NYC Mayor De Blasio Blasts Trump's 'Dangerous' Decision To Re-Open Churches
Mayor says 'it is not time to restart large gatherings'
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio took aim at President Donald Trump after he urged state officials to reopen churches and places of worship during the coronavirus pandemic, calling it "dangerous."
“With all due respect to the president, the president left the impression on Friday that any and all religious services should start again,” de Blasio said Tuesday.
“I’m saying very clearly that is dangerous," he said.
"It is not time to restart large gatherings of any kind even though we deeply, deeply value faith,” he added.
De Blasio claimed the consensus among faith leaders in New York City was "every person of faith would love nothing more but to resume the services that are so important to them."
New York currently limits all social gatherings, including places of worship.
Trump reiterated prior statements that churches are "essential places" and should be able to reopen.
Since the coronavirus pandemic, many churches, mosques, and synagogues have moved to online or drive-in congregations.
Trump vowed to challenge any governor who doesn't lift bans on church gatherings.
“I’ll override any governor that wants to play games,” Trump said.
“We have many different ways to override them.”
But de Blasio claimed faith leaders understand that "this is not the time."
"The idea of people coming back together, full services, large numbers of people congregating... It's not that time. That would endanger everyone, and we have to be smart," de Blasio said.
"We're really making progress when it comes to this disease. But it is not time for large gatherings. It is not time to take the risk of going in the wrong direction.
"So I want to thank all our partners, our faith leaders."
"We're going to keep communicating constantly. We're going to look for every opportunity to support your efforts to restart [the] right way."
"But I want to thank our faith leadership for their clear resolve that we will do things all in the right time."
De Blasio: I’ll Construct Fences At Beaches To Keep Americans Out; Gets Torched— Neon Nettle (@NeonNettle) May 20, 2020
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In March, de Blasio threatened to permanently ban churches from operating if they break the government's social distance rules.
Last month, de Blasio sent a tweet out singling out the “Jewish community” by threatening arrests for failing to follow social distancing guidelines.
The mayor faced backlash almost immediately after his tweet over accusations of unfairly targeting the Jewish community.
Democrat De Blasio tweeted:
“My message to the Jewish community, and all communities, is this simple: the time for warnings has passed."