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Governments rake in millions in coronavirus fines, de Blasio’s snitch line spells dollar signs

(Photo by DANIEL MIHAILESCU/AFP via Getty Images)

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Turns out, violating coronavirus restrictions has proven to be a lucrative industry for the country of Romania, which has made millions in handing out strict fines over the past month.

In fact, the country has raked in $85 million between March 24 and April 19, with a total of 200,000 fines being issued, Fox News reported — an amount that equals the money Romania collected in February from corporate tax.

And suddenly, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio’s “snitch line” takes on a whole other meaning.

In what should give Americans renewed appreciation for the U.S. Constitution, the citizens in Romania must fill out an official form before they leave home explaining why they have gone out. If stopped by the police or the military, they must present their papers and an identification card.

Romanians caught violating the restrictions can face fines from 2,000 Romanian lei (about $450) up to 20,000 (about $4,500), according to the BBC.

A state of emergency was declared in Romania on March 16, and was just extended to the middle of May, Fox News reported.

The country of 20 million people has had 9,242 confirmed COVID-19 cases, with 507 deaths, as of early Wednesday, April 22, as reflected by Johns Hopkins University.

Like everywhere else on the planet, Romanians appear to be tired of being cooped up at home as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.

The leader of the policemen’s union Europol recently told Digi24.ro Romanians were getting creative when it came to reasons for venturing outside.

Cosmin Andreica explained that people are allowed out to walk their pets.

“We’ve had situations where citizens were holding a fish in the bag and they said they had taken their pet out for a walk,” Andreica said. “It’s a real story. Or we’ve had a situation where someone took the cat for a ride 30 kilometers from home, on the back seat of the car.”

Meanwhile, back in New York, Mayor de Blasio made a renewed appeal on Saturday for New Yorkers to use a “snitch line” he established to rat out neighbors in violation of the city’s social distancing guidelines.

It’s enough to make one wonder if the hard-left mayor was in tune with what’s going on in Romania.

Actress Melissa Francis, a Fox News commentator, suggested that de Blasio’s interest in having residents turning in other residents is likely driven by the fact that violators can be fined.

Appearing Monday on “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” she reminded the show’s namesake that New Yorkers can be fined up to $1,000.

“He’s issued 244, as of the latest count summoned, for people who were not social distancing and for each one of them, he’s gotten up to $1,000,” Francis said. “So if you are cynical, you might think this is about money.”

She went on to note that “the homeless population in New York City has moved onto the subways with all of their things and they are not social distancing,” before noting that health care workers are riding the subways every day.

Tom Tillison

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