Mayor Bill de Blasio does not want people gathering in large groups in the streets of New York, despite the photo above from three weeks ago that suggests otherwise. The Democratic mayor had some tough talk for people who are considering congregating outside of New York City bars.
Photos emerged of heavily crowded areas outside of bars and restaurants in New York City this weekend as temperatures warmed up.
This is #NYC tonight. Manhattan, not a right wing backwater. People are ready to start reopening and our businesses and workers need it. We need to see some urgency – not blue ribbon commissions, business czars, & bureaucracy – just reasonable guidelines that we can safely follow pic.twitter.com/ZLzuMmafFK
— Joe Borelli (@JoeBorelliNYC) May 16, 2020
After photos and videos of the crowded New York City sidewalks spread, de Blasio vowed a crackdown on people gathering outside of bars.
“The police department will be out, the sheriff’s office will be out watching very carefully on the Upper East Side in particular,” the Mayor said on Sunday. “We’re not going to tolerate people congregating. It’s as simple as that.”
“If we have to shut places down, we will,” de Blasio threatened.
De Blasio then instructed people to inform the city of anyone or any establishment violating his shelter-in-place executive order.
“If we have instances where there is not compliance I want to know about it,” de Blasio added. “I want any New Yorker who sees any place allowing dining in to call 311 immediately and they will be visited immediately with inspectors and there will be serious fines. If we have to shut places down we will.”
Last month, de Blasio asked the public to take photos of anyone who was not social distancing and report them.
New York City bars and restaurants have been restricted to takeout and delivery service since mid-March.
The city is now cracking down on crowds in front bars on the Upper East Side
— Cristian Benavides (@cbenavidesTV) May 17, 2020
Also on Sunday, de Blasio announced that he would not open the city’s beaches for Memorial Day weekend. He went so far as to say he is considering fencing the beaches off to the public.
“I’ve said before, I’m going to say again, we are not opening our beaches on Memorial Day, we are not opening our beaches in the near term. It is not safe. It is not the right thing to do in the epicenter of this crisis,” de Blasio said.
New York state beaches, as well as beaches in New Jersey, Connecticut, and Delaware, will be open for Memorial Day weekend.
Meanwhile in Wisconsin, bars were also crowded this weekend after the Wisconsin Supreme Court struck down Gov. Tony Evers’ “safer-at-home” order on Wednesday.
45 minutes after the bars open in Wisconsin…. pic.twitter.com/xqaDlS6ajP
— Nick's bar (@nicksonsec) May 14, 2020
However, instead of threatened a massive crackdown or asking citizens to tattle on each other, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.) was understanding that people have cabin fever from the COVID-19 quarantine. Johnson appeared on CNN on Sunday and told Jake Tapper that the crowds “concern, probably, all of us.” But added that people have been “pent up” and were venting some of their frustrations by “celebrating a little freedom.”
Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson on crowded bars in his state: "I certainly see a small subsegment of Wisconsinites celebrating a little freedom. We've all been pent up, we've all been frustrated, and so I think they took that occasion" #CNNSOTU pic.twitter.com/yfTJgyW5IY
— State of the Union (@CNNSotu) May 17, 2020
Author: Paul Sacca