NEW YORK — With the city’s COVID-19 rates still on the rise, Mayor Bill de Blasio reiterated that nonessential businesses should brace for a shutdown on the scale of the state’s so-called pause order in the spring in his weekly “Mondays with the Mayor” segment on Inside City Hall.

“We’ve got to start planning for bigger actions now. I think the natural time to do that is immediately after Christmas,” he said, adding that only essential businesses would continue.

The mayor also celebrated the historic arrival of the COVID-19 vaccine and vowed a fast distribution.

“It’s the beginning of the end of the coronavirus era,” de Blasio told host Errol Louis of vaccine distribution, calling it “the most tangible evidence since March that we can overcome this challenge.”

The mayor said he couldn’t be certain when the vaccine would be available to the broader public, but he projected it could reach “the neighborhood level” after January, after first responders and health care workers are inoculated first.

De Blasio was also asked the recently appointed NYPD monitor’s report that the use of body-worn cameras didn’t reduce the use of force during arrests.

The mayor said it’s too soon after the equipment’s implementation to have a full understanding of its impact of policing.

“I think it helps the NYPD to do its job better. I think it does create accountability. It makes people think about their work differently and in a better way,” he said. "I think it’s only value-add.”


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Watch the full “Mondays with the Mayor” interview above.


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