Bill de Blasio could be accused of failing to practice what his administration preaches.
The Democratic mayor of New York City was spotted at a Brooklyn gym on Monday morning, the New York Post reported.
De Blasio made the trip despite his own health department urging all New Yorkers to act as if they’d been exposed to coronavirus, the highly contagious disease that’s put the Big Apple in lockdown-mode.
Health officials have stressed the importance of “social distancing” and self-quarantine in slowing the spread of the potentially fatal illness.
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De Blasio himself has emphasized the gravity of the pandemic, urging New Yorkers to stay home if they are sick and to take steps to reduce overcrowding.
He declared a state of emergency to fight the coronavirus outbreak last Thursday, allowing him to use new powers as the number of confirmed cases rose to 95.
“The last 24 hours have been very, very sobering,” he told reporters at a news conference. “Literally yesterday morning feels like a long time ago.”
But some, including his own former aides, suggested the mayor has failed to lead by example.
“The Mayor’s actions today are inexcusable and reckless,” tweeted Rebecca Katz, a former special adviser to the mayor.
Jonathan Rosen, another ex-de Blasio aide, concurred.
Do as I say, not as I do.
— RadioTechTim (@MDCRT16) March 16, 2020
“She right. It’s pathetic. Self-involved. Inexcusable,” he tweeted on Monday.
De Blasio’s constituents were similarly unimpressed.
Among comments from New Yorkers walking by who saw his security detail. “Is the mayor really working out.” “He shouldn’t be here.” “What an idiot.”
— andrew kaczynski? (@KFILE) March 16, 2020
According to reporter Andrew Kaczynski, passersby who spotted the mayor’s security detail at the gym were aghast, and one called de Blasio an “idiot.”
New York leaders look to Trump for help
New York officials pleaded with the Trump administration on Monday to coordinate a national response to the coronavirus outbreak, saying patchwork measures enacted by state and local authorities were insufficient to confront a national emergency.
De Blasio and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, both Democrats, called for bold federal action involving the military and the Army Corps of Engineers.
The U.S. death toll from the outbreak rose to 65 over the weekend, prompting fears hospitals will soon be overrun similar to medical centers in Italy.
More than 30 states have closed schools and at least five states have shuttered bars. Other localities have shut down cinemas, theaters and concert venues.
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(Reuters contributed to this report.)