Democratic mayoral candidate Shaun Donovan blamed Mayor Bill de Blasio for New York City being devastated by the Coronavirus, saying his management style cost lives.
“His inability to listen to the truth — to surround himself with people who would tell him the truth — cost New Yorkers’ lives, and I think that was what made New York the hardest hit city in the world,” Donovan told NY1.
He said a year ago when then-Health Commissioner Oxiris Barbot warned de Blasio to be more aggressive, the mayor failed to oblige.
“Not only did he not listen, but because he was upset that his own people were telling him the truth, he took contact tracing and testing away from the best health department in the world, and gave it to the Health and Hospitals Corporation,” Donovan said.
“We need a mayor who listens, builds teams, listens to people around them, and then gets things done by hearing the truth and doing what needs to be done to get New Yorkers safe,” he added.
Donovan said he has the experience to get the job down.
The candidate was housing commissioner under former mayor Michael Bloomberg in the wake of 9/11, and was the secretary of Housing and Urban Development under former president Obama during the housing crisis.
“I was housing secretary in the midst of the worst mortgage crisis of our lifetimes. But then when [Hurricane] Sandy hit, President Obama asked me to lead the entire federal recovery effort. And when he asked me to lead the $4 trillion federal budget, we actually faced ebola, and then zika,” Donovan said.
“I ended up side-by-side with Dr. Fauci, with President Obama with then-vice president Biden, making sure emerging global health threats didn’t become pandemics that cost tens of thousands of our neighbors their lives,” he continued.
But Donovan's experience, in addition to sizable ad spending, has not yet translated with voters.
He sits in the middle of the pack in a Spectrum News/Ipsos poll, but Donovan pointed out a large portion of voters are undecided.
"What I'm hearing in the streets, and what I'm seeing in the polls, is that three-fourths of New Yorkers think that government experience is really important right now,” the candidate said. “So, I think as more New Yorkers get to understand my plans and visions for the city, and my experience, I think you'll see more and more New Yorkers support me.”
Donovan touted his climate change plan and his five-borough food tour as ways he's getting his message out into the community.
Donovan appeared on “Mornings on 1” as part of a series of interviews with the leading candidates running for mayor.