De Blasio tries to deflect blame for rapid spread of coronavirus in NYC
Mayor Bill de Blasio on Sunday tried to wave off his instructions for New Yorkers to “go about their lives” in the lead-up to the city’s coronavirus crisis — refusing to consider whether he shares any blame until “after this war is over.”
The mayor on CNN’s “State of the Union” was confronted with a series of clips of him calmly insisting Big Apple residents should carry on with their regular lives, with the last just two weeks ago on March 13.
Interviewer Jake Tapper asked bluntly, “In retrospect, is that message at least in part to blame for how rapidly the virus has spread across the city?”
“Jake, we should not be focusing, in my view, on anything looking back,” Hizzoner insisted, saying he was “just working with the information” at the moment and trying to avoid panic.
“This is just about how we save lives going forward,” he said. “This was a very different world just a short time ago.”
De Blasio was then challenged over whether he was hypocritical in making similar complaints against President Trump.
“Mr. Mayor, weren’t your actions in this crisis also far, far behind the curve?” Tapper asked.
De Blasio admitted it was a “fair” question, but blamed the lack of testing for giving a false picture of how urgent the crisis would be in the Big Apple.
“I think the big historical point here that will be looked back on is if this country had the testing we needed this could have been a very different reality,” he insisted.
“But there’s no time to go back over that. There’s only time to get through this next week and the week after that.”
He said the time to deal with the question was “after this war is over.”
“Because literally here in New York City it feels like a war-time environment.”
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