As Democratic leaders in New York imposed tougher restrictions to combat the coronavirus and urged people to follow them, it appears that a group of local Democratic powerbrokers did not understand the message.
At a birthday party last weekend for Carlo Scissura, president of the New York Building Conference, an influential trade organization, some leaders sipped drinks, rubbed their shoulders and rarely wore masks.
Pictures emerging this week from the event, which was held last Saturday in a private home in Brooklyn, according to an official familiar with the gathering, sparked shouts of hypocrisy, calls for resignations and, ultimately, a round of apologies on Friday.
“This is an especially difficult time and there are shortcomings that I regret,” Mr. Scissura said in a statement indicating that the party was not its idea. “I greatly appreciate my friends’ gesture to throw me a surprise party, but we must all follow strict protocols to be able to weather this pandemic.
Pictures from the party that was Published by the Daily NewsFrank Sidio, the former chairman of the Brooklyn Democratic Party, is shown talking closely to Ingrid Louis Martin, the Brooklyn County Vice President. Neither of them wore masks.
The ceremony was held as New York City was fighting a resurgence of the virus. governor. Andrew M. Como has it Limited gatherings in homes for 10 peopleMayor Bill de Blasio closed public schools this week and is urging New Yorkers to avoid family visits to celebrate Thanksgiving.
“This party was useless and offensive to all New Yorkers,” Mr. de Blasio’s spokesman Mitch Schwartz said in a statement on Friday. “Everyone should apologize and then match their words with action. The city council expects them to start holding virtual Thanksgiving celebrations next week.”
The timing was especially embarrassing for Mrs. Louis Martin, who is the deputy to Eric Adams, the Brooklyn borough mayor who announced his campaign for mayor this week. Mr. Adams, a Democrat, appeared in a video that showed him wearing a mask and greeting New Yorkers with a blow to the elbow.
Mrs. Louis Martin, longtime advisor to Mr. Adams since his days in the Senate, said in a statement that all New Yorkers should wear masks and follow public health guidelines.
“I apologize for my lapse in complying with the precautions for Covid-19,” she said. “As a public figure in Brooklyn, I know it is my responsibility to lead by example.”
Mr. Adams said in a statement that I accepted Mrs. Louis Martin’s apology. “We are all human beings and have gaps in judgment; what is important is that we are aware of when we make mistakes and place ourselves on the high level of vigilance necessary to prevent the spread of this terrible virus.
At the party last weekend, guests were provided with masks and each person’s temperature was measured and the event was mainly being held outside, according to a person who attended the party.
But many New Yorkers were horrified by the lack of caution in the photos. James Bachett, president of the Economic Development Corporation for the City headed by Mr. de Blasio, has called on party officials to step down.
“This is embarrassing.” He wrote on Twitter. Every one of these people must resign.
Joseph Borrelli, a Republican city councilor from Staten Island, said Democrats are acting hypocritical after they criticized him for earlier saying he would hold a major family gathering on Thanksgiving. He referred to Gavin Newsom the Democratic Governor of California who I apologize for attending a lavish dinner Without a mask, as another example.
He said, “Many of the panicked Covid providers are actually members of the ‘Good for you, not me’ group.”
Sidio gave two reviews to the Daily News from that night; The party’s attendance was estimated to be about twelve times, and surprisingly, the number of times the gas was fired was four times. He did not respond to a request for comment.
Sidio’s successor as leader of the Brooklyn Democratic Party, Rodneys Picot, issued a statement through a spokesperson: “We encourage everyone during this period to adhere to safety measures such as social distancing and wearing a mask.”
Some New Yorkers were concerned about the restrictions on gatherings. During Mr. de Blasio’s weekly appearance on Friday’s WNYC radio station, a caller asked the mayor if the shutdown was “just because you want to ruin Thanksgiving and Christmas.”
Mr. de Blasio said he was disappointed that he would not see his relatives this Thanksgiving Day, but said the restrictions were necessary to save lives.
He said, “We have to keep people alive so that they can celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas in the future.”