND I ACTUALLY AM RELEASING A CDC LATER THIS MONTH OF MY FIRST SYMPHONY, SYMPHONY NUMBER ONE RECORDED WITH THE CZECH PHILHARMONIC, AND IT'S GOING TO BE CALLED HEROINE AND IT'S DEDICATED TO THE WOMEN OF UKRAINE IN THE BOLD AND COURAGEOUS STAND THEY HAVE TAKEN, HEROISM IN A TOUGH SITUATION.

THAT SOUNDS LIKE AN INCREDIBLY TOUGH SITUATION TO WRITE ABOUT, AND OUR FIRST ANNOUNCEMENT OF AN ALBUM DROP ON 'METROFOCUS.'

[ LAUGHTER ] JC, I'M GOING TO GIVE YOU THE FINAL WORD.

WHAT IS IT YOU'RE REALLY GOING TO BE WATCHING AS IT UNFOLDS?

I'M GOING TO WATCH GOVERNOR HOCHUL NAME WHO'S GOING TO BE FIORI'S SUCCESSOR AT THE COURT OF APPEALS IN NEW YORK.

THERE'S A BIG PUSH FOR A LATINA TO BE NAMED TO THE POSITION.

I KNOW PROGRESSIVES AROUND NEW YORK WANT TO SEE A PUBLIC DEFENDER OR SOMEONE FROM THAT ILK IN THE LAW.

BUT IT'S GOING TO BE A LARGE LOBBY BY THE LATINO COMMUNITY IN NEW YORK TO PUSH FOR A CHIEF JUSTICE THAT IS FROM OUR COMMUNITY.

SO WE'LL SEE.

WE STILL HAVE A FEW MOMENTS LEFT, AND BECAUSE NA'ILAH DID BRING UP THE IMPORTANT SPECIAL ELECTION WE'VE GOT HAPPENING AT THE END OF AUGUST, CAN YOU, JC, REMIND US, WHAT ARE THE IMPORTANT RACES THAT ARE AT STAKE?

STATE SENATE PRIMARY ELECTIONS AND CONGRESSIONAL PRIMARY ELECTIONS.

THESE ELECTIONS ARE TAKING PLACE NOW BECAUSE OF SOME REDISTRICTING ISSUES THAT TOOK PLACE.

THE COURTS RULED AGAINST THE ORIGINAL MAPS.

AND BECAUSE OF THAT, THE ASSEMBLY PRIMARIES HAPPENED LAST MONTH AND THE PRIMARIES FOR CONGRESS AND SENATE HAVE BEEN -- NEXT MONTH.

NOW, THIS IS THE ISSUE.

ABOUT 98% OF ALL OF THE ELECTIONS IN NEW YORK CITY ARE DECIDED IN THESE CLOSED PARTY PRIMARIES.

SO IT'S VERY IMPORTANT THAT PEOPLE PARTICIPATE IN THESE ELECTIONS BECAUSE JUST FROM A NUMBERS PERSPECTIVE, THE NOVEMBER ELECTION IS REALLY A FOREGONE CONCLUSION IN A LOT OF THESE PARTS OF OUR CITY.

SO IT'S IMPORTANT THAT PEOPLE VOTE.

AND IT'S ALSO IMPORTANT FOR ONE MORE THING.

US INDEPENDENTS DON'T GET TO VOTE IN CLOSED PRIMARY ELECTIONS, AND BECAUSE OF 98% OF ELECTIONS ARE DECIDE IN THE CLOSED PRIMARIES, I THINK IT'S TIME WE HAVE AN HONEST DISCUSSION ABOUT OPENING UP PRIMARIES FOR INDEPENDENTS ACROSS NEW YORK.

ALL RIGHT, WELL, THAT'S THE NOTE WE'RE GOING TO LEAVE IT ON.

JC, YOU'RE ALWAYS GOOD AT HITTING THOSE POINTS, ESPECIALLY ABOUT TURN OUT AND VOTE.

I WANT TO THANK OUR ROUND TABLE OF EXPERTS TONIGHT.

OUR GUESTS, DR. BOB ARNOT, INFECTIOUS DISEASE EXPERT AND FORMER NBC NEWS CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT.

ALSO THANK YOU TO NA'ILAH AMARU, A DEMOCRATIC POLITICAL STRATEGIST AND FORMER EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE NEW YORK CITY COUNCIL'S BLACK, LATINO, AND ASIAN CAUCUS.

AND A BIG THANK YOU TO JC POLANCO, A PUBLIC POLICY COMMENTATOR, ATTORNEY, AND THE NEW CEO FOR THE COUNCIL ON LEGAL EDUCATION OPPORTUNITY.

THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH FOR JOINING US ON TONIGHT'S ROUND TABLE.

GREAT.

THANK YOU SO MUCH.

THANK YOU.

> 'METROFOCUS' IS MADE POSSIBLE BY -- SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III, THE PETER G. PETERSON AND JOAN GANZ COONEY FUND, BERNARD AND DENISE SCHWARTZ, BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG, THE AMBROSE MONELL FOUNDATION.

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