Former-New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, along with Manhattan GOP Chairwoman Andrea Catsimatidis and other Republican leaders, unveiled a new two-year plan to revive New York City.
In a press conference Wednesday morning, Giuliani announced the plan aimed at addressing the spike in gun violence and, what the group described as in a press release ahead of the conference, "the urban flight which has left tens-of-thousands of apartments sitting empty, and the homeless epidemic in NYC."
One of the points in the plan is a call to put 9,000 more NYPD officers on the street to deter crime, shootings, homelessness, and support local businesses. Giuliani and the GOP leaders are also calling on lowering property taxes and reviving what they called failing schools that have been unprepared during the pandemic.
During the conference, which covered a number of topics, Giuliani railed against the Black Lives Matter movement, calling the treatment of the movement "disgraceful" while labeling de Blasio and NYC Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza as communists obsessed with the movement. He took a direct jab at Carranza, saying "he should go back to Cuba."
He also attacked Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, while urging New Yorkers to elect a Republican mayor in order to right the ship. However, he said it would not be him, explicitly saying he was not running for mayor.
The conference resulted in a war of words between Giuliani and current Mayor Bill de Blasio as Giuliani was highly critical of de Blasio's handling of the ongoing pandemic, and said his administration had reversed all the progress that was made in the city over the past few decades.
"So I say to the people of New York, you got to sit back and say to yourself, 'We've made a big mistake when we voted for him twice, when we didn't show up to vote -- because very few people showed up. We've made a big mistake with Bill de Blasio," he said.
Giuliani also said the city economy should not continue to be shut down, regardless of the ongoing pandemic, calling it a political move. When asked if he was worried of a spike in cases if the city reopens entirely, Giuliani said: "If the city were shut down based on ifs, you shut it down every day. You don't shut down an entire economy, bankrupt en entire economy on an if."
However, a number of health professionals, continue to warn the public of the ongoing threat posed by the pandemic.
Just last week, White House coronavirus expert Dr. Anthony Fauci disputed President Donald Trump's claims that the U.S. is "rounding the corner" on COVID-19 cases and asserted instead that data was "disturbing."
MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell asked Fauci on Friday about the president’s comment the day before that "I really do believe we're rounding the corner."
“I’m sorry, but I have to disagree with that because if you look at the thing that you just mentioned, the statistics, Andrea, they’re disturbing,” he said. “We’re plateauing at around 40,000 cases a day and the deaths are around 1,000.”
Meanwhile, Trump continued to defend himself after admitting he had downplayed the severity of the coronavirus pandemic to the American public. The president Thursday said it was "no big thing" he didn't tell the public in February the virus was airborne because it was something "everyone knew." However, at the time, there were still conflicting reports about how the virus spread.
A White House coronavirus coordinator, Dr. Scott Atlas, also faced criticism when 78 of his former Stanford Medical School colleagues accused him Thursday of spreading what they characterized as "falsehoods and misrepresentation of science," CNBC reported.
During his daily coronavirus press briefing, de Blasio called Giuliani "unhinged."
"I think he has amnesia. I think he is out of touch with reality. I think we've seen more and more Rudy Giuliani become unhinged," de Blasio said.
In response, Giuliani said he considers being called unhinged by the current mayor a compliment and went on to describe himself "as the greatest mayor" the city has ever seen compared to de Blasio.
"I have Democrats who come up to me and say we loved you, you were a great mayor," Giuliani said. "(They say) We started hating you when you started representing Trump, but we'd take you over de Blasio."
The former mayor denied that he has changed since he left office in 2001, saying instead that "the city has become more partisan, left wing."
Additionally, it was also announced a first-of-its-kind NYC GOP convention that will be broadcasted for New Yorkers to view and listen Thursday night on 77 WABC radio.