Asked what was the wisdom of declaring a state of emergency, Ms Hochul said it was unnecessary.
“A state of emergency is a mechanism you use when you can do something,” he said. “There’s nothing we can do about the circumstances that lead to contaminated air entering our airspace, so there’s no need to deploy resources or bring money to the table.”
On Wednesday evening, Ms. Hochul held an impromptu briefing in Albany to provide further updates, announcing that the state would make one million Covid masks available from its stockpile. The masks will be distributed to subway stations, state parks, state facilities and directly to local governments, he said.
Dr Verma said Ms Hochul was happy to distribute the masks, but some New Yorkers needed them more urgently than others.
“I’d like to see priority go to areas with higher rates of asthma, which basically overlap with racial and economic disparities,” he said.
On Thursday, Mr. Reflecting on Adams’ response, Ms. Hochul sought to deflect criticism of the state’s actions, noting that state officials had begun sending out the advisory last week.
He said there was no way to know air quality would deteriorate so quickly.
“Six days ago, we started making our announcements to be ready,” the governor said during another briefing in Albany. “We were watching.”
Governor and Mr. Adams’ comments did little to dampen criticism, particularly of the mayor. Lincoln Restler, a city council member from Brooklyn, complained Wednesday afternoon that, aside from suspending outdoor activities in schools, “not a single proactive step has been taken to protect New Yorkers.”