New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Monday that New York, Connecticut, and New Jersey agreed to close all theaters, gyms, restaurants, and bars beginning at 8 p.m. Monday in an effort to slow the spread of coronavirus.
But that did not stop New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio from hitting the gym.
The far-left mayor, who is known to exercise daily before heading to city hall, was spotted Monday morning at the Park Slope, Brooklyn, YMCA.
Mayor de Blasio is indeed here at the Park Slope YMCA this morning. Passers by have commented negatively. One calle… https://t.co/PTq081aUJk— andrew kaczynski (@andrew kaczynski) 1584370743.0
In a statement, the mayor's office said de Blasio hit the gym "one last time" to keep him "grounded" — behavior that health officials warn will further spread COVID-19.
The statement read:
The YMCA has been a huge part of [de Blasio's] and his family's life, like it has been for a lot of New Yorkers. It's clear that's about to change and before that, the mayor wanted to visit a place that keeps him grounded one last time. That doesn't change the fact that he is working around the clock to ensure the safety of New Yorkers. After today, gyms will close and he will no longer be visiting the YMCA for the foreseeable future.
In response, numerous former city hall staffers spoke to the New York Post and slammed de Blasio.
"Every New Yorker's regular routine has been put on hold. His should be, too. Get to work. Set an example. This is embarrassing," one former employee said.
"He went to the f***ing gym? Jesus!" another exclaimed.
"If we're supposed to be social distancing, then what does that even mean if he gets to play by his own rules? Leaders are supposed to set by example. What kind of example does this set?" another former city hall staffer told the Post. "Also, why is he at the gym and not hunkered down 24/7 working on this? It's a pandemic, and people are dying. Stunning."
"How many people have to die before he stops getting chauffeured to the gym is my question. What's the appropriate number of deaths before he finds it uncouth," the former staffer added.
Meanwhile, Rebecca Katz, one of de Blasio's former top aides, condemned his actions as "reckless" and "inexcusable."
No current or former staff member should be asked to defend this. The Mayor’s actions today are inexcusable and r… https://t.co/7BHLffl6jO— Rebecca Katz (@Rebecca Katz) 1584374016.0
The mayor was similarly condemned on social media.
"Lead by example, dolt," CNN host S.E. Cupp said.
"Okay, the 'people hate DeBlasio because of his weird gym habits' thing now makes sense," liberal commentator Matthew Yglesias said.