New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio wants his army of contact tracers to make sure that if New Yorkers have been in touch with a coronavirus positive person, they are notified so that they can commence quarantine, unless, of course, they may have contracted it at a protest.
De Blasio's administration, which is sending out contact tracers, has explicitly said that people are not to be asked if they have recently attended a protest. Avery Cohen, who is a spokesperson for the Mayor's Office, said that "No person will be asked proactively if they attended a protest."
De Blasio has been out to the protests, and has flouted the new norms he helped institute, including not socially distancing, and not wearing a mask.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has told people who are gathering outside bars and restaurants that are available for take out only that they need to break it up.
He made no such paternalistic threats to the throngs of protestors that had a white party outside the Brooklyn Museum this weekend.
Directives in the City have been so confusing that even New York City City Councilmen are confused by what is going on and what it expected.
New York City has been under lockdown orders since March, when New York Governor Andrew Cuomo entered the state into what he called a "pause." Since then, schools, retail establishments, bars, restaurants, night life, museums, galleries, movies, theatres, playgrounds, offices, and basically anything else you can think of have been closed down.
Both Cuomo and and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio have been adamant in their assertion that New Yorkers should stay inside, stay socially distanced, and flatten the curve. Unless they are protesting, in which case it's no problem.
The right to free speech and peaceful assembly is enshrined in our constitution, but it is not just for those whose cause governors and mayor feel is just.
That there continues to be fines and penalties for those who gather for reasons other than to protest on behalf of Black Lives Matter makes a mockery of our city and state officials.
If protests in the numbers of the tens of thousands are acceptable, there's no reason at all people shouldn't be able to gather in the tens and hundreds to hang out downtown and revel in the glorious springtime.
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