De Blasio accused Trump on March 15 of “playing catch-up” with the virus. However, two days earlier he told New Yorkers to “go about your lives” as normal. That same week he told a radio host that asymptomatic carriers can’t transmit the disease, refused to cancel the city’s St. Patrick’s Day parade until convinced to, and personally told a woman returning from Italy not to self-isolate. So exhaustive is the list of his missteps that New York Magazine described the week as “the worst stretch of the mayor’s six-year tenure.”
“It has been just a constant struggle to get the mayor to take action,” one City Council member told the magazine.
With a record as patchy as his own, it’s no wonder de Blasio has seized the opportunity to attack Trump on cable TV. Better to swing wildly than absorb punches at home.
Squandered opportunities and clueless leadership can be found at all levels of government. Hours before de Blasio finally ordered public schools closed on March 15, the management at one school in the Bronx warned staff that they could be fired for telling students to stay at home, even after a member of staff tested positive for the deadly virus, the New York Post reported on Saturday. The New York City Department of Education is currently under investigation for forcing several schools in the city to remain open, including one in Brooklyn where five teachers tested positive.