New York City Mayor Eric Adams (D) has apparently skipped town just as his city was bracing for a “once in a generation” winter storm, according to his office, which has sparked criticism.
Speaking with reporters, city officials said that Adams had taken a few days off — noting that he had left town on Thursday and would be returning on Saturday, though they would not reveal where Adams had gone.
Officials made sure to stress that the mayor was keeping in contact to help coordinate the city’s response to the storm.
“The mayor is still in touch with everybody on the ground,” Adams’ spokesperson, Fabien Levy, told Gothamist. “He is coordinating all the city’s responses.”
The mayor disappeared just as a “once in a generation” winter storm began sweeping across much of the U.S. — leading to dangerous conditions that have caused power outages for over a million people, disrupted holiday plans, and killed over a dozen people.
On Thursday, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) declared a state of emergency ahead of the storm, which was expected to bring plummeting temperatures, icy roads, and strong winds.
Adams, a retired police captain who took office at the beginning of 2022, faced significant backlash for his decision to leave New York City while its 8.8 million residents braced for the severe winter storm.
“You’d think a mayor who spends so much time at clubs wouldn’t need to go gallivanting on vacation as New Yorkers freeze and die,” said Bill Neidhardt, a press secretary under former Mayor Bill de Blasio, according to the New York Daily News. “Adams needs to make a New Year’s resolution to take this job seriously.”
One Adams administration official put forward a theory for why officials refused to reveal where the mayor decided to go on his vacation, claiming that it was “strange” that they chose to keep it a secret.
“They’re probably not saying where he is because they don’t want anyone to know who he’s with,” said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the situation.
A “Missing Mayor” poster was even circulated on Twitter by a group called New York Communities for Change.
— New York Communities for Change (@nychange) December 24, 2022
First Deputy Mayor Lorraine Grillo attempted to defend her boss.
“Let me just say this to you — he might as well be here because we’ve been speaking constantly throughout the day,” Grillo said, according to the New York Daily News.