New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on Monday held a conference call with Orthodox Jewish media outlets.
During the conversation, reported the Jewish Insider, de Blasio said that he is not planning to delete the controversial tweet related to the Jewish community which he posted last week, arguing that doing so would turn the saga into “a new story”.
He added, however, that he is open to discussing what to do and expressed his regrets on the wording of the tweet.
De Blasio last week caused an uproar when he addressed the entire Jewish community and wrote on Twitter that “the time for warnings has passed” following a large funeral gathering in Williamsburg.
“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,” he added.
A representative for the Orthodox Jewish community later said that the city knew about the funeral and that as many as five police precincts were involved in putting up barricades to accommodate it.
De Blasio was condemned for the remarks, with critics pointing out that various ethnic groups have blatantly violated the city’s social distancing guidelines, but none have been singled out and named by the mayor the way the Jewish community was.
The Mayor later apologized to the Jewish community and said, “I regret if the way I said it in any way gave people the feeling that they were being treated the wrong way.”
“It was said with love, but it was tough love,” de Blasio added. He also said, “Members of the Jewish community were putting each other in danger and putting our police officers in danger.”