New Yorkers are a resilient lot, weathering horrific traffic congestion, high taxes, and bad government for decades. But what’s happening to the city today is unprecedented: a public health emergency exacerbated by poor management and a policing crisis made worse by poor leadership.
In the end, it all lands at the feet of the city’s far-left mayor, Bill de Blasio.
Shootings in the city went up an astonishing 177 percent in July. What did Mayor de Blasio have to say about that?
Mayor Bill de Blasio on Monday, as he does nearly every day now, addressed the violence overnight. NYPD commanders are making adjustments to fight back against crime, he said.
“It’s a perfect storm,” he said. “We have people without jobs, without school, without anything, massive pent up frustrations.”
The “perfect storm” was created by de Blasio and his nonsensical response to the riots and the coronavirus pandemic. The public health commissioner resigned in disgust, citing de Blasio’s incompetent response to the outbreak in New York.
In an emailed resignation letter, Health Commissioner Oxiris Barbot said she quit with “deep disappointment that during the most critical public health crisis in our lifetime, that the Health Department’s incomparable disease control expertise was not used to the degree it could have been.”
“Our experts are world renowned for their epidemiology, surveillance and response work. The city would be well served by having them at the strategic center of the response not in the background,” Barbot wrote in an email first reported by The New York Times.
The consequences of de Blasio’s decision were catastrophic.
Nearly a quarter-million New York City residents have tested positive for the coronavirus, which began spreading widely through the city in March. At its peak in early April, more than 6,000 people were testing positive every day.
Almost 19,000 have died, a steeper toll than any single state in the nation.
De Blasio’s failure in the initial stages of the outbreak included his incomprehensible decisions to keep the subways running and the schools open. Unlike any other big-city mayor, de Blasio’s response was late and inadequate.
The people of New York City know where the blame lies.
“People are shooting up on the streets, drugs. Businesses are boarded up. A lot of people have compared that to the ‘80s. Is it fair?” Jones asked one man.
“It’s true, it’s very true,” came the answer. “It’s [like] before the [former mayor Rudy] Giuliani era. It’s starting to degrade back to that again.”
Another man claimed that de Blasio had taken New York City back to “pre-[mayor David] Dinkins days,” referring to Giuliani’s predecessor.
Another respondant, a woman, flatly told Jones, “I blame the mayor.”
De Blasio’s response to the George Floyd riots was, if anything, even more incompetent than his virus response.
The city’s two big moves to placate protesters after the death of George Floyd have been to cut $1 billion from the NYPD budget and to ban “chokeholds,” which turned out to mean banning a variety of arrest techniques including placing a knee on a suspect’s back. Cop leaders have pointedly explained that in the process of arresting someone, no one can predict exactly how it’s going to unfold. What if officer and suspect go down to the ground in a heap? Can anyone guarantee no officer’s knee will ever touch a suspect’s back? And any arrest might well be photographed by onlookers. The new law is so nonsensical that the district attorneys of both the Bronx and Staten Island have pushed back against it, saying cops obviously should not be charged with a crime for accidentally kneeling on someone’s back during a lawful arrest.
His constant criticism of police has set the entire department against him and driven hundreds into retirement.
No liberal big-city mayor has done well during these months of crisis. But Bill de Blasio stands out as perhaps the worst mayor in America. He is making his city unlivable by his actions — and inactions.