Harvard students are rebuking former New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio for teaching on the Crimson campus.
According to the Harvard Independent, de Blasio will teach as a visiting fellow at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Institute of Politics at the Harvard Kennedy School, but not all are happy about it.
“Honestly, I don’t have a great impression of de Blasio,” Owen Wiese, a fellow Manhattanite and member of Harvard’s class of 2025, told the New York Post.
“I think he irked a lot of New Yorkers by campaigning for president in other states when NYC was dealing with a lot of problems. He generally was perceived as politically opportunistic and someone who changed his opinions based on who he was talking to.”
De Blasio’s eight-week course will consist of what he thinks were his two biggest accomplishments during his two-term run as the Big Apple’s mayor: securing universal pre-K and fighting against COVID-19.
But as the Post notes, throughout the pandemic, de Blasio’s and former Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s known hatred for each other served as a point of contention when trying to determine COVID-19 policies.
As former city Health Commissioner David Chokshi pointed out, the two’s feuding often slowed down decision-making.
“There were moments where my frustration at not being able to advance public health policy for New Yorkers could be directly tied to the toxicity of that relationship,” Chokshi stated in June.
One of the main criticisms surrounding de Blasio comes from his jockeying for a presidential run while he was still mayor.
“As a New Yorker who watched him try to will himself into a higher job than mayor for years, it’s not that surprising he would want to be involved with Harvard somehow,” said Jack Silvers of Scarsdale, a member of the class of 2025.
“His past is complicated, and who knows what his legacy will be like? I hope students engage with his study group. I just worry about the stigma from his presidential run and antics as mayor.”
In 2020, de Blasio mounted a presidential run but quit after failing to garner 1% of support in the polls.
Additionally, de Blasio took the Harvard gig after scoring poorly in the polls for a run in New York’s 10th congressional district.
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