Mayor Michael Bloomberg has shifted gears a few times during the lifespan of the Occupy Wall Street encampment, but of late he's settled into a wait-and-see attitude that relies on outside factors such as the weather to help him end the situation. The problem for the mayor is that these factors are not cooperating. But as The New York Times reports on Friday, disease might be what finally does in the protesters, who've developed a wheezing condition they're calling "Zuccotti lung."
He's been critical at times, confrontational at others, but since an aborted attempt to clear the protesters out for a park "clean-up" on Oct. 14, the mayor has shied away from taking unilateral action against the encampment. Last week, Bloomberg criticized the encampment, saying, "This isn’t an occupation of Wall Street, it’s an occupation of a growing, vibrant residential neighborhood in lower Manhattan." But on Thursday, he had very different comments in an interview on MSNBC's Morning Joe: "If you go one block away from this park, you would never know it exists," he said, according to the New York Daily News. " And despite the New York Post's ongoing insistence that the park is a den of criminals, Bloomberg said, "I will say in all fairness to the people down there — we watch very carefully — they generally do not break the law." When asked about his plan for the encampment during his weekly radio appearance on John Gambling's show, Bloomberg said, "We are watching it. We will do what's appropriate, when appropriate. Let me just leave it there," according to a tweet from New Yorkist.