By Chris White
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio was dismissing the impact of coronavirus nearly two weeks before blasting President Donald Trump for not mobilizing the military to confront the outbreak.
De Blasio told Meet The Press’s Chuck Todd on March 22 that he asked Trump to mobilize the military to take the virus head-on. He suggested that if the president doesn’t act immediately, then “people will die who could have lived otherwise.”
He made similar comments a week prior, telling MSNBC’s Joy Reid on March 14 that the virus is a “war-like situation. … We’re in a wartime scenario with a Mar-a-Lago attitude being used by the federal government.”
De Blasio was singing a different tune earlier in March, not only encouraging city residents to get on with their lives but offering alternatives to social distancing.
Since I’m encouraging New Yorkers to go on with your lives + get out on the town despite Coronavirus, I thought I would offer some suggestions. Here’s the first: thru Thurs 3/5 go see “The Traitor” @FilmLinc. If “The Wire” was a true story + set in Italy, it would be this film.
— Bill de Blasio (@BilldeBlasio) March 3, 2020
Meanwhile, media pundits lambasted Trump for supposedly not acting fast enough to address the virus despite his decision in January to institute a travel ban on China, where coronavirus, or COVID-19 originated.
They also lashed out at the president for suggesting on Jan. 22 that his administration has “it totally under control. It’s one person coming in from China, and we have it under control. It’s going to be just fine.”
“The Mayor was in no way downplaying the seriousness of Coronavirus. At that time, New York City had very few cases and the guidance coming from both the Federal Government and the State was different. No one is taking this more seriously than our mayor and the people of this city. It’s inaccurate to suggest otherwise,” de Blasio spokesperson Freddi Goldstein said.
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