Friday, August 28, 2020

Mayor de Blasio Uses 1.1 Million Children as Guinea Pigs

Sometimes you see something so unbelievable that you have to check it twice to make sure you saw it right. When I saw a headline declaring indoor dining would depend on how school reopening goes, I had to look twice. This is remarkable from a mayor whose watchwords have been "equity and excellence."

But in Bill de Blasio's New York, some people get more equity than others. Who are those people exactly? Well, those would be the people who patronize Broadway, for example. I mean, you can't just have some couple that paid 1600 bucks to see Hamilton come down with COVID. That would be unthinkable.

“As more and more people come back to work, as schools begin, you know, we’ll get to see a lot about what our long-term health picture looks like, and that’s going to help inform our decisions going forward,” said de Blasio referring to the administration’s wait and watch approach on making a decision on indoor dining.

And it very much appears Bill de Blasio doesn't think it's safe for well-heeled New Yorkers to venture into restaurants and spend their money. Odd, then, that he has no issue whatsoever with having schoolchildren sit in classrooms and eat lunch. Oh, and just in case the risk of COVID isn't enough, de Blasio wants them to do tedious busy work while fretting over whether the students six feet away from them are contagious.

There are a lot of conclusions you could draw about a leader who distinguishes between public school children and people who can afford to eat in restaurants. Maybe he feels public schools are less risky than restaurants. After all, schools aren't cleaned as often or as throroughly as restaurants, particularly since de Blasio, for years, has failed to replace departing custodial employees. Hmmm...that doesn't really make things better at all. In fact, it's probably less risky in a restaurant, since a restaurant has to really make sure paying customers are comfortable enough to return.

Students and school staff, on the other hand, are more or less captive customers. It's not like they can walk across the street to another school, or go home whenever the mood suits them. So there has to be another reason. What could it be?

Hey, do you remember how Broadway closed before public schools did? Do you remember how Bill de Blasio fought tooth and nail to keep public schools open even after that happened? Doesn't that mean, clearly, that Bill de Blasio thought the health of people paying to see Broadway shows was more important than the health of people attending public schools?

Given that we now have a precedent, couldn't things be exactly the same right now? Maybe equity and excellence, in Bill de Blasio's New York City, are only for people who can afford it. Some people get more equity than others. You know, people like Bill de Blasio. That's strange, isn't it? That's the kind of thinking you expect from someone like Donald Trump, who gets up and announces he wants to protect health care even as he's in court trying to gut it.

Puzzling thought that may be, it also explains why Bill de Blasio flatly refuses to test all incoming public school students and staff. They're not paying customers at restaurants, and they're not theatergoers. Let's dump them all in filthy, neglected school buildings, see how many of them get sick, die, or both, and use that to decide whether or not New York City is a safe place to go indoors and eat.

Hey, I'm open to alternate interpretations. Feel free to offer them in the comments. Meanwhile, if you're wondering exactly why the United Federation of Teachers will go out on strike for the safety of our community, wonder no more. The actions of this mayor show a flagrant disregard for our health and safety, the health and safety of our fanilies, and the health and safety of our community.

De Blasio needs to either protect the public school community, or get a job better suited to his talents. Maybe de Blasio should go work in a restaurant. 

If he doesn't get sick, maybe we can open a few more.

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