New York City Mayor: ‘We Have to Go to a Shelter in Place’

March 20, 2020 Updated: March 20, 2020

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on Friday said the COVID-19 pandemic should prompt a “shelter in place” order, using the word “when” in describing the potential action.

“We have to go to a shelter in place,” de Blasio said during an appearance on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

“I think when this order is given, people will get it, people will honor it,” he added.

A shelter in place order means people need to stay at home unless they’re leaving for an essential purpose, such as going to work in a business that provides essential services or obtaining groceries. California Gov. Gavin Newsom gave such an order for the entire state late Thursday.

New York Police Department officers will be used to enforce such an order, if it’s given for the city, according to de Blasio. But the officers would primarily focus on giving “warnings” and “reminders,” he said.

De Blasio also urged people to stay inside except for essential trips and said any businesses providing non-essential services should cease operations immediately, the mayor said.

Epoch Times Photo
An empty 5th avenue is seen following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in New York City on, March 18, 2020. (Jeenah Moon/Reuters)

De Blasio repeatedly said this week that the city was moving toward needing a shelter in place order. But the final authority for such a move rests with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who has repeatedly said he wouldn’t issue an order solely for the city.

“It can’t just be New York City. It would have to be Long Island, Rockland, Westchester, and the rest of the state,” Cuomo told reporters on Wednesday.

Cuomo has a press conference scheduled for 11 a.m.

De Blasio said he wants an order from the government, citing a move by San Francisco and nearby counties earlier this week.

“I think people are going to abide by this a lot more than is recognized,” he said, citing information he’s received from California officials.

“Californians are abiding by that because they understand … it’s about protecting themselves and their families.”

New York has the highest number of COVID-19 cases in the country. The disease is caused by the CCP virus, also known as the new coronavirus. The Epoch Times refers to the illness as the CCP virus because the Chinese Communist Party’s coverup and mishandling allowed the virus to spread throughout China and create a global pandemic.

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