On Sunday, CNN's Jake Tapper put New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) on blast for telling New Yorkers not to worry about the Wuhan coronavirus. Tapper played four separate clips of de Blasio encouraging New Yorkers to go about their daily lives, even as recently as March 13th, less than two weeks ago.
"In retrospect, is that message, at least in part, to blame for how rapidly the virus has spread across the city?" Tapper asked.
De Blasio instantly deflected.
"You know, Jake, we should not be focusing, in my view, on anything looking back, on any level of government right now," the mayor explained. "This is just about how we save lives going forward. We are all working – everybody – is working with the information we had and trying, of course, to avoid panic.
According to de Blasio, every aspect of the government is working to protect American lives while ensuring that the economy is still functioning so people can put food on the table and a roof over their head.
"This was a very different world just a short time ago but the bottom line is none of us had time to look backwards," he said. "I'm trying to figure out how we get through to Sunday, next Sunday, and then what we do the week after that. And that's the only thing we should be talking about in this country."
Of course de Blasio doesn't want to talk about past actions. That means he would have to take some sort of responsibility for encouraging New Yorkers to continue on with their day-to-day lives. It also means he would have to take responsibility for failing to adequately reorder necessary personal protective equipment (PPE) and ventilators.
De Blasio wants to reflect back on previous responses and moves when it comes to President Trump's actions but not when those reflections include his failed leadership.
De Blasio on his falsely reassuring New Yorkers they shouldn’t worry about Coronavirus: “We should not be focusing, in my view, on anything looking back … none of us have time to look backwards." pic.twitter.com/gvbPKFYqJB— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) March 29, 2020