Bill de Blasio Appoints Wife to Lead 'Coronavirus Racial Inequality' Task Force
New York Mayor criticized for politicising the pandemic
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has appointed his wife as the co-chair of a coronavirus recovery task force that focuses on inclusion and equity.
On Sunday, de Blasio announced that Chirlane McCray would help lead the task force on racial inclusion and equity.
The Mayor said he believes it will take more than 20 months to rebuild New York City fully.
McCray will work with Deputy Mayor Phil Thompson to make sure the city "rebounds as a better and more just society than the one we left behind," de Blasio said.
"Every time New York City has faced a crisis, it's come back stronger. That's who we are. We will work together and build something better and fairer," de Blasio tweeted.
Every time New York City has faced a crisis, it’s come back stronger. That's who we are. We will work together and build something better and fairer.— Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) April 26, 2020
We have the power to do more than just return to the status quo.
"I am also launching the City Task Force on Racial Inclusion and Equity, focusing on confronting health disparities, specific needs in communities of color, and breaking down structural racism," he wrote.
"I want that mission baked into every aspect of our restart and recovery."
I am also launching the City Task Force on Racial Inclusion and Equity, focusing on confronting health disparities, specific needs in communities of color and breaking down structural racism. I want that mission baked into every aspect of our restart and recovery.— Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) April 26, 2020
De Blasio argued that McCray’s work with ThriveNYC, a $1 billion initiative helping people with mental health issues, is the reason why she is good for the task force, according to the New York Post.
"In terms of fighting inequality, Thrive has gone to that point and in many ways even farther," de Blasio said of his wife's work.
"I think that's exactly the kind of mindset needed for this task force."
The task force will be led by @NYCFirstLady and Deputy Mayor Phil Thompson. We will be naming leaders from across the administration representing the diversity of this city. They will help us focus on the bigger structural changes we need to make going forward.
— Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) April 26, 2020
But McCray has a poor record with ThriveNYC, according to some critics.
“Chirlane doesn’t have an impressive track record running task forces or agencies,” said Republican Councilman Joe Borelli, according to the New York Post.
“This is political. I wish de Blasio would stop doing this,” said Democratic Councilman Robert Holden.
He added, “Her track record on Thrive and the statue commission hasn’t been so good.”
On Saturday, de Blasio announced he would be providing the city's Muslim community with "over half a million meals" during the holy month of Ramadan.
De Blasio's announcement comes just a few weeks after he threatened to permanently ban churches from operating in the city due to the coronavirus.
The Mayor intends to provide 500,000 Halal meals during Ramadan, which will be distributed at 32 Department of Education buildings, according to Bloomberg.