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CNN chief Washington correspondent Jake Tapper believes that New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s proposal to host a ticker-tape parade for health care workers once the city emerges from coronavirus crisis is one of the “stupidest ideas” he’s ever heard.
I can’t tell you when we’ll be able to host cultural events and parades again. But I can tell you WHO our first parade will be for:
When the time is right, New York City will honor our health care workers and first responders with a ticker tape parade up the Canyon of Heroes.
— Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) April 21, 2020
“I want to guarantee you one thing that when that day comes that we can restart the vibrant, beautiful life of this city again, the first thing we will do is we will have a ticker-tape parade down the Canyon of Heroes for our healthcare workers and our first responders. We will honor those who saved us,” he said during a press briefing.
“The first thing we will do before we think about anything else is we will take time as only New York City can do to throw the biggest, best parade to honor these heroes. And many, many great heroes have gone down that Canyon to be appreciated and loved by millions of New Yorkers.”
The Canyon of Heroes refers to a 1.4 mile stretch along Broadway Avenue that was reportedly used to honor military generals after the conclusion of World War II.
Listen to the mayor’s remarks below (disable your adblocker if the video doesn’t appear):
“But I think this will be the greatest of all the parades because this one will speak to that rebirth of New York City,” de Blasio continued. “This one will speak to a kind of heroism that is intrinsic to who we are as New Yorkers, to our values, to our compassion, to our strength, our resiliency.”
“This parade will mark, I should say. This parade will mark the beginning of our Renaissance, but it will also be most importantly a chance to say thank you to so many good and noble people, so many tough, strong people. They’re fighting right now and they have to keep fighting and we have to keep supporting them and showing them our love and appreciation.”
He sounded almost Trumpian, didn’t he? Perhaps that’s why Tapper hated the idea?
“Having a parade in New York City is one of the stupidest ideas I’ve ever heard,” he said after CNN reporter Erica Hill revealed the mayor’s plans to him.
“Well, not right now — let’s be clear,” Hill replied.
“I hear you, but still,” Tapper responded.
Whether or not he was right depends on what exactly the mayor meant. If de Blasio intends to hold a parade the moment the city’s lockdown ends, then yes, that would be extremely “stupid,” since an end to lockdowns doesn’t mean an end to the coronavirus.
If, on the other hand, the mayor intends to hold a parade once the entire crisis subsides — after a vaccine is developed, for instance — then no, it wouldn’t be “stupid” or unwise to celebrate the city’s return to full and unadulterated normalcy.
In fact, it’s an idea that President Donald Trump himself rather likes.
“Frankly, that sounds like a good idea to me when it’s all over,” the president said when asked about the proposal during the White House’s Tuesday coronavirus briefing.
“It sounds like a great idea. They deserve it. They’re warriors. They’ve done an incredible job. We mentioned briefly the state aid. We talked about that, Governor Cuomo and myself and I agree with him on that and I think most Republicans agree too and Democrats and that’s part of phase four and I think infrastructure is going to be a big part. We have to rebuild our country.”
Trump on NYC ticker tape parade for healthcare workers: “When it’s all over, that sounds like a great idea.”
— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) April 21, 2020
Support for the idea is rooted in the growing belief that America should seek to fully return to normal, not return to a “new normal.”
“[T]wo months ago we were packing bars and ballgames, we were attending baby showers and funerals, spreading germs willy-nilly at EDM shows. All of those things must come back and they will,” the New York Post’s Bob Fredericks wrote in a piece this week that was read on air Tuesday by radio show host Rush Limbaugh.
“If understandable fear is what drove Americans into their homes and succeeded in flattening the curve of the virus in our country, then it is courage that is needed to see our way back to the lives we left behind. The ancient rites bequeathed to us and which we bequeath to our children is a chain that must not be broken. Society cannot long survive social distancing.”
And hate them or love them, it seems that both de Blasio and Trump are on board with this plan.
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