Mayor Bill de Blasio on Sunday fired back at Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s threat to shut down Manhattan again if the city didn’t enforce social-distancing better — saying through a rep that “imprisoning people” isn’t the answer.
“We must balance safety with people’s need to reopen their businesses,” a City Hall spokeswoman said in an e-mail.
“We had social distancing ambassadors out all weekend distributing masks and encouraging people to disperse after making their purchases.
“These businesses are allowed to be open per the governor’s guidelines and we don’t believe imprisoning people or taking away their livelihood is the answer.”
Hours earlier, Cuomo had announced that he would close down Manhattan and the Hamptons on Long Island again amid the coronavirus if their “local governments” didn’t do a better job reining in scofflaws who aren’t properly social distancing and wearing masks, particularly outside bars and restaurants.
“We are not going back to that dark place,” Cuomo vowed, referring to the peak of the pandemic in the state, when nearly 800 people died in one day from the contagion.
“People send videos of these violations,” the governor said of the rogue residents — hundreds of whom have been caught on video partying closely together, many without masks, around St. Marks Place in the East Village in Manhattan the past couple of days.