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Commentary

De Blasio and His Cronies Helped Start NYC's COVID Disaster with Horrifying Announcements

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As we end the tumultuous month of March 2020, arguably the most impactful we’ve had as a nation since September 2001, it helps to remember where we are and where we’ve been.

There’s no better man to illustrate what went wrong than New York Mayor Bill de Blasio.

To end the month, de Blasio was threatening to shutter permanently any place of worship that continued to worship in spite of orders to the contrary.

“If you go to your synagogue, if you go to your church and attempt to hold services, after having been told so often not to, our enforcement agents will have no choice, but to shut down those services,” de Blasio said during a Friday news conference.

“If [compliance] does not happen, they will take additional action up to the point of fines and potentially closing the building permanently.”

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So we know how the month ended. How did it begin for the mayor? Here’s March 3:

I’m bored, so part of my fun today is picking through the comments on that tweet and seeing how many people said “this didn’t age well.”

Do you think Bill de Blasio needs to be held to account for how he handled the coronavirus outbreak?

No public official is perfect when it comes to the coronavirus outbreak, of course, and we shouldn’t pillory someone because he made mistakes. However, if the media want to hit President Donald Trump for his response and suggest he has “blood on his hands,” they need to look at other figures — particularly the mayor of America’s largest city.

Until recently, de Blasio thought he was presidential material. Not many people agreed, which is why he dropped out of the primary process early. That said, if he believed he was presidential material, his record on coronavirus certainly isn’t a spotless one.

For instance, here’s what he had to say about the disease on Feb. 2: “People should be very clear about what this disease is and what it isn’t, and New Yorkers, I always say, are not intimidated easily. New Yorkers should go about our lives, continue doing what we do. …

“We understand some things about this disease. As I said, others are still unclear. But what is clear is the only way you get it is with substantial contact with someone who already has it. You don’t get it from a surface. You don’t get it from glancing or very temporary contact based on what we know now.”

The empty streets of New York City today are proof that this wasn’t exemplary advice.

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On the same day, meanwhile, here’s what New York City Health Commissioner Oxiris Barbot had to say:

“The risk to New Yorkers for coronavirus is low. … There is no reason not to take the subway, not to take the bus, not to go out to your favorite restaurant and certainly not to miss the [Lunar New Year] parade next Sunday.”

She reiterated on her Twitter that the Chinese Lunar New Year celebration would be going on as planned.

More from the commissioner on Feb. 7:

Back to de Blasio, Feb. 10:

While he did warn people with pre-existing conditions over 50 that they needed to be careful, he said, “If you’re under 50 and you’re healthy, which is most New Yorkers, there’s very little threat here. This disease, even if you were to get it, basically acts like a common cold or flu. And transmission is not that easy.”

From what we know now, a lot of this is dead wrong — particularly in a city that is basically a petri dish for the outbreak.

De Blasio again, Feb. 14:

The mayor one day prior to the movie-recommendation tweet:

Then, on March 20, it came out that de Blasio’s City Hall didn’t order coronavirus protection supplies — masks, hand sanitizer, etc. — until March 6, according to the New York Poat.

Now, was Trump’s response perfect? No. However, at the same time that de Blasio was saying all of these things, here’s what the president was doing, as per the Trump War Room Twitter:

And so on. I’m not going to put the entire thing here, because it’s a pretty long thread — which is interesting, considering it never gets talked about in the media.

The president’s reaction was far from perfect, but it was also substantially better than that of de Blasio — who, again, thought he was White House material himself. Thank God most everyone didn’t agree.

Trump was the one who stopped travel from China at the same time that de Blasio was urging people to go out. As late as March 3, the mayor was urging people to congregate.

These are all horrifying announcements in retrospect — and again, de Blasio gets no flak for them while Trump’s words are routinely distorted to make it sound like he thought the virus was a hoax that he didn’t even consider.

De Blasio had the proverbial One Job: Stop the coronavirus. I’m not saying it’s not challenging, but he only had to do it in a single city.

He failed, and the consequences have been dire.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Birthplace
Morristown, New Jersey
Education
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture




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