Democratic New York City mayor Bill de Blasio danced with his wife in Times Square to ring in the new year after shutting the area down for the public.
Times Square, which typically hosts tens of thousands of people on New Years eve to watch the ball drop, was quiet at the end of 2020. Police officers barricaded the area in an attempt to prevent large crowds due to COVID-19 and only de Blasio plus a few invited guests, including some health care workers, were allowed.
As Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York” played throughout the nearly empty Times Square, de Blasio and his wife danced. Many took issue with the dance, which was posted by the mayors office on Twitter, calling it tone-deaf and a double standard.
— NYC Mayor’s Office (@NYCMayorsOffice) January 1, 2021
De Blasio’s dance comes as many New York City restaurants are struggling due to an indoor dining ban implemented in December. This, too, was pointed out by Twitter users angry at the optics. (RELATED: NYC’s Oldest Restaurant Survived The American Revolution And A Bombing. Its Owner Says Cuomo’s COVID Restrictions Could Be Its Downfall)
“It’s going to be actually, arguably, the most special, the most poignant, the most moving New Year’s Eve,” de Blasio previously said of the decision to close down Times Square according to Reuters. “In 2021, we’re going to show people what it looks like to recover, to come back.”