Citing Swine Flu, Smith Says He Isn’t Going to Puerto Rico; Diaz Is Still Excited

ALBANY—Majority Leader Malcolm Smith just told reporters he will not accompany several of his members on a junket to Puerto Rico because his wife and daughter are among those who may be infected with Swine Flu.

“I myself, unfortunately, have a daughter who was at that school who is under the weather,” Smith told reporters after announcing an anti-urban violence initiative. “My wife is still under the weather, and I would tell you that my first responsibility is as a husband and a father. And I believe at this point it’s probably better for me to stay closer to home than to be on a trip. I still think it’s a good trip, and I still understand the members are going. But I think I should be closer to my daughter and my wife. God forbid if something were to happen to them and their condition gets worse while I’m away, I would never forgive myself.”

Smith said his wife is taking Tamiflu, though he has not medicated himself.

Meanwhile, both State Senators Martin Malave Dilan and Ruben Diaz Sr. are preparing for the trip. Dilan told me he plans to go, and Diaz Sr. said Tuesday that he is excited for the junket, which will include a meeting with the island’s senate president. Diaz Sr.’s office released this itinerary:

Thursday, April 30th:

7:30 p.m……….Welcoming reception in Bayamon, hosted by the Hon. Ramon Luis Rivera Jr., Mayor of Bayamon P.R.


Friday, May 1st :

8:30 a.m……. Breakfast reception with officials from the Public Employees Federation Union of Puerto Rico in the Caribe Hilton Hotel.

10:30 a.m…….Meeting with the President of the House of Representatives of P.R., the Hon. Jennifer Gonzalez, in the Capitol of P.R.

2:30 p.m……. Meeting with the Hon. Luis Fortuño, Governor

of Puerto Rico in The Fortaleza, San Juan, PR.


Saturday, May 2nd:

10:30 p.m.  Meeting with the President of the Senate of Puerto Rico, the Hon. Thomas Rivera Schatz in the Capitol, San Juan, PR.

4:00 p.m.    Farewell social reception hosted by family members of Senator Rev. Ruben Diaz.


Sunday May 3rd: Return to New York.

Citing Swine Flu, Smith Says He Isn’t Going to Puerto Rico; Diaz Is Still Excited