Mayor Eric Adams admitted Friday that he was swayed by former city council spokesman Corey Johnson on behalf of the Brooklyn Nets before granting local athletes — including their star Kyrie Irving — exemptions from the city’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate.
“Corey came forward and made it clear that he was speaking on behalf of the networks when he came forward,” Adams said.
“I got calls from people who were against and for it. That happens in the city.”
Adam’s remarks during an independent news conference in Brooklyn undid his Thursday denial that he had lobbied before his controversial move, which drew fire from regular New Yorkers, the city’s unions, news editors and even some other Democratic politicians. including Council Speaker Adrienne Adams (D-Queens), who replaced Johnson.
“I wasn’t influenced,” Adams claimed Thursday.
“I’ve spoken to both teams around town, as I do all the time as mayor, about the various issues. I listened to all sides and then made the final decision.”
Adams held his press conference Thursday at Citi Field in Queens, home of the Mets and where he was surrounded by executives from both the Amazin and Yankees.
The choice of venues caused quite a stir, as Mets billionaire Steve Cohen donated $1.5 million to the mayor’s PAC for last year’s election.
City records show that on Feb. 8, Johnson’s company Cojo Strategies was hired for $18,000 a month by Nets General Counsel Jeff Gewirtz’s B-Cubed Holdings to lobby Adams and senior city officials for a health policy executive order Afford.
Adams denied Friday that Johnson’s lobbying efforts, first reported by Politico, had influenced his deliberations on the order he signed Thursday.
“I said, Corey, like every other person, I’m going based on what my doctors say,” he said.
“So, the councillor’s thoughts, other people’s thoughts, that’s understandable. Eight point eight million people, 35 million opinions, you know? There are things the City Council Speaker will do that I will not agree to.”
He added, “But she has a role as councilman, I have a role as mayor.”
In response to questions from The Post, Adams also denied that his order amounted to a double standard under which high-paid athletes could make a living without getting vaccinated, while ordinary New Yorkers are subject to the mandate.
“No double standards,” Adams said.
“I made a decision based on the information I received from my health team, and I am committed to making those decisions about how I will move my city forward.”
Adams added, “I understand that as Mayor I will make the decisions for the City of New York, and I have made that decision within the authority vested in me as Mayor of the City of New York.”
https://nypost.com/2022/03/25/eric-adams-admits-corey-johnson-lobbied-him-on-kyrie-nets-vaccine-loophole/ Eric Adams admits Corey Johnson influenced him over Kyrie-Nets vaccination gap