By Hellen Zaboulani
On late Monday, New York City Mayor-elect Eric Adams headed to the West African country of Ghana, despite concerns over the new coronavirus variant, Omicron. As reported by the NY Post, Adam’s spokesman said he had planned the trip far in advance, before the continent’s southern region became the origin for the highly contagious Omicron. “I’m not afraid of anything. I’m an ex-cop. I’m ready to lead my city,” said Adams, a retired NYPD captain.
“I made a promise to myself that I would visit Ghana following the 400-year anniversary of slavery in America and the election, to show how far we have come and remember how far we still must go,” said Adams, who will soon be NYC’s second African American mayor. The 400-year milestone was reached in 2019, and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi had led a delegation to Ghana to encouraging descendants of slaves to visit their motherland. Adams will now spend a week in Ghana with his family, and is slated to return on Dec. 8.
“This election to me was, among other things, about resetting a negative narrative so that we can have a more just and united future. I will continue to be in contact with the transition team on our progress toward Jan. 1, and with the mayor on pressing matters including Omicron while I’m in Ghana,” Adams told The NY Post.
On Sunday, Adam’s advisors told the Post that he was considering delaying the trip, due to the threat of the Omicron variant which is now spreading across the globe. The Mayor-elect, however, would have a hard time rescheduling thanks to his upcoming position in NYC. Ultimately, he decided that since he is fully vaccinated and received a booster shot recently, he should stick to his commitment. Also, Ghana and South Africa are actually 4,000 miles apart, a distance farther than New York to California.
“When it comes to COVID, I have said time and time again that I will follow the science and our public health professionals as a leader — and right now travel is banned only to south African countries out of an abundance of caution,” said Adams. “Should the federal government change their guidance on travel, I will immediately follow it. Meanwhile, New Yorkers must remain vigilant about preventing the spread of COVID, including wearing masks and getting their vaccines and booster shots,” added Adams.
Currently, the guidelines set by City Health Commissioner David Chokshi say that New Yorkers can travel abroad freely, as long as they are fully vaccinated.