NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The question of whether New York City needs to go on a full shutdown – all but essential businesses closed — becomes the latest political football between Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio.

As CBS2’s political reporter Marcia Kramer reports, New York’s own Hatfields and McCoys — the battling boys you know as Cuomo and de Blasio – Andy and Billy – are at it again.

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The governor simply unable to resist the opportunity to slap down the mayor after hizzonor said he thinks the city should totally shut down right after Christmas.

“To the extent elected officials want to say to people ‘You need to be careful, unless,’ I understand that,” Cuomo said. “But ‘or else’ is not an inevitability. It’s not a foregone conclusion.”


It’s unclear whether Cuomo wanted to play jolly old Saint Nick to de Blasio’s Scrooge — but the governor said there might not have to be any total shutdown at all – depending on how New Yorkers behave during the holidays: Stay home, put Christmas on pause to avoid putting New York on pause.

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“Call me a foolish optimist but I think New Yorkers are capable of getting us to the point where there is no shutdown,” the governor said.

The governor is vowing to mount a public service campaign to urge New Yorkers to have a smart, healthy holiday, but are they willing to curtail holiday plans to avoid a shutdown?

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“My holidays are not more important than somebody’s life, so yeah, I would be willing to forgo my plans,” said Upper West Side resident Sarah Wolsey.

“Everybody really just needs to be patient. There’s a silver lining that’s coming. They’ve already started handing out the vaccine,” said Aoise Forde.

“I have decided to cut my normal holiday gathering to six people,” said Denise Demong.

“We normally all meet in California, but we can’t do it this year,” said Williamsburg resident Misha Han.

“I hope that people are already thinking that’s the right thing to do,” said Sunset Park resident Paris Adkins.

And with an eye towards increasing the number of people who can get vaccinated, the governor said he’s setting up regional distribution zones. And he was optimistic that essential workers and other New Yorkers could begin getting vaccinated as early as the end of next month.

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Marcia Kramer