New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo dismissed Mayor Bill de Blasio’s decision announcement that New York City schools would remain closed for the rest of the school year.
Cuomo and de Blasio are at odds over who has the authority to decide when New York City’s schools should open. De Blasio announced Saturday morning that the schools will remain closed until June before Cuomo knocked down any such claim.
“It is my legal authority,” Cuomo said when asked about de Blasio’s decision during a press conference Saturday. “That’s his opinion, but he didn’t close them and he can’t open them.” The decision is a coordinated effort, the Democratic governor added.
How long the schools are closed depends on input from many different officials, Cuomo noted.
De Blasio’s office responded on Twitter. (RELATED: FLASHBACK To March 3: De Blasio Asks New Yorkers To Ignore Coronavirus, Get On With Their Lives)
“The Governor’s reaction to us keeping schools closed is reminiscent of how he reacted when the Mayor called for a shelter in place,” Freddi Goldstein, de Blasio’s press secretary, tweeted Saturday.
He added: “We were right then and we’re right now. Schools will remain closed, just like how we eventually – days later – moved to a shelter in place model.” De Blasio and other New York City officials were criticized recently for downplaying the severity of the coronavirus.
De Blasio’s office and New York City Health Commissioner Oxiris Barbot took turns telling citizens in those months that the virus was not as widespread as people thought. Data now show that the city is becoming the epicenter for the coronavirus, which has killed more than 7,000 New Yorkers.
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