Mayor Bill de Blasio says he was too busy to brief the City Hall press corps amid a coronavirus state of emergency Wednesday, after another pitch to Gov. Andrew Cuomo to enact a shelter-in-place order fell flat.
Hizzoner delayed, then ultimately scrapped a planned conference call to reporters with a mayoral spokeswoman claiming that de Blasio’s schedule was simply too packed for him to address the media at large as the number of city contagion cases skyrocketed to 1,871.
“Just lots of meetings and calls today pushed everything back super late,” rep Freddi Goldstein said. “Trying to put one on for the morning tomorrow [Thursday].”
But while de Blasio didn’t have enough time for the collective press corps which he’s addressed every day since March 7, he made room for spots with three specific outlets late Wednesday, appearing on media.
De Blasio’s sudden selective shyness was “unrelated,” Goldstein said, to a Wednesday afternoon phone call in which the mayor again pitched a city shelter-in-place order to a strongly disinclined Cuomo.
“It was a very good conversation,” de Blasio told media of the call with Cuomo. “The governor understandably is trying to think about … the impact of any decision on the whole state.
“I’m certain he feels a lot of urgency too.”
The mayor first proposed the drastic step to effectively shut down all non-essential travel within the five boroughs on Tuesday, but he was swiftly shut down by Cuomo, whose approval would be required. Following the call on Wednesday, Cuomo telegraphed no willingness to sign off on a crippling shelter-in-place order.
“I am not in favor of quarantining a city,” he said. “I am not in favor of imprisoning people. I am not going to imprison anywhere individual mobility and liberty. It’s the cornerstone of who we are.”