Adams, Sliwa spar over crime and COVID in 1st NYC mayoral debate

State News

NEW YORK — The two men running to become New York City’s next mayor offered starkly different visions at their first debate Wednesday about how to lead the nation’s largest city out of the pandemic, improve public safety and gird the city of 8.8 million people for more powerful storms driven by climate change.

Democrat Eric Adams and Republican Curtis Sliwa also sparred over personal and character issues, with Adams lambasting Sliwa for having admitted in the past to making up crimes and for “buffoonery.”

Sliwa, the founder of the 1970s-era Guardian Angels anti-crime patrol, insisted he’s the candidate more in-touch with regular New Yorkers. Adams is a former NYPD veteran.

The two clashed over public safety and the future of policing; both men said they’d put more cops on the street.

When it comes to COVID-19, Sliwa took issue with the mayor’s mandate for municipal workers to be vaccinated against the virus, including firefighters and police officers. The directive was issued Wednesday.

Adams defended the mandate, but criticized the mayor’s handling of the situation.

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