New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) continued his tragic series of pandemic missteps this week with a request that residents of the Big Apple turn each other in for violating social distancing guidelines. Hizzoner has remained under fire for nearly every move he's made since the Wuhan coronavirus crisis landed in the United States, greatly overshadowed by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D), who has been praised for his leadership in the hardest-hit state in the US.
The mayor of America's most populous city has clearly failed to gain the confidence of New Yorkers as their city is beset with economic devastation and disease. But rather than try to unify New York and lift the spirits of millions of people quarantined in their tiny apartments, his newest plan was to pit them against one another.
"How do you report places that aren’t enforcing social distancing? It’s simple: just snap a photo and text it to 311-692," the mayor cheerfully shared on Twitter with a short video.
Simple indeed, Bill. What the mayor didn't count on was that New Yorkers don't take kindly to snitches and they especially don't like being told to snitch on each other. Thusly, the tip line published by de Blasio was the recipient of thousands of less-than-serious claims of social distance violations full of caustic wit personal jabs aimed at the mayor.
Past mayoral foibles came back to haunt de Blasio as his harshest critics used the tip line as a way to mock him. News headlines and photos of de Blasio dropping the Staten Island groundhog, taking a trip to the YMCA after shuttering city gyms, and telling people to go out and see a movie in early March were all shared with the tip line as mayoral violations of conduct code and social distancing.
I just texted my report pic.twitter.com/46POdNc9Pb— Cameron Gray (@Cameron_Gray) April 18, 2020
I snapped this photo to show who isn't social distancing. pic.twitter.com/OR9Guhfssl— MediumRoast (@downforthejava) April 18, 2020
De Blasio's tip line was also widely compared to Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union where, upon fear of death and torture, oppressed citizens were expected to rat each other out on a regular basis.
Comrade citizen! Report all suspected anti-distancing activities to friendly New York Ministry of Social Cleanliness! pic.twitter.com/1RiSehqakS— David Burge (@iowahawkblog) April 18, 2020
Other images showed people holding up their middle fingers and other obscene gestures. The New York Police Department, which was designated to respond to the citizens' violation-reporting texts, told the New York Post that the multitude of submissions required a lot of filtering. One police source said that photos of male genitalia and reports of the mayor performing lewd acts were also sent into the tip line.
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