Eric Adams, the incoming mayor of New York City, told CNN on Sunday that he wants to end the school mask mandate when he takes office, a change that would affect the largest public school district in the county.
Adams, who comes into power on Jan. 1, said he “look[s] forward” to dropping the mask mandate “if we can find a safe way to do it,” the mayor-elect said on CNN’s State of the Union.
Adams, who did not provide a timeline for the possible end of the mandate, referenced “socialization” as one of his main reasons for wanting to end it, saying “not being able to see the smiles of our children has a major impact.”
Outgoing Mayor Bill de Blasio said Thursday that he plans to keep the mask mandate in place for students “out of an abundance of caution” because “kids have adapted to them well,” the New York Post reported.
New York City does not mandate that students be vaccinated to attend school. However, after children ages 5 to 11 became eligible to get the Pfizer vaccine last week, de Blasio’s administration began offering a $100 incentive for kids to get inoculated at a city-run clinic. Students will also be able to get the shot at in-school vaccination sites.