Democratic New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio blew off criticism from CNN’s Jake Tapper on his own response to the coronavirus outbreak.
De Blasio, who joined Tapper on Sunday’s “State of the Union,” waved off concerns about his own early statements to New Yorkers — encouraging them to continue with their normal activities amid the threat of coronavirus — and said that there was nothing to be gained in looking backward. (RELATED: ‘Lead By Example!’: Meghan McCain Rips Into De Blasio For Gym Outing Amid Coronavirus Fears)
After showing several clips of de Blasio telling New Yorkers to continue with their daily activities, Tapper turned the question on the sitting mayor.
“The last clip was from March 13th, just about two weeks ago. In retrospect, is that message, at least in part, to blame for how rapidly the virus has spread across the city?” Tapper pressed.
“Jake, we should not be focusing, in my view, on anything looking back on any level of government right now. This is just about how we save lives going forward,” de Blasio claimed. “We all were working, everybody was working with the information we had and trying of course to avoid panic. And at that point, for all of us, trying to keep — not only protect lives but keep the economy and the livelihoods together, keep ensuring people had money to pay for food and medicine. This was a very different world just a short time ago. But the bottom line is, none of us have time to look backwards.”
De Blasio went on to say that his immediate concern was to make sure that New York could get access to the necessary supplies, equipment and personnel to manage the spread of the virus.
“Mr. Mayor, you say you don’t think you should look backwards, but you’ve criticized President Trump for, quote, actions that are far, far behind the curve,” Tapper pressed again. “I mean, Mr. Mayor, weren’t your actions in this outbreak also far, far behind the curve?”
“There’s no time to go back over that,” de Blasio protested, saying again that there was no time to look backward. “There’s only time to focus on getting through the next week and the week after that. You could ask all the questions you want. They’re fair. But I think the time to deal with these questions is after this war is over, because literally here in New York City, it feels like a wartime environment.”