New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) told CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer on Thursday he has banned all large gatherings and events through September to help prevent the spread of the Wuhan coronavirus but left the door open for Black Lives Matter protests to continue.
De Blasio said, "we don’t need big events any time soon" because the city "had a lot of success" in bringing down the number of COVID-19 cases in the city.
"It’s all about health and safety first. This is obviously the thing President Trump doesn’t understand. We don’t just decree we want things to happen regards of the human impact. We look at the science, the data. The data is telling us, it is not time for large gatherings. Just like we said we would not have indoor dining in New York City, because we saw the really painful reality in Texas and Florida and other places. You’ve got to be smart," de Blasio said.
"What about protests, people want to march on 5th avenue. Are they going to be allowed to do so?" Blitzer asked.
"Wolf, this is always an area of sensitivity. If we were just talking about health, hey, folks, stay home if you can. We understand at this moment in history, people are talking about the need for historic changes. I mean, today in New York City, recognizing the power and meeting of the message Black Lives Matter, which we did in front of Trump Tower, this is a historic moment of change," de Blasio explained. "We have to respect that but also say to people the kinds of gatherings we’re used to, the parades, the fairs, we just can’t have that while we’re focusing on health right now."
Blitzer then followed up by asking if people are going to be able to attend the U.S. Open.
"People will be able to watch on TV and we’ll keep the tradition going. The same with the Yankees, the Mets, we’re not going to have crowds in the stands, but baseball will be coming back an tennis will be coming back," de Blasio said.