NYC Health Committee Chair Says Mass Graves In Parks Could Happen — 30 Days Ago He Told New Yorkers To Party In Chinatown

(Photo by BRYAN R. SMITH/AFP via Getty Images)

Virginia Kruta Associate Editor
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New York City Council Health Committee Chairman Mark Levine tweeted Monday that temporary mass interment could be necessary if the death rate did not slow.

Levine tweeted as part of a lengthy thread on what might be coming, “Soon we’ll start ‘temporary interment.’ This likely will be done by using a NYC park for burials (yes you read that right). Trenches will be dug for 10 caskets in a line. It will be done in a dignified, orderly–and temporary–manner. But it will be tough for NYers to take.”

Levine later qualified his comment, saying that it had been meant only as a contingency plan rather than a likely occurrence. “This tweet has gotten a lot of attention. So I want to clarify: the is a contingency NYC is preparing for BUT if the death rate drops enough it will not be necessary,” he explained

Just short of 30 days earlier, Levine had encouraged New Yorkers to attend Lunar New Year celebrations in Chinatown. (RELATED: Sunny Hostin Says ‘People Are Dying’ Because Of Trump’s Press Conferences: ‘Listen At Your Own Peril’)

“In powerful show of defiance of #coronavirus scare, huge crowds gathering in NYC’s Chinatown for ceremony ahead of annual #LunarNewYear parade. Chants of ‘be strong Wuhan!'” Levine tweeted February 9. “If you are staying away, you are missing out!”

Levine’s tweet came 20 days after the first U.S. case was reported in Washington and ten days after the World Health Organization declared the novel coronavirus to be a global public health emergency.