News & Politics

De Blasio Staff Up in Arms Over His Halting Response to the Pandemic

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

The New York Post is reporting that senior staff for Mayor Bill de Blasio are in “near revolt” over his response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Indeed, de Blasio has waxed and waned between strong action and doing nothing. New York City teachers wanted de Blasio’s head for keeping schools open as long as he did. It wasn’t until the teachers threatened a “sick out” that de Blasio finally relented and closed the classrooms.

Staffers also believe the mayor has put them at risk unnecessarily.

When Mayor de Blasio dragged aides and members of his NYPD security detail to his Brooklyn YMCA Monday morning amidst the coronavirus outbreak, fellow fitness enthusiasts were coughing and sneezing — and a mentally ill person was walking around touching the equipment, a gym source said.

“It’s crazy that he made his staff and detail come with him to the gym and expose them like that,” the source said.

But the incident is just one example of the mayor’s disregard for the health of his staff during the crisis, multiple sources told The Post.

The mayor has been behind the crisis curve from the get-go.

There’s also growing frustration from senior aides, who fault the mayor for dithering instead of making decisions, micromanaging instead of leading, and insisting he knows best instead of listening to others, three sources said.

‘Thank god for Cuomo,’ is a common refrain among the mayor’s staff, made only partly in jest, sources.

Cuomo has done most of the heavy lifting as far as the response in New York is concerned. At times, de Blasio seems almost like a bystander. He’s too busy micromanaging the crisis to get much done.

But instead of the big picture, the head of the City that Never Sleeps has insisted on proofing all public materials about the city’s COVID-19 response from press releases to ad campaigns, one source said.

“Instead of micromanaging his team he should be leading right now,” the source said.

Perhaps most tellingly — and dangerously — de Blasio refuses advice from everyone:

“He can’t handle the word ‘No,’ and it runs people down,” the source said.

“He is dismissive of everyone’s opinion around him,” added a second source.

“It’s very much his way or the highway in moments of crisis and he thinks he knows best,” the second source noted.

Cuomo has endured de Blasio’s mismanagement stoically. He mildly criticized him for jumping the gun on the shelter-in-place order — the governor wanted a statewide policy first. But otherwise, Cuomo has gone about this business, going over the mayor’s head on occasion but largely leaving him alone.

I’ve worked for bosses like de Blasio and you dread getting up in the morning to go to work. If the city wasn’t in a dire crisis, there’s little doubt at least some of his aides would have resigned already.