De Blasio, Shea debate best NYC beach ahead of Memorial Day weekend

It’s the battle of the beaches.

Mayor Bill de Blasio and Police Commissioner Dermot Shea made waves Friday when they debated which beach is the best in the Big Apple — just before the start of the Memorial Day weekend.

The mayor, a longtime Brooklynite, said he’ll always favor Coney Island Beach.

“It’s an ocean beach, it’s a beautiful beach, let alone the amusements and everything else,” Hizzoner said at his City Hall press briefing.

Shea said he begs to differ.

“I love the Cyclone, I certainly love Brooklyn… but there is no comparison,” the top cop said. “The number one beach is clearly Rockaway Beach.”

“We’re having a little borough pride showing here,” Hizzoner replied. “So I appreciate you being a proud son of Queens and I will continue to assert the superiority of Coney Island.”

But both beaches — and others in the city — will be missing some of their charm this weekend as beach bums won’t be allowed in the water.

The Parks Department will take the lead in enforcing that rule, though the NYPD will step in if necessary, the mayor said.

A total of 150 Parks personnel will be on hand at the city’s beaches over the weekend, and hundreds of NYPD cops will be present.

“You’ll see a number of uniformed police officers both at the beaches as well as parks,” Shea said. “But they’re going to be out there as stewards. The last thing we want to be at this stressful time for the city resorting to summonses.”

During a Thursday press conference, Brian Conroy, assistant chief of the NYPD’s Patrol Borough Brooklyn South, laid out guidelines stating that surfing will be permitted at the city’s beaches but swimming will not.

Neither de Blasio nor Shea mentioned those regulations Friday.

Beaches open ahead of Memorial Day weekend in New YorkBeaches open ahead of Memorial Day weekend in New Yorknews/metroBeaches open ahead of Memorial Day weekend in New York

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De Blasio says he’s never been tested for coronavirus despite hospital visits

Mayor Bill de Blasio revealed Wednesday that he has never been tested for coronavirus, despite making regular visits to hospitals across the city amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“No, I haven’t been tested this whole time,” de Blasio said during his daily press briefing when asked by a reporter whether or not he’s been tested for the deadly bug.

The mayor added, “Certainly from the perspective of City Hall, there isn’t a regular testing program,” and “there’s not a regular testing protocol.”

De Blasio noted that precautions are taken and at City Hall, from where he gives his daily press conferences via conference call, there has been a “skeleton staff” conducting work.

“There has not been a need for testing on any greater level,” said de Blasio.

In recent weeks, Hizzoner, along with his wife First Lady Chirlane McCray, has made several visits to city hospitals to thank medical staff.

Meanwhile, the Big Apple’s latest daily coronavirus indicators show that the city “still has a ways to go” in its war against COVID-19, de Blasio said Wednesday.

“We’ve got a mixed bag today,” the mayor said of the city statistics, which have a two-day reporting lag. “I want to see us get to consistent progress and this is another reminder we still have a ways to go.”

Patients in intensive care units for suspected coronavirus throughout the city’s public hospital system went up from 550 on Sunday to 561 on Monday, while the amount of people admitted to Big Apple hospitals also jumped from 51 on Sunday on to 78 on Monday, according to the city data.

“Seventy-eight is a hell of a lot better than where we were a few weeks ago, but we need to see that number go down and stay down,” de Blasio said.

The “good news” from the statistics, said the mayor, is that the percentage of people tested citywide who are positive for COVID-19 ticked down from 14 percent on Sunday to 13 percent on Monday.

“Overall trends continue good, results not what we’re looking for,” de Blasio said.

During the press briefing, de Blasio touted the $500 billion federal coronavirus stimulus package proposed by the House of Representatives and called on Congress to pass the bill.

The stimulus package, which de Blasio noted would provide $17 billion in aid to New York City and $34 billion to New York State, “will be the game-changer we need.”

“What we have needed is a clear commitment from the federal government for a massive stimulus plan that would put us back on our feet and make us strong for the future,” he said.

De Blasio also called on President Trump to “ensure” that the bill gets passed.

“The person who can make all the difference to ensure this plan gets through is obvious — the president of the United States,” de Blasio said, adding, “Mr. President we’re looking to you, your hometown is looking to you. We need you.”

“We know we cannot get back on our feet without that stimulus,” said de Blasio.

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NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio orders cops to ARREST Orthodox Jews who flout virus distancing rules after huge public funerals – The Sun

MAYOR Bill de Blasio has instructed the NYPD to arrest people who are found gathering in groups in the COVID-19 epicenter, after police had to break up a large funeral gathering on Tuesday.

De Blasio warned New Yorkers of a 'zero tolerance' measure after members of the Orthodox Jewish community gathered for a funeral in Williamsburg in New York City amid the coronavirus pandemic.



"I have instructed the NYPD to proceed immediately to summons or even arrest those who gather in large groups. This is about stopping this disease and saving lives. Period," de Blasio tweeted Tuesday night.

The New York City Mayor said in a series of tweets that he's ordered the NYPD to start arresting people who do not heed social distancing guidelines throughout the city.

His warning came after members of the Jewish community allegedly met for a large funeral gathering of a Rabbi Chaim Mertz, who died from coronavirus, as reported by the The Hill.

De Blasio himself was on the scene as the NYPD broke up the gathering.

"Something absolutely unacceptable happened in Williamsburg tonite: a large funeral gathering in the middle of this pandemic," de Blasio first tweeted.




"When I heard, I went there myself to ensure the crowd was dispersed. And what I saw WILL NOT be tolerated so long as we are fighting the Coronavirus," he added.

New York City remains the nation's coronavirus epicenter, with over 295,000 of the nation's more than one million confirmed cases of COVID-19.

Nearly 23,000 New Yorkers have died of the virus – accounting for more than a third of the nation's total virus deaths.

In another tweet, de Blasio said that people will no longer receive warnings – and that action will be taken if they are found violating orders.

"My message to the Jewish community, and all communities, is this simple: the time for warnings has passed," he tweeted.

He added in a separate tweet: "We have lost so many these last two months + I understand the instinct to gather to mourn.

"But large gatherings will only lead to more deaths + more families in mourning.



"We will not allow this. I have instructed the NYPD to have one standard for this whole city: zero tolerance."

Some slammed DeBlasio's response, questioning if he would have criticized other religious groups in the same way.

Others noted how people who gathered to watch the Blue Angels flyover earlier in the day were not met with the same criticism.

"The Blue Angels flyover in NY City today was beautiful, but I didn't see any outrage over the lack of social distancing," Joel Petlin, superintendent of the Kiryas Joel School District in a Hasidic Jewish community in New York tweeted.

"That reaction is reserved for Jewish weddings & funerals. Two wrongs don't make a right, but only one wrong makes the news and the condemnation of politicians," he added.

De Blasio's orders came the day after New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that he will extend coronavirus lockdowns in parts of New York past May 15.


“We want to un-PAUSE," Cuomo told reporters at a news conference on Monday.

"May 15 is when the PAUSE regulations expire statewide."

"I will extend them in many parts of the state. But in some parts of the state, some regions, you can make the case that we should un-PAUSE on May 15," he added.

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De Blasio: NYC ‘far from out of woods’ as coronavirus hospital numbers rise

The Big Apple is “far from out of the woods” in its battle against the coronavirus, Mayor Bill de Blasio warned Thursday, as he announced a jump in both intensive care unit admissions and hospitalizations.

People in ICUs throughout the city’s 11 hospitals climbed from 868 on Monday to 887 on Tuesday, while the number of COVID-19 infected people hospitalized increased from 370 to 386 in that same 24-hour span, the mayor said in a conference call with reporters.

“We should never underestimate this disease,” de Blasio said, adding that the numbers, “tell us we got a lot more work to do.”

The percentage of people tested who are positive for coronavirus also went up citywide, from 53 percent on Monday to 55 percent on Tuesday.

“These indicators tell us a tough truth some days about the fact that it won’t be easy,” the mayor said, adding, “This was a tough day.”

“This is not what we’re looking for, but we know we’re gonna’ do this stage by stage, step by step and it just reminds us that we have to stick to it,” de Blasio said.

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De Blasio gets testy over Prospect Park jaunts during coronavirus

Mayor de Blasio insisted that even during the coronavirus pandemic he opts to exercise in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park — 12 miles from Gracie Mansion — in order to remain an effective leader.

“I go get my exercise like everyone else,” the mayor said on NY1’s “Inside City Hall.”

“I go to my home neighborhood. It’s part of what helps me just continue to work nonstop,” he said. “I’m on conference calls pretty much the whole time.”

Hizzoner was responding to a question from a viewer about why he’s driven to Brooklyn for a walk in the park when his Upper East Side home abuts acres of waterfront parkland.

De Blasio has been spotted — and called out on social media — for his recent strolls inside Prospect Park with First Lady Chirlane McCray.

The mayor’s favorite gym, the Park Slope YMCA, temporarily closed in March, along with all other state gyms, to help stem the tide of the virus.

On Monday night, he shrugged off the criticism, and defended his inter-borough trips.

“This is just something that we shouldn’t focus on. There’s much better things to talk about,” he said.

City parks have remained open during the coronavirus outbreak, though components of them — such as playgrounds and dog runs — have been shut down. Parkgoers are expected to maintain social distancing, or else risk a hefty $1,000 fine.

De Blasio, in trying to rationalize his long-distance strolls, said, “My situation is particular and I am here serving people … and I’m just doing something I think will help me to be the most effective.”

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