NEW YORK -- During a news conference, Mayor Michael Bloomberg defended his decision to press ahead with this weekend's New York City Marathon despite calls for the race to be postponed.
The marathon is scheduled for Sunday, less than a week after Superstorm Sandy flooded neighborhoods and knocked out power to hundreds of thousands homes and businesses.
Mayor Bloomberg said the race - which organizers are calling the "race to recovery" - will show that the city is slowly getting back on its feet.
He added that the race will not divert resources from hurricane victims, noting that electricity is expected to be restored to all of Manhattan by race day, which would free up "up an enormous number of police."
Critics say holding the marathon would be insensitive to those who are struggling in the aftermath of the storm.
Statement from New York City Comptroller John C. Liu:
"Earlier this week, I stated support for keeping the New York City Marathon, which is a huge economic generator for the City, on schedule assuming that the City’s infrastructure would be able to support the race and New Yorkers’ safety can be ensured. Unfortunately, it has become apparent over the last couple of days that there are still large parts of the City where recovery efforts are falling short, where fellow New Yorkers remain hungry and cold, and where there is now more and more looting. As I have traveled throughout the boroughs since Sandy struck, it has become clear that the Marathon would compromise the City’s ability to protect and provide for the residents most affected by the hurricane. Recovery efforts must come before the Marathon and it's time to re-evaluate whether the resources needed for the Marathon can really be spared on Sunday."