Mayor Bill de Blasio doubled down on his controversial push to get New Yorkers to rat on their neighbors who are not social distancing — insisting it was needed in “wartime” with an invisible enemy.
“In war times, in a time when people’s lives are threatened … I’m sorry, this is not snitching, this is saving lives,” Hizzoner said of his “New Squeal” push for New Yorkers to snap photos of those gathering in public.
“You’ve got to do it,” he said, insisting it was the only way of “protecting your own family” and fellow Gothamites.
“When we were threatened with terrorism, no one doubted that it was right if you saw something to call it in immediately,” he said of suspicious behavior.
“This is just the same reality, we just have a different enemy — an enemy you can’t see, but an enemy that has taken so many lives,” he said.
“We need those photos. We need those locations so we can enforce right away.”
The mayor conceded that staying inside was only going to get harder with the arrival of gorgeous Springtime temperatures — but threatened to dole out $1,000 fines for those he failed to heed social distancing guidelines.
“If you don’t understand it yet, we’re gonna have to get tougher and tougher,” he said.
As of Sunday, the city had issued a total 244 summonses and fines of up to $1,000 thanks to “proactive enforcement efforts” — not including extra ones from the NYPD in response to 311 or 911 calls, a City Hall spokesperson told The Post.
On Saturday alone, the NYPD said it issued 60 summonses and made two arrests during patrols on restaurants, bars and supermarkets to ensure social distancing was being maintained, the force said.
De Blasio noted that the fines were a hefty blow for many in the middle of an economic crisis.