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New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) said Monday that he is prepared to see the government go beyond the governor’s recent shutdown of indoor dining in the city and threatened that there could be a full citywide lockdown in the near future.
What’s happening in New York?
New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo declared that all of New York City’s indoor dining would be shut down effective Monday.
Cuomo made the move despite the fact that, according to his own slide presentation during the shutdown announcement, restaurants and bars accounted for less than 1.5% of the share of exposure to COVID-19.
De Blasio made an appearance on CNN’s “New Day” Monday to discuss COVID-19 shutdowns and vaccines. During the interview, host Alisyn Camerota confronted the mayor about closing restaurants.
“Is it possible that closing restaurants isn’t going to do what you hope it will?” Camerota asked.
De Blasio, naturally, didn’t shy away from the restaurant shutdown edict, though he claimed, “I feel for these restaurant owners,” and lauded the new “permanent” outdoor dining. But then he went on to think it’s time to be “ready” for a full shutdown — which, of course, would mean that the outdoor dining the mayor just touted would be closed, too.
Citing growing numbers of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations and the need to “protect people’s lives,” he declared “you’ve got to start shutting down the most sensitive areas.” He went on to echo Cuomo’s recent statements that a “larger shutdown” could be on the way in the Big Apple and that it’s something the city’s residents should be “ready for in the coming weeks.”
Camerota didn’t let the mayor’s statement slide by. She pushed back on de Blasio’s assertion that the “most sensitive places” should include restaurants.
“On balance, maybe it would be more important to protect people’s livelihood and paychecks” than shut down places that contribute to only 1.43% of the spread, she said.
The mayor responded that “unfortunately, this is just one of a number of steps that, I think, are going to be needed.”
“There’s going to be more restrictions after this,” he warned.
Camerota asked him what other kinds restrictions he had in mind.
“A full shutdown,” de Blasio said, noting that it’s time to stop the virus’ momentum.
“I think, Alisyn, you’re talking about the potential — and again, I’m quoting from Gov. Cuomo, and I think he’s right — there’s the potential of having to do a full pause, a full shutdown in the coming weeks,” he said, noting how the city fought back against the virus in the spring and needed to do it again.
“We’re seeing the kind of level of infection with the coronavirus we haven’t seen since May, and we have got to stop that momentum — or else, our hospital system will be threatened,” the mayor continued.
According to de Blasio, “That’s worth putting restrictions in place for.”
Hizzoner made it clear by the end of the segment that a shutdown would not be targeted — it would be “across the board.”