Top U.S. officials met with leaders from the United Nations on Thursday regarding the coronavirus pandemic response, several weeks after New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio turned down a similar invitation to meet with leaders from the global body.
The White House’s top virus response coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx and U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Kelly Craft met with U.N. Secretary General António Guterres and U.N. General Assembly President Volkan Bozkır on efforts to combat the spread of COVID-19, cases of which are increasing rapidly throughout the U.S.
Bozkir issued a statement in October expressing his disappointment that de Blasio was unavailable to meet to discuss the same topic. New York City was the epicenter of the U.S. virus outbreak in the early spring.
Bozkir expressed his disappointment at the failed attempt to connect with de Blasio particularly because United Nations staffers and diplomats, many of whom reside in the Big Apple, are heavily affected by the policies of New York.
In a statement, Bozkir said he requested a meeting with de Blasio to foster a dialogue between their two administrations, but was informed that the mayor was “unavailable.”
“COVID-19 has deeply hurt New Yorkers, including the United Nations staff and delegates who consider the city to be their hometown,” Bozkir wrote in a statement. “This lack of interaction concerns me as policies devised by the City of New York directly affect the work of the United Nations and by extension millions of lives across the globe.”
At the time, Bozkir’s spokesperson told NBC New York that they were not offered an explanation as to why de Blasio was unable to accommodate the request.
A spokesperson for de Blasio’s office did not return Fox News’ request for comment.
In response to the comments made to NBC New York, a de Blasio spokesperson told the outlet in October that the mayor has an “excellent relationship” with the global body’s secretary general and that the office has communicated the city’s ongoing response and policies.
The U.S. recorded around 14 million confirmed cases as of Wednesday, while associated fatalities hit a daily record high of 2,804, and a record number of hospitalized patients were seen on Tuesday.