On a clear mission to make sure he takes the title of Least Popular NYC Mayor in History, Bill de Blasio announced Sunday that he’s preparing to put 500,000 New Yorkers back under the strict lockdown measures that haven’t been in effect since late March. Worried about the growing number of coronavirus cases in certain Big Apple boroughs, the mayor said that Brooklyn and Queens would be subject to the new restrictions as of Wednesday – a tough pill to swallow for businesses that have only begun to come back.
“We’re having an extraordinary problem—something we haven’t seen since spring,’’ de Blasio said. “Today, unfortunately, is not a day for celebration. Today is a more difficult day.”
In accordance with the mayor’s proposal, nine neighborhoods in the two boroughs will go into lockdown – all non-essential businesses will close, all restaurants will be shuttered, and all schools will be shut down for the duration of the order. The mayor noted in his call that his order cannot take effect without approval from the state government.
“We’ll be working to get approval,” he told reporters.
That approval seems guaranteed, seeing as how Gov. Andrew Cuomo released a statement on Sunday saying: “Local governments have not done an effective job of enforcement in these hot spot ZIP codes. The State will be doing aggressive enforcement starting tomorrow. As we saw with bars and restaurants, when the State initiated enforcement actions compliance greatly increased.”
The New York Post noted that the nine neighborhoods subject to immediate lockdown may not be alone.
“Meanwhile, another 11 neighborhoods in the city are on a ‘watch list’ over their COVID-19 numbers—and would lose indoor dining and have their gyms and pools closed starting Wednesday morning under the city’s push,” the Post said. “The 11 zip codes could end up going into full lockdown, like the most worrisome nine zip codes, if their numbers don’t improve, the mayor warned.”
The New York Times reports that the imminent lockdowns could stay in place for as long as four weeks.
“I just bought $3,000 worth of outdoor dining supplies today,” one restaurant owner in Queens told the Post. “Every restaurant owner just bought outdoor heaters, they’re almost $2,000 each. They’re nonreturnable. Mr. Mayor, you are going to put everyone in these neighborhoods out of business!”
Might as well save your breath. It’s clear that this guy doesn’t care.