Mayor Eric Adams Points to Rats as Major Factor in NYC Exodus

( – New York City Mayor Eric Adams blames the rats for the city’s declining population. According to Adams, rats, in addition to higher costs of living, the option of remote work, and holdouts who left during COVID-19 are to blame for over 100,000 people leaving the city in the last year. Adams also mentioned that people raising families might want to go to open, green spaces to see animals, and in New York “you don’t see animals except for rats…”

The Mayor’s distaste for rats is no secret. Early in his tenure, he appointed the city’s first-ever rat czar to help get rid of the rodents. It’s believed that rat numbers are on the rise in the city as food became more easily available during COVID-19 from outdoor diners. Recently, the city saw cuts to the Sanitation Department budget, which could also explain a higher rat population. According to a pest control authority in Queens, the number of rats has surged by about 1 million over the past ten years, to a staggering 3 million total.

Mayor Adams himself has been cited on 4 different occasions for rat infestations at his Brooklyn home, and he’s forked over $600 to settle the summons. Most recently, he disputed a $300 ticket, claiming that it was issued to him mistakenly when it should have been attributed to his neighbor.

Still, some New York City residents and ex-residents believe other reasons exist for the recent mass population exodus. There’s a sense that crime has elevated post-COVID, according to former NYPD Lieutenant John Macari, who left New York for Florida last year. He asserted that the needs of non-citizens and criminals are being put ahead of residents of the city. He said, “More people are going to continue to flee,” if residents aren’t a priority. The city took in more than 150,000 migrants from south of the U.S. border since 2022 alone.

Since 2020, the population of New York City has fallen more than 5%.

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