Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Wednesday publicly advised Gov. Kathy Hochul to avoid becoming a political “panderer” — and said homeless people need to be swept off the streets and subways to ensure the city’s comeback from the coronavirus crisis.
Following a meeting with Hochul over coffee, Bloomberg told reporters at Ground Zero in Lower Manhattan that “she hasn’t asked me for advice yet.”
But when asked what guidance he would give the new governor, the three-term mayor and billionaire media mogul said Hochul should focus on not being “everybody’s friend.”
“She’s got to be a leader, not a panderer,” he said while standing next to her.
Bloomberg — who called Hochul “a lot tougher than I am” — also said the city’s economy was showing signs of recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic but noted that the homelessness problem needed to be addressed.
“We’ve got to get people off the street,” he said.
“We cannot have the subways full of people who have no place to sleep.”
In response to Bloomberg’s remarks, Hochul — who succeeded disgraced ex-Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Aug. 24 — touted her independence.
“I have no trouble making tough decisions and I’m not about making everyone happy,” she said.
Hochul didn’t address the homelessness issue but said she was planning an announcement later in the day regarding state efforts to administer booster shots of COVID-19 vaccines.