NEW YORK - Mayor-elect Eric Adams has canceled his plan to hold his inauguration at the Kings Theater in Flatbush, Brooklyn, due to rising coronavirus cases in the city. But he said that won't stop him from hitting the ground running on day one.
"I don't need an inauguration," Adams said. "All I need is a mattress and a floor to execute being the mayor of the City of New York."
Adams had opted to hold his Jan. 1 inauguration at the historic theater instead of the traditional City Hall location in Manhattan. The ceremony would have also included the inaugurations of Public Advocate Jumaane Williams and Comptroller-elect Brad Lander.
The rapid rise in COVID-19 infections in the city derailed that plan. In a news release, the three said the ceremony would be held at a later date to "prioritize the health of all who were planning to attend, cover, and work on this major event."
On Tuesday morning, Adams told reporters that he didn't want to put people in a dangerous environment.
"I'm going to lead this city because I am capable of leading the city," Adams said. "The people of this city chose me to be mayor and they made a smart decision because I can do it."
A stunning spike in coronavirus cases has rattled New York. It saw four days in a row with record numbers of cases as the omicron-variant spread quickly.
New Years Eve in Times Square is going to be scaled back with masks required, sources told FOX 5 News.
In the meantime, Adams introduced three new appointees to his administration.
City Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez will serve as the city's first Latino transportation commissioner. Rodriguez said he will be doubling down on providing safer street infrastructure to Black and Latino neighborhoods. He also promised to replace 50% of the city's plastic protected bike lanes with sturdier structures.
"I want to dedicate this announcement to all the English-language learners like myself," Rodriguez said. "As strong as my accent, is my strong commitment to love this city."
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Adams also appointed Matthew Fraser as the new chief technology officer. Fraser said one goal will be to build out an online portal that allows New Yorkers to access all city services and benefits.
"One of the first things that we're going to look at is how can we simplify that interaction between the public and government to ensure that when you come for a service you can get access to that," Fraser said.
And Melanie LaRocca was appointed as the city's first chief efficiency officer. Adams said her role will be to find ways to cut costs at city agencies and in large city contracts.
"We'll reevaluate our missions and we'll ask ourselves the tough questions of what are we doing here and how is it serving New Yorkers," Larocca said.
Adams said these new appointments reflect his goal of appointing diverse candidates with different backgrounds and ethnicities to lead the city for the next four years.