The mayor of the largest city in America has had many headline-grabbing moments at the start of his tenure. They span from the tragic — a deadly Bronx fire and the killing of two NYPD officers — to the triumphant — an early visit from President Joe Biden and celebrity-studded soirees.
But his most relatable moment was probably an unexpected event that overshadowed celebrations marking his 100th day in office. Adams awoke Sunday with a sore throat, and like so many over two years into the pandemic, tested positive for Covid-19. He was forced to work from home all week, even after a shooting wounded 23 subway riders.
Here are the new mayor’s top 10 most memorable moments from Jan. 1 to April 10:
1. 911 call on day one
“Adams, Mayor Adams,” New York City’s 110th executive told a 911 operator on Jan. 1, as he reported a street fight on his subway ride into City Hall. “Once a transit cop, always a transit cop,” the retired NYPD officer-turned-politician told reporters as he watched three men arguing on the sidewalk from a raised subway platform in Brooklyn. On his first day in office, Adams rode the subway without a security detail. Since then, he’s used minimal police escorts when traveling around the five boroughs as he continues to focus on reducing the city’s crime surge.
2. Twin Parks fire
Just over a week into his tenure, a space heater sparked a fire in the Twin Parks apartment building that killed 19 people, including nine children. It was one of the city’s deadliest fires in three decades. “It’s a tragedy beyond measure,” Adams declared about the Bronx blaze. In response, the mayor pledged to enforce a law that requires self-closing doors to prevent fires from spreading throughout apartment buildings, but his administration faced blowback after being too slow to deliver millions of dollars it had raised for the fire victims.
3. Cops shot
Week three on the job, Adams rushed to the hospital bedside of NYPD officer Wilbert Mora, who was clinging to his life after he and his patrol partner, Jason Rivera, were shot responding to a 911 call in a Harlem apartment. Rivera died the night of the incident while Mora succumbed to his injuries four days later. “It is our city against the killers,” Adams said inside Harlem Hospital the night of the shooting. Adams lashed out at online critics who’ve blasted his tough-on-crime approach, noting that cops should be proud to do their jobs and city residents should be thankful for their sacrifices. “Twitter and Instagram and social media — they’re not the people you’re protecting,” he said.
4. Biden visits NYC
In early February, President Joe Biden and Attorney General Merrick Garland came to New York to meet with Adams and Gov. Kathy Hochul to discuss the federal fight against gun violence. “Mayor Adams, you and I agree: The answer is not to abandon our streets,” Biden said at a stop by NYPD headquarters. “The answer is not to defund the police. It’s to give you the tools, the training, the funding to be partners, to be protectors.” The visit cemented Adams’ and Biden’s ties as moderate Democrats who are unapologetic backers of law enforcement in contrast to the progressive wing of the party that’s been more wary of police. “Mr. President, Eric Adams is reporting for duty and ready to serve,” the retired NYPD captain said during the visit.
Two days after POLITICO revealed Adams — who publicly touted his strict, plant-based diet — was actually a pescatarian, the mayor admitted he sometimes strays from veganism. “I’m perfectly imperfect,” Adams said when asked about the report. The admission spawned the #Fishgate meme on social media as well as plenty of puns about the mayor’s eating habits. On a more serious note, the revelation led some critics to question how else Adams may be presenting partial truths.
6. Redeploying anti-crime teams
By mid-March, Adams fulfilled his most controversial campaign promise — to bring back a revamped version of the NYPD’s anti-crime unit to control gun violence. Adams renamed the unit ‘Neighborhood Safety Teams’ and promised they’d “avoid the mistakes of the past.” Former Mayor Bill de Blasio disbanded the unit in 2020 during a wave of police brutality protests over its history of involvement in shootings of civilians and excessive force complaints.
7. Clearing homeless encampments
Adams angered progressive Democrats and even drew comparisons to former Mayor Rudy Giuliani last month when he ordered the clearing of hundreds of homeless encampments from city streets. But the mayor responded to criticism that the policy was “cruel” by countering that letting people sleep on the streets was inhumane. “I’m not going to believe that dignity is living in a cardboard [box], without a shower, without a toilet, living in terrible living conditions,” Adams said at a press conference defending the approach.
8. Lifting vaccine requirements for athletes
Adams started relaxing Covid-19 policies instituted by former Mayor Bill de Blasio as soon as he was sworn in as part of his effort to restore a sense of normalcy to the pandemic-ravaged city. But the biggest reversal was waiving a vaccine requirement for unprotected athletes, like the Brooklyn Net’s Kyrie Irving. The move immediately drew the ire of public sector union heads who saw a combined 1,400 members lose municipal jobs for refusing to get vaccinated. “This is about putting New York City-based performers on a level playing field,” Adams said in defending the waiver last month.
9. Clubbing with Cara Delevingne and A$AP Rocky
When he’s not crime-fighting, he’s clubbing. Adams fondness for celebrity haunts, like the members-only Soho club Zero Bond where he had an election night party, has earned him the nickname “the nightlife mayor.” In late March, he partied with model Cara Delevingne and hip hop star A$AP Rocky at One Vanderbilt in Manhattan. A video of Adams coolly bobbing his head to Rocky’s rhymes as Delevinge grooved next to the mayor with a champagne bottle went viral. “Everyone who moved to Florida, get your butts back to New York City because New York City is where you want to be,” Adams said at the star-studded soiree.
10. A positive COVID test on day 100
On his 100th day in office, Adams tested positive for the coronavirus. The fully vaccinated and boosted mayor awoke with a hoarse voice Sunday morning and canceled all his in-person events that were previously scheduled to mark the occasion. Adams, who is 61 and diabetic, also started taking anti-viral medications. He isolated in his official Gracie Mansion residence and worked remotely after the diagnosis. It’s unclear where he caught the virus, but the mayor had a packed schedule the prior week.
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