Former NYC Mayor David Dinkins: ‘I Was Worried' During Hospital Scare

Former Mayor David Dinkins said that before he was hospitalized for congestive heart failure earlier this year he had gotten to the point where he couldn't walk a New York City block without getting breathless.

"I'd stop and lean on a pole or take my cellphone out," he said. "People would come by and they'd recognize me and say, 'Mayor are you alright?' I'd say, 'Yeah, I'm just resting."

The 88-year-old former mayor has lost 25 pounds and gained nearly as many prescriptions since the scare that put him in New York-Presbyterian Hospital for a couple of days in February but says that he's made a quick comeback.

"I was worried about me," he said.

He's already back to his busy schedule, serving on several boards and teaching public policy at Columbia University.

On Thursday, the university is expected to announce a professorship in his name that will be awarded to Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter. Dinkins will also be hosting a symposium that day on modern policing with U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch.

Despite recovering from the health scare and a full slate of other engagements, Dinkins has kept his eye on the civic and political landscape.

He said he has been outraged by recent cases of civilians dying at the hands of police -- including the death of Akai Gurley in 2014. He said he disagrees with Brooklyn DA Ken Thompson's recommendation that Gurley's killer, ex-NYPD officer Peter Liang not serve prison time.

"I don't think he should get life, but I think there should be a penalty that befits the crime," he said. 

Dinkins also talked about national politics this week, saying he's been a longtime Hillary Clinton supporter. He added that while he is a fan of Mayor de Blasio, he didn't think the sitting mayor should have waited so long to endorse his former boss.

"He shouldn't have done that... especially since he had a relationship with her," he said.

He added, "I think overall Bill's doing a good job."

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