New York City Mayor Eric Adams scolded big banks for sending their Big Apple-based employees back to remote work amid the spread of the highly contagious omicron variant, asserting that the financial powerhouses "can't run New York City from home."
Adams, who was sworn on Saturday shortly after ringing in the New Year, said the decision by major financial institutions, such as JPMorgan Chase & Co., to keep their employees at home into January would tear through the economy and negatively impact lower-wage workers.
"You can’t run New York City from home," Adams said in an appearance on Bloomberg TV. "We must have everyone participate in our financial ecosystem to allow the low-skill, unskilled and people who are doing hourly employees to actually be part of our eco-system. They can’t remotely do their job."
"We must get open, and let me tell you why," he said. "That accountant from a bank that sits in an office — it’s not only him, it feeds our financial ecosystem. He goes to the cleaners and get his suits clean, he goes out to the restaurants, he brings in a business traveler, which is 70% of our hotel occupancy."
Goldman Sachs became the latest financial institution Sunday to allow its employees to work remotely well into mid-January as it assesses the impact of the coronavirus on the Manhattan area. That followed similar decisions made by Bank of America, Citigroup and Jefferies Financial Group Inc.
|JPM||JPMORGAN CHASE & CO.||151.27||-6.62||-4.19%|
|BAC||BANK OF AMERICA CORP.||46.26||-1.65||-3.44%|
|JEF||JEFFERIES FINANCIAL GROUP INC.||37.61||-0.02||-0.05%|
Though most big financial institutions already have vaccine requirements for their workers, some are still mulling the addition of mandating a booster.
Mayor Adams said he would keep the wide-reaching vaccine mandate for the private sector instituted by his predecessor Bill de Blasio. He added to Bloomberg TV that he would have an announcement ready around April on the possibility of mandating booster shots for the municipal workforce.
As of Tuesday, about 34.72% of people tested in New York City over the past seven days showed a positive result, according to the city health department.
There’s a total of at least 29,941 confirmed cases citywide and the trend is increasing. There are at least 469 people hospitalized with coronavirus in the Big Apple, and 22 people have died with COVID-19 during the last reporting window.
Touting the widespread availability of COVID vaccines, Adams stressed New Yorkers must learn to "live with COVID" and the city cannot return to business shutdowns.
"I need my companies back open and operating," he said. "You can’t run a city like New York on 30% occupancy in buildings. We need to get back to business and open our city."
Fox News Digital reached out to Adams’ office for additional comment early Tuesday.