New Yorkers ignored the social-distance regulations on Monday to watch the US Navy hospital ship, USNS pull-up on the west side of Manhattan.
NYPD stood by watching as hundreds of people stood shoulder to shoulder, taking pictures of USNS Comfort as it pulled into Pier 90. Some of the onlookers waved the American flag from a distance while others seemed to forget about the social distancing order and huddle against one another at the fence of the pier.
After members of the City Hall press tweeted about the gathering at the pier, the office of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s directed NYPD to disperse the crowd.⠀⠀⠀
City Hall spokesperson Freddi Goldstein said, “The pictures made me realize it was happening, I had no choice but to report it.” Goldstein added. ”This is a new reality for all of us, and we’re all adjusting. The mayor and the police commissioner are in regular contact to make sure our officers understand what we ask of them.”
The NYPD warned the crowds about violating social distancing, but did not issue any tickets, a high-ranking police source said, according to the NY Post.
De Blasio told New Yorkers that violators of the social distancing order from city officials would face $500 fines.
”The goal here is just to get people to comply for their safety and everyone’s safety,” de Blasio said on NY1 Monday morning.
The floating hospital was dispatched to New York to aid the city’s hospitals as coronavirus continues to dominate the Empire State.
More than 1,000 people in New York have died from the virus, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday from the Javits Center, the Manhattan convention center that is now being used as a field hospital.
Cuomo welcomed the USNS Comfort in a tweet; writing its arrival “will be remembered.”
“The hospital capacity we add now will save lives. God bless New York,” he said.
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