Decision 2020

‘Ghost Town?' NYC Leaders Rip Trump Over Debate Dis

Needless to say, many in or with ties to the city didn't take too kindly to the president's critique of his former hometown

Donald Trump at debate
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Early in Thursday night's debate between President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden, the commander in chief made a comment regarding New York City that drew some impassioned responses from New Yorkers.

When discussing the COVID-19 pandemic and the response to it, the president said that New York City is "a ghost town," criticizing how restaurants and other businesses have had to close amid the pandemic.

"Take a look at New York and what's happened to my wonderful city for so many years. I loved it, it was vibrant. It's dying, everyone's leaving New York," Trump said.

Needless to say, many in or with ties to the city didn't take too kindly to the critique. Mayor Bill de Blasio was quick to respond, saying "New Yorkers are bringing our city back stronger than ever. It’s nothing short of heroic."

Mark Levine, a City Councilmember from Manhattan, posted a video showing customers doing outdoor dining at restaurants, which appeared to be fairly busy.

Other politicians and leaders in the and around the state weighed in as well, most of the same opinion: The city is far from a ghost town.

During an appearance on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert following the debate, Gov. Andrew Cuomo quipped that "New York has a lower infection rate than the White House."

One Cuomo's top aides touted New York's low COVID positivity rate, and went on to criticize the president's decision to put a travel ban on China, but not on Europe sooner.

Trump's comment came after Biden said that places like restaurants should reopen with plexiglass dividers and appropriate spacing between tables, in addition to measures like rapid testing and test and trace programs.

"Take a look at what New York has done in terms of turning the curve down, in terms of the number of people dying," Biden responded.

Trump earlier criticized the state and Cuomo's response to shut down the states when the pandemic was at its peak, saying that New York and other states with Democratic governors who made similar decisions regarding the economy are "dying."

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