We know the timing is awful, but it’s painfully clear that Mayor de Blasio needs to take a vacation, ASAP: He’s no use to anyone like this.
Every day brings fresh errors. On Monday, for example, he blithely insisted that homeless encampments are “very, very rare” — when in reality they’ve been metastasizing all across the city in recent months.
The same day, he suggested that indoor restaurant dining would surely begin sometime next year — inadvertently telling the hundreds of city eateries that can’t possibly last that long to abandon all hope.
Tuesday, he insisted restaurant dining is just for the well-off, “obviously a very optional activity, which some people do a lot who have the resources and others can’t do at all because they don’t have the resources.” It’s not optional for the workers, sir.
Oh, and he’s happy to wave good-bye to higher-income New Yorkers, insisting that those who don’t return post-pandemic will “be replaced by others who will bring a lot of creativity and talent.” He refuses to worry about the rapid erosion of the city’s tax base — though mass remote-work has shown so many they don’t need to live here.
De Blasio says his main focus now is school reopening — which looks like a rolling disaster of insanely last-minute changes.
One day, bare weeks before kids start, he suddenly tells principals they can access adjacent streets and parks for outdoor classes, an alert that should’ve gone out months ago to allow for rational planning. The next, he announces plans to inspect every classroom’s HVAC system — something that, again, should’ve begun over the summer.
Laughably, his press office insists, “The city’s plan for reopening schools is the strongest in the country and among the most rigorous in the world.” (De Blasio shares the president’s love of hyperbole.)
Don’t get us wrong: We’re still glad de Blasio is bent on school reopenings when so many large cities have given up. But we wish we had any confidence that he’ll pull it off.
Maybe the mayor is just overwhelmed, but perhaps he’s simply (and understandably) deeply exhausted from months of crisis. That’s why we urge him to take a week away from it all to refresh his reserves. First Deputy Mayor Dean Fuleihan can handle the work while Blas is out. Hey, he can’t do any worse.
And if that doesn’t up de Blasio’s game, maybe Gov. Cuomo can order his Park Slope gym to reopen for one special customer.
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