Bloomberg To Biden: Think I’ll Take The Subway


bloomberg1As reported here on, Vice President Joe Biden, on one of the morning talk shows today, when asked about travel advice to his family given the current flu situation, said, “I wouldn’t go anywhere in confined places now. One person sneezes, it goes all the way through.” And he used planes and subways as examples of what he tells his family not to use. You could imagine the uproar. And yes, the Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s people called the media to remind us he was still taking the subway every day. CBS 2 HD joined Bloomberg on the 4 Line, his regular morning routine on the way to work at City Hall.

As he waited for the train at the platform’s edge, the mayor turned to photographers and said, “You probably don’t take it every day. But I take it every day.”

He made that one move, actually, that said he’s an underground regular. It was interesting to see how he got around his security detail, and leaned a bit over the edge of the platform, which we all know we’re not supposed to do, to see if the train is coming?

Yeah, we all know that move. But this time, the mayor’s daily ride was heralded by calls to the media, in a kind of “in-your-face” to Vice President Biden for saying on network television this morning that we all may want to re-think getting on planes or subways right now, with people coughing and sneezing in confined spaces.

The White House spin team immediately “clarified” those remarks to say Biden meant if you’re sick, stay home. But most New Yorkers saw right through that.

“I thought it was a little extreme,” straphanger Tammy Kaufman said. “I’m going to ride the train.”

And Kaufman is a nurse, by the way. Our conversation had to stop because a gentleman was passing the hat after he and his partner had just performed, his 10-gallon hat.

Yes, Mexican rancheros, folks, on a New York City subway train five days before Cinco de Mayo. Yes, we saw a woman with a mask. And where so many others put their hands on railings – hands that had been close to mouths and noses – we saw one man use a ton of antibacterial lotion. And even then he wouldn’t let his skin touch a railing.

“If they’re close to me, yes I do,” rider Frances Gaczuso, said when asked if she gets nervous when she sees other people coughing. “Otherwise, I’m not overly concerned.”

Arriving at the City Hall stop, the mayor made his way through a swarm of photographers and security guards — all, one assumes, properly sanitized.

And in the mayor’s official remarks to Biden’s comments about staying off the subway, the mayor said if you had swine flu symptoms, Biden was right: stay home.

{CBS2-HD/Elisha Newscenter}