New Yorkers lashed out on Twitter after Donald Trump said at the final presidential debate that NYC is now a ‘ghost town.’ They argued that it’s just as alive as ever despite the pandemic.
Donald Trump declared during the final presidential debate with Joe Biden that his hometown of New York City is now a “ghost town” and “totally shut down” due to the effects of COVID-19 quarantine on the economy. President Trump, 74, who was born in NYC and lived there until moving to the White House in 2017, was attempting to argue that completely reopening the country was necessary to save cities like the supposedly “dying” five boroughs. New Yorkers on Twitter were a little puzzled by this statement, considering the city is just as bustling as ever, albeit in different ways than pre-pandemic.
New York isn’t a ghost town, you clown
And it’s not your city
— Padma Lakshmi (@PadmaLakshmi) October 23, 2020
“Currently in NYC. Not ghost town. hi,” Watch What Happens Live host Andy Cohen tweeted during the October 22 debate. “New York isn’t a ghost town, you clown. And it’s not your city,” Padma Lakshmi of Top Chef tweeted, as well. “New York is such a ghost town that I spent 45 minutes looking for street parking this evening and ended up paying $50 for parking. LOLOL it’s f**king P A C K E D here,” comedian Michelle Collins wrote. Even New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who ran against Biden for the Democratic nomination, chimed in with a tweet:
“.@realDonaldTrump, New Yorkers are bringing our city back stronger than ever. It’s nothing short of heroic. The only ‘ghost town’ will be Mar-a-Lago after you’re forced into retirement on Election Day.” Others shared photos and videos taken in NYC to show how alive it actually is despite the president’s protestations. The tweets paint a different picture than the desolate, empty city the president is claiming exists. The streets are filled with people in masks dining in sidewalk restaurants, hanging out, and social distancing. There’s lights, music, and laughter.
This is not to say that NYC hasn’t suffered, and significantly, during the pandemic. At one point, the five boroughs had the highest number of COVID-19 cases in the country. The nights were filled with the sound of sirens, the hospitals so full that field hospitals were set up in Central Park, the Javitz Center, and a Naval ship. Morgues were so backed up that refrigerated trucks moved to hospital parking lots to deal with the number of coronavirus victims.
As of October 22, the day of the final presidential debate, a total 23,955 NYC residents have died of COVID-19. As one New Yorker said on Twitter, “If New York is a ghost town it’s being walked by the thirty thousand of its residents dead from a virus that this president hid from us.” Trump renounced his New York residency in November 2019, and is currently a resident of Florida.