Lisa Boothe: De Blasio message to NYC Jews example of using 'coronavirus as an opportunity for power'

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Fox News contributor Lisa Boothe joined “Outnumbered” Wednesday to react to a tweet from New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio that scolded a Jewish community for gathering to honor a rabbi who died from COVID-19.

“I think it’s very unfortunate where we have seen some of these leaders use the coronavirus as an opportunity for power and to say potentially inappropriate things like this,” Boothe said.

She went on to point out that “de Blasio also warned churches and synagogues and said, ‘If you do not comply with what I’m saying, I’m going to shut you down permanently.’ I mean that is scary for someone like de Blasio to say.”

Police on Tuesday were sent to break up the funeral of Rabbi Chaim Mertz in Brooklyn's Williamsburg neighborhood.

De Blasio tweeted that the gathering was “absolutely unacceptable."

“My message to the Jewish community, and all communities, is this simple: the time for warnings has passed,” de Blasio tweeted. “I have instructed the NYPD to proceed immediately to summons or even arrest those who gather in large groups. This is about stopping this disease and saving lives. Period.”

Large gatherings “will only lead to more deaths” and more funerals, de Blasio argued.

New York City Councilman Kalman Yeger, who is Jewish, tweeted that the de Blasio’s words “are unacceptable.”

“To condemn our entire community over one group of people is something you would not do to any other ethnic group," he wrote, "and I know you long enough to know that you know this."

Boothe noted that “prior to the coronavirus we had seen a rise in anti-Semitism in New York City.”

“I’m glad people are paying attention to this and I think they should be paying attention to this,” she continued.

Fox News anchor Harris Faulkner chimed in, “I never thought in this country I would look up and see someone call for the round up of Jewish people in America.”

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Fox News contributor Jessica Tarlov also weighed in saying she was “surprised” by de Blasio’s comments because he “is not someone who’s actually known for making those kinds of comments about the Jewish community, and has been very responsive to the well-documented rise in anti-Semitism.”

During a news conference on Wednesday, de Blasio claimed that the harshness of his initial message was “out of real distress that people lives were in danger before my eyes.”

“If in my passion and in my emotion I said something that in any way was hurtful, I am sorry about that, that was not my intention, but I also want to be clear, I have no regrets about calling out this danger and saying we’re going to deal with it very, very aggressively,” de Blasio added.

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He went on to say that if a similar situation takes place in any other community he will “call that out equally.”

“This is a Hasidic community, a sacred rabbi had passed away. They wanted to find some way to continue to conduct their rituals,” Tarlov noted. “They thought they could do it outside, they brought masks, they had actually talked to local government about this, the mayor’s office was actually aware. It went terribly wrong.”

Fox News’ Michael Ruiz contributed to this report.