In the race for New York City mayor, Democratic nominee and race frontrunner Eric Adams and Republican opponent Curtis Sliwa each held just one campaign event on Monday, with both using that time to sharpen their positions and their attacks on the other ahead of Wednesday night's debate on NBC New York.
Adams spoke over Zoom, saying that he supports a vaccine mandate for eligible public school students in the city, saying that "we are a vaccinated society." However, that approach is a departure from fellow Democrat and current office holder Bill de Blasio.
"I don't want to see that, I want to see every kid in school," de Blasio said during a press conference.
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That break left Sliwa to say something likely did not envision saying while on the campaign trail: "I agree with Mayor de Blasio at this point," saying that he does not believe NYC schoolchildren or city workers should be forced to get vaccinated.
"Just test them once a week. Test them, because even if you have the vaccine, as proven with Colin Powell, you can be infected with coronavirus," Sliwa said.
Adams may support a mandate in schools, but asked on Monday if he would require all municipal workers to be vaccinated, he hedged his answer, saying that he would defer to his health officials and ask them if the vaccine mandate should expand further.
Meanwhile, Sliwa is seizing on a new report published by The City that said Adams orchestrated a sexist smear campaign against a transit officer, after she accused members of a Black fraternal organization he co-led at the time of cheating on a sergeant's exam.
"Sexism and misogynism at its worst. He took control of the PR effort to destroy her credibility," Sliwa said Monday.
The woman's allegations ultimately led to criminal convictions for three members of the group. A spokesperson for Adams' campaign responded to the report, saying "Eric regrets what happened 30 years ago and has certainly changed a lot since then. He will always be seeking to improve as a man, as a father and leader."
Sliwa took the unusual step on Monday of advertising that he plans to attack Adams during the debate on Wednesday on the issue, as well as the Brooklyn borough president's past support of friend State Sen. Hiram Monseratte, who was convicted of slashing his girlfriend's face.