New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio threatened to shut down churches and synagogues permanently if they violated the state’s stay-at-home orders.
"A small number of religious communities, specific churches and specific synagogues are unfortunately not paying attention to this guidance even though it’s so widespread," the mayor said Friday.
"I want to say to all those who are preparing for the potential of religious services this weekend: If you go to your synagogue, if you go to your church and attempt to hold services after having been told so often not to, our enforcement agents will have no choice but to shut down those services," he added.
Non-compliance could also bring additional action, including fines and “potentially closing the building permanently.”
De Blasio: churches and synagogues that hold worship services may be closed permanently pic.twitter.com/kdUsdbP2YO— Matthew Schmitz (@matthewschmitz) March 29, 2020
Social media users had a variety of reactions to the mayor's statement, from wondering why he didn't mention mosques to reminding him about a little thing called the U.S. Constitution, and also bringing up how irresponsible he was in encouraging New Yorkers to continue to go on with their lives despite coronavirus.
Never forget pic.twitter.com/YXjNLTtwtl— Jesse Manginelli (@jessect6) March 29, 2020
Churches and synagogues closed permanently, but criminals with felony convictions are being let out of jail, crazy!— KMM (@RedStatedad) March 29, 2020
Why did he mention churches and synagogues but not mention mosques?— Wuhan China Virus Survivor (@RWReagan1) March 30, 2020
President Trump announced Sunday that social distancing guidelines would continue through April 30, meaning churches would be closed for Easter, the most important religious holiday of the year.