De Blasio Threatens To Permanently Close Churches Ignoring Social Distancing Rules
New York Mayor threatens ban on churches in city
New York City mayor Bill de Blasio has threatened to permanently ban churches from operating if they break the government's social distance rules which aim to slow the outbreak of the coronavirus.
“So, I want to say to all those who are preparing the potential of religious services this weekend – if you go to your synagogue, if you go to your church and attempt to hold services after having been told so often not to, our enforcement agents will have no choice but to shut down those services,” de Blasio said.
“I don’t say that with any joy. It’s the last thing I would like to do because I understand how important people’s faiths are to them, and we need our faiths in this time of crisis, but we do not need gatherings that will endanger people," he added.
“No faith tradition endorses anything that endangers the members of that faith,” de Blasio maintained.
“So, the NYPD, Fire Department, Buildings Department, and everyone has been instructed that if they see worship services going on, they will go to the officials of that congregation, they’ll inform them they need to stop the services and disperse.”
“If that does not happen, they will take additional action up to the point of fines and potentially closing the building permanently,” de Blasio continued.
“Again, that will begin this weekend. Again, I’m sorry I have to tell you this, but anyone who’s hearing this, take it seriously," the mayor added.
"You’ve been warned; you need to stop services, help people practice their faith in different ways, but not in groups, not in gatherings that could endanger people.”
De Blasio: churches and synagogues that hold worship services may be closed permanently pic.twitter.com/kdUsdbP2YO— Matthew Schmitz (@matthewschmitz) March 29, 2020
WATCH: Cuomo Admits Stockpile of Ventilators that Have Not Been Distributed to Hospitals Yet— Neon Nettle (@NeonNettle) March 28, 2020
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The mayor's comments come days after he claimed the NYPD does not need help despite an increasing number of officers falling sick from the coronavirus.
De Blasio said:
“In terms of needing any outside help, we are nowhere near that."
“The last conversation I had with the commissioner, he was confident… and plan B was very, very straightforward, about how to utilize people differently, and we got a lot of people to work,” he added.
As Neon Nettle reported, the city's police force announced over 200 of its employees tested positive for the Chinese virus, according to a police commissioner.
Commissioner Dermot Shea said that 211 NYPD members tested positive for the coronavirus; these included 177 uniformed officers and 34 civilian employees, according to WCBS.