New York mayor scolded for going to public gym as schools, bars close
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) came under criticism on Monday after he was spotted going to his Brooklyn gym amid the escalating coronavirus outbreak.
De Blasio regularly goes to the public gym, but the decision came under heightened scrutiny on a day when the city had closed schools to 1.1 million students. Broadway theaters have also shut down, as have the city’s bars and restaurants to ensure “social distancing” during the pandemic.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Sunday recommended that no events be held with more than 50 people, and several states and cities have closed bars, theaters and other venues.
Former Fox News and NBC News personality Megyn Kelly was among the voices on social media criticizing the New York mayor.
Way to set the example, Mr. Mayor. https://t.co/colF20Wtwg
— Megyn Kelly (@megynkelly) March 16, 2020
As elected officials, we’re expected to lead and set an example for the public.
We’re in a public health crisis, where gyms and restaurants are closing.
Our message to everyone is to stay home.
Mr. Mayor, we need you to lead by example.https://t.co/JfmFCYejH7
— Keith Powers (@KeithPowersNYC) March 16, 2020
It’s touching De Blasio wanted to say one last goodbye to his gym. The rest of us have vulnerable relatives who were suddenly (and very justifiably) cut off from us and we might not see for weeks or months, but a gym is clearly a priority. https://t.co/LOHwtbx6yF
— Benjy Sarlin (@BenjySarlin) March 16, 2020
De Blaiso last night: we must make whatever sacrifices are necessary to protect NYers.
De Blasio this morning: just gotta squeeze in a few last bicep curls at my favorite public gym.
— Rob Friedlander (@robsfriedlander) March 16, 2020
De Blasio makes the police-escorted 12-mile trek from Gracie Mansion in Manhattan to Brooklyn on a daily basis.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), who ordered all fitness facilities in New York to close by 8 p.m. Monday, was asked about de Blasio’s decision by reporters Monday morning.
“He can be in the gym this morning,” as gyms across New York, New Jersey and Connecticut don’t close until 8 o’clock, Cuomo said.
A spokesman for de Blasio said it was a final trip for the mayor.
“The YMCA has been a huge part of his and his family’s life, like it has been for a lot of New Yorkers. It’s clear that’s about to change and before that, the mayor wanted to visit a place that keeps him grounded one last time,” the mayor’s press secretary, Freddi Goldstein, said in a statement.
“That doesn’t change the fact that he is working around the clock to ensure the safety of New Yorkers. After today, gyms will close and he will no longer be visiting the YMCA for the foreseeable future,” he added.
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