Sen. Ted Cruz poked fun at a New York City-produced video featuring Mayor Bill de Blasio standing outside of Gracie Mansion where he proceeds to put on a mask.
“In New York City we wear our masks, proudly,” says a post accompanying the video.
As the video opens, the camera pans down from the sky above the mayor’s residence to an initially mask-less de Blasio, who then proceeds to don one in an exaggerated manner while dramatic music plays.
In New York City we wear our masks, proudly. pic.twitter.com/YTZDGu2pzG
— City of New York (@nycgov) October 6, 2020
The short clip ends with de Blasio saluting, then turning around to go back inside Gracie Mansion.
The clip earned a mocking response from Cruz.
“Wait…at the start of this video…he has no mask. On a balcony. Outside. Clearly, DeBlasio [sic] wants to kill everyone,” the Texas Republican wrote.
Wait…at the start of this video…he has no mask. 😱😱
On a balcony. Outside.
Clearly, DeBlasio wants to kill everyone. https://t.co/xZyqjfyQCq
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) October 7, 2020
Several other Twitter users chimed in as well, some of them alluding to a tone-deafness about the video, given that the city continues to suffer economically due to de Blasio’s ongoing COVID-19 business closures and restrictions.
Bill de Blasio came outside to wear a mask to go back inside https://t.co/p5MrrBOmfX
— Sagnik Basu (@_sagnikbasu) October 7, 2020
Amazing. New York sounds fun. pic.twitter.com/uAzKh569tt
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) October 6, 2020
Earlier this week, de Blasio said he asked the state for permission to reimpose lockdowns in nine ZIP codes that included closing schools. The new restrictions, which affect around 500,000 people, went into effect Wednesday.
In addition to affecting large sections of New York City, surrounding regions in Rockland and Orange counties are also included in the new restrictions.
On Tuesday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo threatened to fine and close businesses that are caught operating in violation of the lockdown order.
“Local businesses that are in violation of the law will be fined and can be closed,” he said, “just like the bars and restaurants. If there are businesses that are violating the gathering rules, they can be fined and they will be closed.”
Local municipalities have until Friday to begin enforcing the new provisions.
“The new rules are most impactful on houses of worship. This virus is not coming from nonessential business,” said Cuomo. “This is about mass gatherings.
“If the infection rate increases we will be forced to close down,” he added. “This is déjà vu.”
The business and economic climate in New York City is dire, by any measure.
Last month, The New York Times reported that a number of the city’s biggest hotels had closed for good, with several more coming.
“The shutdowns were supposed to be temporary, but six months later, with no potential influx of visitors in sight, a wave of permanent closures has begun,” the paper reported. “Sinking under the weight of overdue mortgage payments and property taxes, some hotels have already shut down for good, and many others are struggling to survive.”
In all, around 25,000 hotel employees have been laid off and out of work for more than six months.
“The fall is really in New York the strongest season of the year for hotels,” Douglas Hercher, the managing director of Robert Douglas, an investment banking firm specializing in hotels, told the Times. “It kicks off with the United Nations General Assembly, conventions, the holidays, the Rockettes. That whole season is basically going to be a wipeout.”
So far, more than 6,000 businesses have closed — 4,000 permanently — with an accompanying 40-percent spike in bankruptcies with more coming, Bloomberg News reported late last month.
“By late fall, there will be an avalanche of bankruptcies,” Al Togut, a lawyer who handles insolvencies for small and large companies, told the outlet. “When the cold weather comes, that’s when we’ll start to see a surge in bankruptcies in New York City.”
Partnership for New York City, a business group, said that up to one-third of the city’s 230,000 businesses could shutter due to ongoing pandemic-related shutdowns.
Critics have, once again, begun asking the question they asked as cities and states began shutting down in March as the virus spread: What is the metric for complete reopening?
“We can’t keep the numbers at zero cases for reopening anything. Our only option to get to zero cases is to shut down indefinitely; no one can abide that,” New York Post op-ed writer Karol Markowicz noted Monday.
“The point of locking down was supposed to be to ‘flatten the curve,’ to allow hospitals to get a handle on upticks. We did that. Months ago. What’s the point of locking down now?” Markowicz added.
She also pointed out that a rise in COVID-19 “cases” doesn’t necessarily create a corresponding increase in symptomatic illness and death.
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