New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio was accused again of COVID hypocrisy, this time for dancing with his wife in a nearly empty Times Square after warning residents against gathering there for the annual New Year’s Eve celebration.
Republicans and others blasted the Democratic mayor for ringing in the new year Thursday by dancing with his wife, Chirlane McCray, to “New York, New York,” despite having told New Yorkers to stay home instead of descending on Times Square for the ball drop.
“Take note America: It’s ok for New York City’s Democrat Mayor Bill de Blasio to dance in Times Square to celebrate the New Year, but it’s not safe for you,” Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel tweeted Saturday.
The mayor’s account tweeted a video clip of the dance after it was aired on television by the broadcast networks, which attended the ball drop along with a limited number of celebrities, VIPs and about 40 frontline workers.
Meghan McCain of ABC’s “The View” called it “the most tone deaf thing I have ever seen a Mayor do,” while Fox News meteorologist Janice Dean, whose parents-in-law both died of the coronavirus, tweeted “Celebrations in Times Square for me, but not for thee!”
“Democrats make the rules. Expect you to follow them. Then break the rules themselves. It never fails,” tweeted Rep. Jim Jordan, Ohio Republican.
Mr. de Blasio was apparently oblivious to the optics: He tweeted a photo of himself and his wife dancing with the message, “Happy New Year, New York City!”
Beforehand, he had warned New Yorkers to stay home and not “believe any doubting Thomases that say that because there’s not a million people or more in Times Square that it’s not going to be special.”
“It’s going to be actually arguably the most special, the most poignant, the most moving,” Mr. de Blasio said at a press conference. “Everyone watch on television, don’t go down there, watch from home.”
Mr. de Blasio has been criticized for flouting the very COVID-19 rules that he himself has imposed, most recently by breaking social-distancing protocols to pose for celebratory selfies after the Nov. 3 election. He was wearing a mask.
“In 2020, people like Bill DeBlasio killed your small business and locked you inside your home,” tweeted Ohio state Sen. Michael Rulli, a Republican. “In 2021, they’re dancing in the streets closed off to the public, open ONLY for the politicians, Hollywood celebrities, and the media. They don’t care about you and they never have!”