Mayor Eric Adams admitted Tuesday that he took a secret two-day vacation to the US Virgin Islands last week as New York City was hammered by a “once-in-a-generation” storm that flooded parts of the city.
“I was in the US Virgin Islands,” Adams told reporters when asked about his whereabouts last Thursday and Friday as the worst of the weather began to hit NYC.
Hizzoner became defensive about the trip, a reaction apparently triggered by The Post asking City Hall last week what would compel him to come back home if a fatal house fire in Staten Island and massive flooding in Jamaica Bay and the Rockaways – both of which took place while he was on his Caribbean holiday – could not do so.
“I was amazed to see how you responded,” Adams scolded reporters. “This is my second Christmas without my mother and last year, I was really [in] a state of depression and what I put my staff through – and I said, ‘I can’t do that again.’”
Adams said his brief absence came after “365 days of working without a day off” and he cited his own mental health as the impetus for jet-setting away from the city before Christmas.
“After 365 days of commitment to this city I decided to take two days to reflect on mommy. And to watch how you responded to my two days out of this city, was really alarming,” a visibly angry Adams said.
“So, if I take time off to get my mental capacity together, so I can take this city through the crisis, I deserve those two days.”
Adams’ sudden disappearance on Thursday prompted questions about what level of transparency the mayor’s office should provide New Yorkers about his travels.
“Every mayor traveled away,” Adams said Tuesday. “I deserve private time. I’m a believer of that. I deserve to walk out of a building without a reporter hiding behind a flower pot, without someone following me.”
“I deserve a moment to really deescalate,” he continued. “There will be many days that my body and my mind tell me, ‘Eric, you need to get away,’”
When asked why he wouldn’t put out guidance when he is absent or otherwise indisposed — as Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney did when he went underwent a heart procedure earlier this year — Adams said he was not required to.
“Nowhere in the city charter does it state that I have to report to the New York City press where my whereabouts are,” Adams said. “And I’m not going to do that.”
“And I’m not going to apologize for having the mental and physical capacity that’s needed to do the second most difficult job in politics in America,” he added.
“The city charter lays out my responsibility. In my absence, the first deputy mayor is responsible for this city. That was in place,” the mayor continued. “You saw my first deputy mayor hold a press conference, giving a complete diagnosis of what’s happening in the city. We followed the city charter.”
Adams’ absence was notable enough by Saturday that the nonprofit New York Communities for Change circulated mock “missing” posters.
“Have you seen this man? Retweet to help us find our city’s Mayor! Wheres Eric #MissingMayor,” the nonprofit wrote above a “Missing Mayor” flyer which also included Adams’ height, age and weight.
Adams finally resurfaced late Saturday night, when he was spotted by The Post attending Christmas Eve midnight mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in midtown Manhattan.
When asked where he had been for the past couple of days, Hizzoner quipped he’d been “getting some rest and hiding from The Post.”