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#De Blasio now urging protesters to stay home due to coronavirus

De Blasio now urging protesters to stay home due to coronavirus

June 3, 2020 | 12:14pm

Mayor Bill de Blasio is now urging New Yorkers to stay home and continue to practice social distancing over coronavirus fears, despite days of thousands taking to city streets to protest the Minneapolis police killing of George Floyd.

“I want people to stay home to the maximum extent possible,” de Blasio, who has previously welcomed the mass peaceful protests, said during his daily City Hall press briefing Wednesday.

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De Blasio said he wants Big Apple residents to “get back to” social distancing “because it has been working and we need it to beat back this disease.”

The comments come after thousands have flooded city streets daily for nearly a week in protest over the death of Floyd — a black man who died on May 25 when a white cop knelt on his neck — and as the Big Apple readies to enter Phase One of reopening from its coronavirus-induced shutdown.

“We all now need to turn our attention to the hugely important moment coming this Monday, June 8, where we take Phase One of the restart,” de Blasio said, adding, “the single most important thing happening in New York City is the battle against the coronavirus.

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“Right after that is restarting our city helping people get their livelihoods back,” he said. “Their No. 1 concern, overwhelmingly, was their economic reality…Their number two concern was the health and safety of their families.”

De Blasio continued, “We need to get back to that focus.”

Meanwhile, for the past three nights, looters and vandals turned devolved parts of the city into chaos following the demonstrations, but de Blasio insisted Wednesday what unfolded Tuesday night was nowhere near on the unruly level of the previous night when looters struck Midtown and parts of The Bronx, leaving slews of storefronts in ruins.

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“Overwhelmingly, it was a very different reality in New York City last night,” de Blasio said, explaining, “We took a step forward.”

“We saw a very different picture around New York City last night,” the mayor said, noting, “We still have more work to do.”

Bill de Blasio
Bill de BlasioWilliam Farrington

Hizzoner said the city saw “peaceful protests during the day — yeah some tense moments undoubtedly, but overwhelming some peaceful protests.”

“We saw a few instances where some people decided to do something illegal or violent around the protests but that was rare,” said de Blasio.

Areas in Midtown and The Bronx hit by looters on Monday night “did not see that kind of activity in any meaningful number last night.”

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De Blasio, who implemented an 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. citywide curfew for Tuesday through Sunday, chalked up the progress to a “series of strategies” and a “different adjustment” taken by the NYPD.

“Those strategies, I think, by and large, were effective,” de Blasio said.

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