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NYC Mayor Says It Wasn’t A Mistake to Tell People To Keep Dining Out in Mid-March

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Plus, Xi’an Famous Foods is now selling its crowd-favorite chili oil online — and more intel

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio tours local companies Crye Precision and Lafayette 148 NY that have teamed up to make thousands of protective hospital gowns to supply the city’s health care workers at their Brooklyn Navy Yard facilities
Mayor Bill de Blasio tours a local company that converted production facilities to make hospital gowns
Photo by BRYAN R. SMITH/AFP via Getty Images

NYC Mayor says that it wasn’t a mistake to tell people to keep dining out

Mayor Bill de Blasio doesn’t regret telling New Yorkers to keep eating out at bars and restaurants in mid-March, the New York Post reports.

During a radio interview on NPR’s Morning Edition this week, de Blasio said that his comments during a press conference on March 11 — in which the mayor told New Yorkers not to avoid restaurants if they weren’t sick — weren’t a mistake, despite research showing that the virus was already spreading quickly in the city by that time.

In response to a question on whether he would backtrack his earlier comments now, given what the public knows about the spread of COVID-19, de Blasio said, “No, because I said that literally about a day before they were all about to be shut down.”

On March 12, restaurants and bars were ordered to operate at half-capacity. The full shutdown followed a few days later, on March 16.

Earlier this week, Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, the former commissioner of the city’s health department and the former head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said that the new coronavirus’s death toll could have been cut by 50 to 80 percent if the city had put stricter social distancing guidelines in place just a week or two earlier.

According to NYC’s department of health, there have been 87,725 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 in the city, 21,571 hospitalizations from the virus, and 4,778 deaths as of Thursday, April 9, at 5 p.m.

In other news

— Small farms that provided the backbone for the industry’s farm-to-table movement are now struggling to sell their goods.

— Popular fast-casual noodle chain Xi’an Famous Foods is now selling its famous chili oil in packs of 10 for $30 apiece.

— In Brooklyn, the Brownsville Community Culinary Center partnered with on-site restaurant Collective Fare to deliver 700 meals on a daily basis to first-responders and the neighborhood’s most at-risk residents.

— New Yorker critic Hannah Goldfield praises delivery and takeout efforts from Jalsa Grill & Gravy, located in Brooklyn’s Little Pakistan.

— Ask before you donate 1,000 pizzas to a hospital, and more practical tips on how to help during the pandemic.

— Food bank City Harvest is setting up a new distribution center in an old supermarket space in the East Village.

Paris Baguette is selling three limited-edition Easter cakes for the weekend, available for pick-up at all locations.

— Love to see the public service:

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