On March 1, the first case of the coronavirus was announced in New York City. At the time, more than 80,000 people worldwide had confirmed cases of the virus, and President Trump had issued travel warnings against South Korea and Italy. However, de Blasio wasn't as concerned.
"Since I’m encouraging New Yorkers to go on with your lives + get out on the town despite Coronavirus, I thought I would offer some suggestions," de Blasio tweeted on March 2. "Here’s the first: thru Thurs 3/5 go see The Traitor [at Lincoln Center]. If The Wire was a true story + set in Italy, it would be this film."
As of Wednesday morning, New York had more than 25,000 confirmed cases and 210 related deaths from the virus. Many Twitter users condemned de Blasio for his nonchalance at the beginning of the outbreak.
The mayor of New York was encouraging people to out and party 3 weeks ago—when ten Italian municipalities were already on lock-down from Coronavirus https://t.co/yTRkIhCYV9— Avi Asher-Schapiro (@AASchapiro) March 25, 2020