Mayor Bill de Blasio lashed out at Hasidic residents of Williamsburg, Brooklyn late Tuesday night after personally overseeing the dispersal of a crowd of hundreds of mourners who had gathered for the funeral of a rabbi who died of the coronavirus.
In a series of tweets, Mayor de Blasio denounced the gathering, which the NYPD broke up, and warned “the Jewish community, and all communities” that any violation of the social-distancing guidelines in place to stop the spread of the virus could lead to a summons or an arrest.
“Something absolutely unacceptable happened in Williamsburg tonite: a large funeral gathering in the middle of this pandemic,”the mayor said in one post. “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.”
"We have lost so many these last two months + I understand the instinct to gather to mourn" the Mayor continued. "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."
The authorities have dispersed several well-attended religious gatherings since restrictions on such events were enacted in the face of the outbreak. The events that were broken up included weddings and funerals in New York neighborhoods with large Jewish populations.