NYC Mayor de Blasio fires back as Cuomo threatens to shut down Manhattan

“We don’t believe imprisoning people or taking away their livelihood is the answer,” an NYC City Hall spokeswoman said on behalf of the mayor.

By Aaron Sull, World Israel News

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio fired back at Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Sunday, accusing him of “imprisoning people” if the governor follows through with his veiled threat to shut down Manhattan and the Hamptons.

“We must balance safety with people’s need to reopen their businesses,” a New York City Hall spokeswoman said on behalf of de Blasio.“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,” she added.

Earlier on Sunday, Cuomo subtly threatened to shut down Manhattan and the Hamptons after videos and photos surfaced showing large crowds of unmasked party goers ignoring social-distancing regulations around St. Marks Place in Manhattan on Friday.

“Manhattan and the Hamptons are the leading areas in the state with violations,” Cuomo told reporters during a press conference in Albany. “I am not going to allow situations to exist that we know have a high likelihood of causing an increase in the spread of the virus.”

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“Local governments are not monitoring policing, doing the compliance, yes, there is a very real possibility that we would roll back the reopening of those areas,” he said.

Cuomo also vowed he won’t let NYC go back to that “dark place,” referring to the time when nearly 800 people died in one day from the coronavirus.

Shortly after the scene at St. Mark’s Place, famous for its restaurants, retail shops, and nightlife,  the governor tweeted, “Don’t make me come down there.”

Following a decrease in coronavirus infections, the city moved into phase one of a four-phase reopening on Monday. As part of phase one, retail stores are allowed to have in-store pickup and nonessential workers in manufacturing and construction can go back to work.