Over 2.5 million vaccines are being delivered to Americans every day, sparking hope the days of business closures, state lock-downs, and remote learning can finally be a thing of the past.
In New York City sports stadiums and outdoor music venues will be allowed to have limited crowds beginning April 1st. Former New York Representative Peter King told The Cats Roundtable that this summer we could finally look forward to “having independence from Covid.”
“I think that a combination of the vaccinations and the antibodies that people have is really going to give us the herd immunity that we need,” King told The Cats Roundtable on Sunday. “And I would say it would certainly be here by the Fourth of July, to have a great Independence celebration.”
But the return to normalcy seems to be stalling in NYC. According to King, it’s not just crippling lock-downs that have kept the city from thriving. King noted a growing wave of violence had gripped the city during 2020, with the city logging 1,480 shootings, almost double the number of shootings in 2019.
“We have to make the streets safe again,” King declared. “People have to feel safe coming into Manhattan. They have to feel safe going to Time Square. They have to feel safe being on the subways.”
To King, the blame for the growing crime rate rested solely with city leadership and their eroding support for the NYPD.
“People see it every day, and they see the New York City council tying the hands of the police, doing away with qualified immunity,” King told The Cats Roundtable.
King believes the rise in crime was due to a number of factors, but ultimately the buck stopped with Democratic lawmakers. The former New York Representative took particular aim at a recent 2020 bail reform law that he characterized as taking “away from the judge’s right to exercise discretion.” As a result, many experts and lawmakers have decried violent criminals face a slap on the wrist and immediate release back into the communities.
“It’s this whole tone, this whole anti-police attitude—you combine that with the terrible economic shutdown we had, I mean the restaurants, the small businesses they were getting devastated,” King said. “And now they can be coming back, and they will be coming back, but to really get the streets crowded again, to get the hotels filled, get the restaurants filled, people have to feel safe.”
The growing crime rates have coincided with a broader exodus from the big Apple in 2020, with 93,000 more people leaving the city than moved there in 2020. In King’s own circle, he could read the writing on the wall.
“I mean, right now, so many people I talk to, they’re either moving out of New York, they’re moving to Florida, they’re moving to the Hampton’s, or they’re staying at home,” King told The Cats Roundtable.
Though the solution is simple, it requires a change of attitude, policy, and politics from the top to the bottom of the city government. A mayor’s office and city council reticent to support the NYPD and opposed to the reopening of the city are a recipe King is tired of, and he believes it’s time to give the city back to New Yorkers.
“Let people know if something does happen, the cops aren’t going to have their hands tied,” King advised. “Now you’re going to have cops afraid of being sued. You’re going to have cops being attacked in the media, having their jobs put in question, and also their security is at risk. You know it’s going to be a long time before the images of last summer’s riots are going to be overcome, so they got to get going on it. You can’t have this constant narrative that the police are the enemy.”
Listen to the interview below