Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has not ruled out taking a position with the incoming administration of President-Elect Joe Biden but says he’s “not waiting for the phone to ring.”
“I want to help Joe be the best president we’ve ever seen. But more than that, as mayor of this city I’m looking forward to having a friend in the White House... unlike Donald Trump who has waged war on us,” Garcetti said on NBC 4’s “News Conference” program Sunday.
The Los Angeles mayor is one of Biden's closest political confidants on the west coast. The former vice president sought his counsel on a presidential run the day after Garcetti announced he would not be a candidate for the White House in January of 2019.
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Garcetti says that while he has asked Biden for federal help in fighting the continuing homeless crisis, the priority issue is COVID-19. While cases are continuing to climb, Los Angeles has been able to avoid the surge in hospitalizations he fears colder weather ahead could cause another spike.
“My fear is that people who have been hanging out with others safely outdoors will say, ‘Oh, it's cold; lets go indoors’ and maybe open a window or a door. These are dangerous places--Don’t share your air,” he said.
Garcetti says another “stay safer at home” order is unlikely because research shows the spread of the disease hasn’t been driven by the opening of businesses or outdoor restaurant dining. The problem, he says, have been private social gatherings.
“I don’t think shutting things down will have the effect as it did early on because most of the spread is happening from other things...this isn’t so much about what is open and closed as it is about our individual behavior,” the mayor said on the program.
As with other local and state officials, Garcetti is concerned Thanksgiving may result in an increase in cases if residents aren’t careful.
“People should be ordering a small turkey, or a chicken," Garcetti said. "They shouldn’t get together with people just because they know them... (people should) stay outside, no more than three households, no more than two hours--with face protections...We know more about this disease and how to live with it. It really is up to us to control our own behavior.”