NEW YORK — During Thursday night’s presidential debate, President Donald Trump painted a bleak picture of his hometown.

“It’s a ghost town,” Trump said during a discussion on the coronavirus response. “For so many years, I loved it. It was vibrant. It’s dying. Everyone’s leaving New York.”

Friday, Mayor de Blasio fired back with a zinger. “The only ghost town,” he said on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, “is going to be Mar-a-Lago after this election, when Donald Trump is forced into retirement there.”

Trump’s comments came in the context of debate over government lockdowns. Trump argues states have gone too far in shutting down businesses, strangling the economy in the process. He singled out Gov. Andrew Cuomo and other Democratic governors.

But de Blasio on Friday pointed to New York’s success in beating back the pandemic and driving down the positivity rate, while also managing to successfully reopen schools.

“He's putting the onus on the people who are suffering but are still fighting back, rather than acknowledging his responsibility,” the mayor said, “because he wasn't here for us when we needed testing or when we needed a stimulus for our recovery.”

De Blasio trotted out the Mar-a-Lago line a second time during his weekly interview on the The Brian Lehrer Show on WNYC.

“The only ghost town,” he said, “is going to be Mar-a-Lago after he is forced out of office by the decision of the people on Election Day. But not New York City, a place that is fighting back. And he should be honoring the people of New York City, not denigrating them.”


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