Mayor Bill de Blasio wants New Yorkers to rat out their fellow citizens who are not following social distancing orders during the coronavirus pandemic by taking a photo of the violators on their cell phones and texting it to the city.
‘It’s simple: just snap a photo and text it to 311-692,’ the mayor tweeted Saturday.
In a video posted to his Twitter account, de Blasio praised the people of his city, saying: ‘You have been extraordinary at social distancing.’
‘It has taken every fiber of our beings to figure out how to do this because we’re warm, emotional people,’ he said.
‘We’re used to being close to each other.’
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio posted a video message on Saturday asking city residents to ‘snap a photo and text it’ if they happen to see anyone failing to adhere to social distancing guidelines
New Yorkers were seen walking through Central Park wearing face masks on Saturday
One Twitter user said de Blasio’s proposal ‘is so un-American’
Another Twitter user noted that both Anne Frank and Harriet Tubman were in hiding and that de Blasio’s proposal likely would have meant outing them
Others said that de Blasio’s proposal is more suited to the Soviet Union, where citizens routinely snitched on one another
Another Twitter user told de Blasio: ‘Your communist roots are showing’
Another Twitter user called the New York mayor ‘a Karen’ – a derogatory term given to someone who complains about minor things
But the mayor added that ‘there’s some people who need to get the message.’
‘And that means sometimes making sure the enforcement is there to educate people and make clear we’ve got to have social distancing,’ the mayor said.
‘When you see a crowd, when you see a line that’s not distanced, when you see a supermarket that’s too crowded, you can report it right away so we can get there to help fix the problem.’
He added: ‘That’s going to stop spreading this disease. And that’s going to save lives.’
The mayor’s idea was not well-received on social media, where Twitter users blasted him for suggesting that city residents snitch on each other.
One Twitter user noted that Anne Frank and Harriet Tubman were also quarantined.
Tubman was an abolitionist who escaped slavery and then risked her life to help other slaves go free.
Frank was a Dutch Jewish girl whose family went into hiding during the Nazi occupation of Holland.
She was shipped off to the death camps after neighbors alerted the Nazi authorities to their hiding place.
Another Twitter user called the mayor a ‘Karen’ – a popular internet meme used to describe a person, usually a middle-aged white woman, who complains about usually minor things not being to their liking.
Another Twitter user said that de Blasio ‘asking people to snitch’ is ‘so un-American.’
Others commented that de Blasio’s message is more suited to Soviet Communism.
In the Soviet Union of the 1930s, citizens routinely snitched on one another to the authorities in an effort to improve their living conditions and curry favor with the government.
One Twitter user joked: ‘Comrade citizen! Report all suspected anti-distancing activities to friendly New York Ministry of Social Cleanliness!’
Another Twitter user commented: ‘Your communist roots are showing.
‘I noticed you said ‘enforcement’ and not law enforcement.
‘Is that because the cops in your own city hate your guts?’
Others on Twitter noted that de Blasio himself has been spotted out and about during the coronavirus lockdown.
The mayor, who lives in his official mansion on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, has been spotted going to his gym in Park Slope, Brooklyn.
He and his wife have also been spotted walking outside in public – even while he and other state, local, and national leaders have asked Americans to remain indoors during the pandemic.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announces state’s LOWEST daily death rate since April 1 and reveals cases have declined for several days – then tells Trump it’s ‘no time for politics’ and demands more federal funding for tests
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo took another swipe at Donald Trump on Saturday by channeling Abraham Lincoln saying there’s ‘no time for politics’ as he announced the state’s death rate has dropped to the lowest since April 1.
Speaking in his daily press briefing, Cuomo said he had some ‘good news’ for New Yorkers as he revealed that daily deaths, hospitalizations, intubations and ICU admissions continued to fall.
As the nation’s crisis epicenter seems to have reached its peak, Cuomo announced that 504 people died from coronavirus Friday, the lowest death toll since April 1 and far lower than the state’s peak of 806 on April 7.
The governor went on to make a series of thinly-veiled digs at Trump, in which he recited Lincoln’s famous quote – ‘a house divided itself cannot stand’ – and reminded him ‘that’s why we’re called the ‘United’ States.’
In Saturday’s update, Cuomo warned that although the falling death toll is promising, New York still has some dark days ahead as ‘540 families’ still lost their loved ones in a single day, including 36 across the state’s nursing homes.
‘It’s not as high as it was but still 540 people died yesterday,’ he said.
‘It’s 540 people, 540 families.’
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Saturday in his daily briefing that 504 people died from coronavirus in the state on Friday, down from the state’s peak death toll of 806 on April 7
Total hospitalizations are also down from around 18,000 to almost 16,000 and emergency rooms are less crowded, Cuomo continued.
‘We increased hospital capacity by 53 percent’ and that capacity is now falling, he said.
Cuomo said the figures show that New York has gone past its peak and is now on a curve down to where it was late-March when cases and deaths started to rise.
‘We’re down now for several days. The statisticians will say have we passed the apex? Have we hit the plateau and flattened for a period of time?’ he said.
He added: ‘If you look at the past three days you could argue that we are past the plateau and we’re starting to descend which is very good news.’
The number of people being intubated when they come into the state’s hospitals has also fallen which Cuomo said is ‘very good news’.
‘The probability is about 80 percent won’t come off ventilators when they go on them so [the fall in numbers] is very good news,’ he said.
ICU admissions have also fallen, Cuomo said, before adding that he does ‘not know why we include this’.
But there was still some ‘sobering news’ he said.
‘We still have about 2,000 people yesterday who were new admissions to hospitals or new COVID diagnoses,’ he said. ‘That is still overwhelming.’
Nursing homes continue to be a big concern, however, with Cuomo citing these ‘the single biggest fear’ because they cluster a lot of ‘vulnerable people in one place’.
Nursing homes will be ‘top of the list’ for testing when the state reopens, he added.
After several weeks of locking heads with Trump, Cuomo went on to make yet another thinly-veiled dig at the president and his response to the pandemic telling him ‘there’s no time for politics’ while Americans are dying.
‘The emotion in this country is as high as I can recall… and on every level this is a terrible experience,’ he said.
‘It’s disorientating, it threatens you to your core… It makes you reflect on your whole life, it’s mentally very difficult… economically it’s disastrous.
‘But in the midst of this there is no time for politics. How does the situation get worse? If you politicize it.’
Cuomo reinforced his previous claims that he is not politically motivated and is not planning to run for president.
‘I’m not running for anything, I’m not going anywhere. I’m going to be governor of New York state until the people kick me out,’ he said.
‘I have no political agenda and I’ve stayed 100 miles away from politics just so people know.’
In a rousing speech, Cuomo channeled Abraham Lincoln’s famous quote ‘A house divided against itself cannot stand’ as he pleaded with the US to unite in its fight against the pandemic.
After several weeks of locking heads with Donald Trump, Cuomo made yet another thinly-veiled dig at the president and his response to the pandemic telling him ‘there’s no time for politics’ as Americans are dying
Cuomo channeled Abraham Lincoln’s famous quote ‘A house divided against itself cannot stand’ as he pleaded with the US to unite in its fight against the pandemic
‘The house can also not stand up and rise against a situation as bad as we’ve seen since World War Two,’ Cuomo said.
‘That’s why we’re called the ‘United’ States and the ‘United’ is key.’
When pressed about his opinion on Trump’s actions this week – including backing protesters calling for an end to lockdown – Cuomo remained fairly tight-lipped.
He pointed out that Trump said he would leave the decision around reopening to individual states and agreed that it should not be a nationwide reopening because different states have different levels of the pandemic.
‘[Trump] did not say this is a nationwide program that he’s asking governors to buy into,’ said Cuomo.
When asked about the risk that lack of national guidance would mean people would be able to travel between states with different degrees of lockdowns, Cuomo admitted this is a ‘downside’.
‘Is that a downside of a 50-state strategy? You could say that,’ he said.
Testing and contact tracing will be critical to reopening New York safely, to avoid a renewed spike in infections and deaths, Cuomo said.
‘The tension on reopening is how can we reopen and what can we reopen without raising the infection rate,’ he said.
Cuomo explained that the infection rate in New York has now fallen to one person infecting 0.9 other people, down from one person infecting 1.4 people.
The concern is that if the state reopens too soon, the rate will rise and there is a ‘very tight window’ before the rate would reach devastating levels once again.
‘When you start to reopen businesses, you put people on subways, in a retail store… you’re going to see more infections and see the infection rate rise,’ said Cuomo.
‘So how do we gauge this and calibrate that? It’s all about the testing.’
The state has approached its top 50 labs asking what they would need to double the testing.
Cuomo said: ‘They all said the same thing: They need more chemical reagents. We need the federal government to oversee the supply chain and help get labs what they need.’
Chemical reagents are critical to running coronavirus tests as they isolate the virus’s genetic material so it can be tested.
But officials and the CDC have repeatedly warned the chemicals are in short supply.
Cuomo issued another plea for the government to work in partnership with states in sharing out the products needed to upscale testing and get the nation up and running.
‘The federal government is telling companies who to give it to,’ Cuomo said.
‘We need help from the federal government, help with the supply chain, and coordination and basic partnership,’ he said.
‘I get that it’s hard… I get that in this society it’s going to be a blame game… that’s the world we live in,’ he said.
‘But we need their coordination and we need their partnership. I get that we need to fund airlines and need to fund small businesses – I get that but we ned to fund state governments too.’
His comments come as worrying research from the National League of Cities and the US Conference of Mayors this week revealed that more than 2,100 US cities across the US are bracing for huge budget shortfalls that will lead to thousands of layoffs, cuts in vital services and less cops on the streets during the coronavirus pandemic.
Almost nine in 10 cities (88 percent), ranging from smaller cities with populations of less than 50,000 residents to the biggest metropolitan areas in the country, have said they are preparing for a revenue shortfall.
More than 1,100 cities are preparing to scale back their public services, and 600 say they may have to lay off some government workers as a result of lower budgets, which could have devastating consequences on public services including police forces.
TRUMP VERSUS DEMOCRAT GOVERNORS
There’s been no love lost between New York’s Andrew Cuomo and President Trump throughout the pandemic.
But Cuomo is not alone in sparring with Trump this week.
Democratic governors from Minnesota, Washington and New York are resisting Donald Trump’s calls to ‘liberate’ their states and slammed the president for his encouragement of protesters who have flouted social distancing rules and taken to the streets to demand lockdowns end.
Trump made a series of tweets Friday in which he appeared to side with Republican protesters who are flouting social distancing rules by gathering in the streets demanding an end to lockdowns – one day after the president said he would leave the decision to reopen states in the hands of the individual governors.
He started with a ‘Liberate Minnesota’ tweet, then quickly followed it up with similar tweets for Michigan and Virginia in a show of support for the largely Republican demonstrators against the stay-at-home restrictions.
All three states that Trump singled out have Democratic governors – and are potentially swing states in the 2020 election.
Minnesota’s Democratic Governor Tim Walz clapped back at Trump’s call to ‘liberate’ the state Friday, by saying it will ‘probably take longer than a two-word tweet’ to make sure he can fully reopen it, after protesters staged an anti-lockdown rally outside his mansion.
Walz slammed Trump during a press conference Friday after the president tried to make himself the star of the ‘lockdown rebellion’ by tweeting ‘Liberate Minnesota’ on Friday as protesters carrying Trump 2020 paraphernalia descended on the governor’s official residence.
This came after Washington Governor Jay Inslee launched a scathing condemnation of the president’s show of support for the protesters and accused him of ‘fomenting domestic rebellion’ in a Twitter thread Friday.
Inslee said: ‘The president’s statements this morning encourage illegal and dangerous acts.
‘He is putting millions of people in danger of contracting COVID-19. His unhinged rantings and calls for people to ‘liberate’ states could also lead to violence.’
Democrat governors have increasingly clashed with Trump, particularly after his head-snapping week which saw him first proclaim ‘total authority’ to decide on re-opening the country, then do a total u-turn and say states ‘call the shots.’
Minnesota’s Democratic Governor Tim Walz (left) and Washington Governor Jay Inslee (right) both slammed Trump Friday over his encouragement of protesters who have taken to the streets to demand state lockdowns end