by WorldTribune Staff, September 30, 2020
Legions of mask mandate enforcers are being deployed by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.
The Democrat mayor announced on Tuesday that the city will use the patrols as part of its effort to “aggressively” enforce mask mandates and fine those who refuse to wear a face covering.
“Anyone who is not wearing a face covering will be offered one, will be reminded it is required, and anyone who refuses to wear a face covering will be told that if they don’t put one on they will be fined, and anyone who still refuses will be fined,” de Blasio said.
In a report on the mask patrols, COLlive posted photos showing NYPD officers in the Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn issuing tickets to people who were not wearing masks on Tuesday evening.
“Our goal of course is to give everyone a free face mask and get them to wear it. We don’t want to fine people. If we have to, we will. And that will be starting on a large scale today,” de Blasio said on Tuesday.
The mayor said hundreds of additional city agency personnel will be handing out masks, encouraging testing, and “pushing back against misinformation.”
The mayor also warned that if the virus situation continues to deteriorate the city will prohibit all gatherings that are not “very small” and businesses that are deemed “nonessential” will have to close again.
Whatever fines are collected from de Blasio’s mask patrols will not make much of a dent in the $9 billion financial deficit the city has fallen into as a result of coronavirus lockdown orders, critics say.
Even the leftist New York Times admitted that covid is “pushing New York into a financial abyss.” The city “will face an extended financial crisis, the likes of which has not been seen since the 1970s,” a Sept. 28 NY Times report said.
Bloomberg reports that 6,000 New York City businesses have closed and bankruptcies are up 40 percent.
“Yet Cuomo and de Blasio focus solely on holding down COVID cases,” the New York Post noted in a Sept. 29 editorial. “They think they can let the economy die and their own finances flounder (the city faces a $9 billion hole; the state, $14.5 billion) — and then just blame President Trump for not saving them. Indeed, both are now hinting of new restrictions.”
The Post added: “Everyone’s hoping for a vaccine to solve everything. But until one proves safe and effective, people need to work, and the government needs to balance its books. If the Times can see that, even the politicians should be able to recognize it.”
As New York continues to add coronavirus rules and restrictions, other leaders across the country are loosening restrictions.
Last week, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, lifted key restrictions statewide, allowing businesses, such as restaurants and bars, to operate at full capacity. Additionally, DeSantis suspended all mask-related fines imposed by local governments.
“Just as an act of executive grace, all outstanding fines and penalties that have been applied against individuals are suspended,” DeSantis said. “I think we need to get away from trying to penalize people for not social distancing and work with people constructively.”