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De Blasio Says He Wants to Show That New York Is 'Moving Forward' With Times Square Celebration

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New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) says the city will be “moving forward” with its Times Square celebration.

During an appearance on NBC’s “Today,” de Blasio was asked why he is not scaling back the New Year’s Eve celebration even further than originally planned.

“I don’t believe in shutdowns. We have to fight our way through Covid and the way to do it is vaccinations,” de Blasio said.

He noted people must be vaccinated in order to attend and masks will be required.

“We want to show that we’re moving forward, and we want to show the world that New York City is fighting our way through this,” de Blasio said.

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He explained the decision was made with the health care team.

“We’ve got to send a message to the world. New York City’s open,” de Blasio said.

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Incoming mayor, Eric Adams (D), is expected to be sworn in at the celebration.

“Times Square has long been synonymous with the New Year — a place of excitement, renewal, and hope for the future,” Adams said in a statement.

He added, “These are the same themes that animated my campaign and will inform my mayoralty, as I prepare to lead the city out of this challenging period.”

On Wednesday, New York State reported 67,090 new COVID-19 cases. New York Gov. Kathy Hochul reported 97 new fatalities.

“We’re basically preparing for a January surge. We know it’s coming. And we’re naive to think it won’t,” Hochul said.

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She added, “We do think there’s going to be a spike in cases that’s going to continue, not just in our positive rates but in our hospitalizations.”

CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky commented on the rapid spread of the virus during a White House briefing Wednesday.

“The rapid increase in cases we are seeing across the country is in large part a reflection of the exceptionally transmissible omicron variant,” Walensky said.

She added, “In a few short weeks, omicron has rapidly increased across the country, and we expect, will continue to circulate in the coming weeks. While our cases have substantially increased from last week, hospitalizations and deaths remain comparatively low.”

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