New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio warned New Yorkers on Friday that the city may shut down all public schools Monday and advised parents to have a contingency plan for child care and education through at least the end of November.
In spite of instituting harsh lockdown measures, and in spite of repeated virtue-signaling from de Blasio and Governor Andrew Cuomo that New York "follows the science," New York has continually struggled with coronavirus outcomes. New York has had the second highest coronavirus death rate in the country (behind only New Jersey, whose coronavirus restrictions have been even more strict), and bleating from Cuomo and de Blasio about the allegedly superior way that their state has "followed the science" relative to states led by Republican governors has not stopped the Empire State from facing a second wave of coronavirus cases.
In fact, it is exactly that second wave that has provided the impetus for de Blasio to argue that New York City should reinstitute measures — like school closings — that didn't prevent the second wave from occurring in the first place. According to de Blasio, since the infection rate in New York is approaching 3 percent, parents should prepare for schools to close on Monday.
"This is not something that any parent wants to have to deal with, but we should get ready," de Blasio said, according to the New York Post. The New York Daily News added that "Parents should have a plan for the rest of the month of November. I think that's the safe way to think about it, have an alternative plan beginning as early as Monday."
If the city does hit the 3 percent infection threshold, de Blasio stated, "There are options that will be available [for child care] if we get to that point." The Daily News noted that these options include "learning bridges programs, which provide free childcare for kids in grades 3k to the 8th grade" and would remain open as well as "children in pre-k and 3k programs run by community-based groups."
It was not immediately clear why any of those programs would be safer, from a public health standpoint, than schools.
The Daily News also noted that de Blasio has been criticized for maintaining that schools should be shut down if the city reaches a 3 percent infection threshold, even though "coronavirus cases in public schools themselves have remained relatively low."
De Blasio has seen his approval ratings plummet this year in New York City, as well as his ratings on his handling of the coronavirus pandemic.