New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio was dismissing the impact of coronavirus nearly two weeks before blasting President Donald Trump for not mobilizing the military to confront the outbreak.
De Blasio told Meet The Press’ Chuck Todd on March 22 that he asked Trump to mobilize the military to take the virus head-on. He suggested that if the president doesn’t act immediately, then “people will die who could have lived otherwise.”
He made similar comments a week prior, telling MSNBC’s Joy Reid on March 14 that the virus is a “war-like situation … We’re in a wartime scenario with a Mar-a-Lago attitude being used by the federal government.”
De Blasio was singing a different tune earlier in March.
“Since I’m encouraging New Yorkers to go on with your lives + get out on the town despite Coronavirus,” the Democrat told his Twitter followers on March 3, no more than two weeks before likening the outbreak to a type of World War that required nationalizing industries.
De Blasio offered some suggestions for what New Yorkers should do instead of social distancing.
“I thought I would offer some suggestions. Here’s the first: thru Thurs 3/5 go see “The Traitor,” he said, referring to a 2019 crime drama about the life and times of a Mafia mob boss.
Since I’m encouraging New Yorkers to go on with your lives + get out on the town despite Coronavirus, I thought I would offer some suggestions. Here’s the first: thru Thurs 3/5 go see “The Traitor” @FilmLinc. If “The Wire” was a true story + set in Italy, it would be this film.
— Bill de Blasio (@BilldeBlasio) March 3, 2020
State officials were preparing for the virus long before de Blasio’s comment. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, for instance, declared a state of emergency on Feb. 29, directing state agencies to use all resources necessary to address the fallout. New York has become the epicenter for the virus.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said at a press conference on March 15 that New York City now has more than 6,211 cases of coronavirus, while the state has 15,168 cases and 114 deaths.
Meanwhile, media pundits lambasted Trump for supposedly not acting fast enough to address the virus despite his decision in January to institute a travel ban on China, where coronavirus, or COVID-19 originated.
They also lashed out at the president for suggesting on Jan. 22 that his administration has “it totally under control. It’s one person coming in from China, and we have it under control. It’s going to be just fine.”
“The Mayor was in no way downplaying the seriousness of Coronavirus. At that time, New York City had very few cases and the guidance coming from both the Federal Government and the State was different. No one is taking this more seriously than our mayor and the people of this city. It’s inaccurate to suggest otherwise,” de Blasio spokesperson Freddi Goldstein said.
Author: Chris White