City Council Speaker Corey Johnson on Tuesday called for the Big Apple to immediately adopt a shelter-in-place edict similar to the one in San Francisco, calling Mayor Bill de Blasio’s response to the coronavirus pandemic slow.
“Ultimately, I think we need do what San Francisco has done,” Johnson told WYNC radio. “We need to tell people to stay in their homes except if it for essential things, like food and prescription drugs — or if you are an essential employee, someone who is running our subway system, someone who is a healthcare worker, someone who is a firefighter.
“I really think we need to order people to stay in their home,” he added. “Social distancing measures I think were enacted too slowly.”
Johnson’s remarks came hours after de Blasio told CNN he is considering an order similar one in place in the Bay Area that prevents people from leaving their homes except for necessities for the next three weeks.
The speaker, however, criticized the administration for already waiting too long to shut down schools, bars and other sites which draw large groups of people.
“I think we should have moved faster,” he also said. “Time is really an enemy in a global pandemic — especially when you are in a hot spot, an outbreak spot, which is what New York City is right now.”
Johnson, a presumptive 2021 mayoral candidate, was asked by host Brian Lehrer and listeners to provide input on just how isolated New Yorkers should be.
He said visiting pharmacies and grocery stores is okay, but New Yorkers shouldn’t be having dinner parties.
He also said parents should avoid using nannies, unless the parent is in the health care profession and needs a nanny to care for a child while they work.
When asked if he felt it’s okay to “walk in the park,” Johnson said, “I really don’t think people should be leaving their home. We need to tell people to stay home.”
However, he later clarified that statement, saying “fresh air is important” and that “some people have dogs, but we need to smart about this.”
Comptroller Scott Stringer, another likely 2021 mayoral candidate, tweeted Tuesday “the Mayor is right to consider a shelter-in-place order for New York City.”
“Across the globe, shelter-in-place is proving to be among the most effective strategies to #FlattenTheCurve and combat the spread of #COVID19—and we know aggressive action is called for right now,” he said.
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