Most news outlets were so focused on the city's first Ebola case today they didn't even have time to come up with puns, let alone attend a press conference pertaining to a House of Representatives race. Sadly, this meant most of NYC's media elite missed getting face time with this panda and his Republican candidate pal:

Business Insider got the scoop—that fellow on the right is Nick Di iorio, who is running against incumbent Representative Carolyn Maloney for her seat in Congress. On the left is a person in a panda suit. They are standing outside City Hall. At some point they reportedly hugged.

There is some method behind this cosplay madness, apparently. Earlier this year, Maloney said she hoped to bring two giant pandas to the Central Park Zoo, because pandas are the greatest creatures on Earth, and it's a travesty that we have to shell out upwards of $40 on BoltBus in order to spend time with Bao Bao at the National Zoo in D.C. But Di iorio doesn't seem to think NYC's panda-less state is a pertinent issue, so he had someone dress up in a panda suit to show that he's running a "serious campaign." Okay!

"We're here because this is a serious campaign that has to address, and is addressing, serious issues. But Carolyn Maloney is focused on [other] things," Di iorio, who taglined this particular press conference with "Pro-jobs, Pro-Israel, Anti-DC Corruption over Failed Bills, Pandas, and Press Releases from Maloney," told reporters. "She wanted to adopt a panda. So, I've taken care of that." Then, according to Business Insider, he introduced the panda to the crowd. "I've adopted my own panda. This is Kevin. Kevin is here to be the panda that we're going to bring to New York City. And now we can get that off the table and focus on the real issues." Those issues, according to Di iorio, include Israel, the economy and (of course) Ebola. "Ebola has come to New York and we don't have the leadership," he said.

We contacted Di iorio for additional comment regarding this panda conference, and will update when we hear back. FYI, men in panda suits are not real pandas, and will not fill the giant panda-shaped hole in New Yorkers' hearts. Men (or women) in panda suits do not look this adorable when they tumble and do gymnastics. We cannot be tricked this easily.

[h/t Business Insider]