President Trump slammed Bill de Blasio as a ‘communist fool’ who has destroyed New York City on Monday morning, as more and more residents flee for good and say they’ll likely never return because the city may never recover.
Many fled New York in March, when it was the epicenter of the pandemic, with the intention of returning when things began reopening.
But as the lockdown dragged on, forcing hundreds of businesses to close their doors, and as businesses survived with a remote workforce, many abandoned their apartment leases permanently for more spacious homes in different states.
In recent weeks, crime has shot up and homelessness is spreading across the city.
De Blasio sad on Monday, after days of complaints from residents, that he would start moving the homeless out of the hotels and back into shelters but he gave no timeline for when the process would start, or which hotels would be first.
The NYPD’s largest union – the Sergeants Benevolent Association – has taken the unorthodox step of formally endorsing Trump because cops are so frustrated with de Blasio’s handling of the city.
In June, he stripped the NYPD of $1billion in response to Black Lives Matter protesters who wanted to defund the department entirely.
Trump has vowed to revitalize the city if he wins the November election, but he hasn’t yet explained how. De Blasio remains in power until November 2021. He cannot be re-elected.
On Monday morning, the President phoned into Fox & Friends to discuss a range of issues, including New York City.
‘The mayor has no response. He doesn’t know what he’s doing, he’s a fool.
‘He’s a socialist, communist maybe he’s a fool. He got rid of some of the most talented policemen that there are in the world and that includes looking for very bad things all beyond New York.
‘Some of those people are gone and that’s no good. No, this is a fool. This is a fool.’ he said of de Blasio.
Crime has shot up in recent weeks, particularly shootings. There were more than 60 shootings across New York City in the last week, leaving 76 people injured.
Trump said on Monday: ‘Look at the shootings. When I left New York four years ago, New York was, I could see the seeds of this because he’s been a bad mayor but new York was good.
‘It was okay. It all happened recently. It all came together. All of this over a period of years as he’s been mayor, but about a year, and then six months ago, it’s incredible what happened.
‘When I left New York four years ago, we were doing great. I was doing good. Everybody was doing good. Now but you could see the seeds were being sewn.
‘The seeds it was happening, bad stuff was happening you could see it, the squeegies were starting to come out, tents were starting to be built on the sidewall.’
The President then praised Rudy Giuliani as a ‘great mayor’ who did ‘a great job’.
‘Rudy Giuliani did a great job, between window, you know, fixed broken windows because he said that’s a sign and it leads a lot of people wouldn’t even understand that.
‘It’s psychologically very important but Rudy, he was a great mayor and he did stop and frisk. He did stop and frisk. He took guns away from bad people.
‘Now, if you take a gun away from a bad people oh, you got, you know, they sue you.
‘They sue you. It’s so crazy what they’ve allowed to happen,’ he fumed.
Trump added that most of the country was ‘strong’ and ‘law abiding’, but that Democratic cities like New York, Chicago and Portland are ‘run by fools’.
De Blasio was questioned about his plan for the homeless at his daily press conference on Monday.
‘I’ve heard deeply their concern and I want to make sure we’re addressing their concern.
‘We also, of course, by law and morally have to take care of anyone who, God forbid, has become homeless. You know, I always say, there but for the grace of God go we,’ he said when asked about the many tax payers in New York City who are now afraid because
‘So, what happened was, again, a crisis that forced us to have to use hotels, we’re now starting the process of reducing the reliance on hotels,’ he said.
He went onto say the President’s remarks amounted to him ‘blustering’.
‘We are dealing with a perfect storm. I keep telling everyone, I think every-day New Yorkers understand it. We have been put through hell in this city.
‘Everything fell apart simultaneously because of the coronavirus. We’re now building it back up and the NYPD is moving officers where they’re needed, engaging with the community more deeply to fight crime, increasing gun arrests, but it will take time, and we need the whole picture to come back into focus. We need the court system to get working again. We need a lot of things to work so we can really stop this problem. But it’s painful.
‘The President blusters and the President tries to draw attention to himself and rarely has much to back it up.
‘The bottom line is, the NYPD is, obviously, as they have done for decades upon decades, they are the people who can help us address this issue and end this violence and that’s who I’m relying on,’ he said.
His remarks come as a growing number of New Yorkers leave the city with no plans to return.
Among them is James Altucher, a comedy club owner and investor whose family have left the city for Miami.
In a lengthy blog post, he described why the city would never fully recover because unlike in previous times of crisis, it has not been shut down for weeks on end.
‘NYC has never been locked down for five months. Not in any pandemic, war, financial crisis, never.
‘In the middle of the polio epidemic, when little kids (including my mother) were becoming paralyzed or dying (my mother ended up with a bad leg), NYC didn’t go through this,’ he wrote.
The three things that drew people to New York en masse – opportunities, food and culture – have all now been wiped out.
Businesses have realized they can continue to operate successfully with a remote staff. There are few that have returned as a result.
With no requirement to stay in the city for their jobs, many are unwilling to put up with the escalating crime.
One man wrote in a Facebook group: ‘In the last week: I watched a homeless person lose his mind and start attacking random pedestrians. Including spitting on, throwing stuff at, and swatting.
‘I’ve seen several single parents with a child asking for money for food. And then, when someone gave them food, tossed the food right back at them. I watched a man yell racist slurs at every single race of people while charging, then stopping before going too far.’
Another said: ‘I’ve been living in New York City for about 10 years. It has definitely gotten worse and there’s no end in sight.
‘My favorite park is Madison Square Park. About a month ago a 19-year-old girl was shot and killed across the street.
‘I don’t think I have an answer but I do think it’s clear: it’s time to move out of NYC.
‘I’m not the only one who feels this way, either. In my building alone, the rent has plummeted almost 30% — more people are moving away than ever before. So…
‘It’s not goodbye yet. But a lifelong New Yorker is thinking about it.’
Altucher said he was not tempted to leave until June, when riots and looting took over the city for a week.
‘Nothing was wrong with the protests but I was a little nervous when I saw videos of rioters after curfew trying to break into my building,’ he wrote.
He has now moved with his family to south Florida and is unsure if they’ll come back.
‘I’m temporarily, although maybe permanently, in South Florida now. I also got my place sight unseen,’ he wrote.
Last week, it emerged that 13,000 apartments were sitting empty in New York, the highest number in 14 years.