Incoming New York City Mayor Eric Adams announced Tuesday that he is cancelling his inauguration ceremony, planned to be held indoors on Saturday night, Jan. 1, 2022 at Brooklyn’s Kings Theater. Usually the ceremony is held during the day outside City Hall; however, Adams delayed the ceremony to the evening hours to accommodate Sabbath-observant Orthodox Jews.
“All I need is a mattress and a floor to execute being the mayor of the city of New York. I don’t need an inauguration,” Adams told reporters. “I’m going to speak with Brad [Lander] and Jumaane [Williams] and say it’s best for us to forego an inauguration because we don’t want to put our people in a dangerous situation.”
The “mattress” was a reference to the mayor-elect’s days of sleeping on a mattress at Brooklyn Borough Hall (he is currently the borough president of Brooklyn) during the worst of the coronavirus pandemic last year.
A statement later released by his office said that all three men would postpone the ceremony to a later date.
“Dear fellow New Yorkers, it is clear that our city is facing a formidable opponent in the Omicron variant of COVID-19, and that the spike in cases presents a serious risk to public health. After consulting with public health experts, we have decided that our joint inauguration ceremony will be postponed to a later date in order to prioritize the health of all who were planning to attend, cover, and work on this major event,” they said in the joint statement.
“We thank the Kings Theater for their interest in hosting this exciting moment in our city’s history, and everyone who has been working hard to plan this celebration. We look forward to getting together in person with our loved ones, colleagues, and well-wishing New Yorkers to honor this great democratic tradition, and to thank all those who have made it possible, at a safer time in the weeks ahead.
“Health and safety must come first,” they added. “We encourage all New Yorkers to get vaccinated, get boosted and get tested. That is our pathway out of this pandemic, and we will come out of it together.”
Last Thursday Williams, who currently serves as the city’s public advocate, tested positive for COVID-19. Williams, who is running for New York governor, emphasized in a statement that he is fully vaccinated and has received a booster shot, adding that he was experiencing only “mild symptoms” and would stay home in quarantine until he recovers.
Public Advocate Williams tested positive for COVID-19 with a PCR test tonight, and is experiencing mild symptoms while isolating at home.
We will provide additional updates as needed. pic.twitter.com/JR6Kq7xFiJ
— Office of the Public Advocate Jumaane D. Williams (@nycpa) December 17, 2021