New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on Tuesday apologized to the Haredi community in Brooklyn and Queens during a City Hall virtual press conference, and said: “I certainly got very frustrated at times when I saw large groups of people still out without masks, but I think more dialogue would have been better so I certainly want to express my regret that I didn’t figure out how to do that better.”
De Blasio was responding to a question from the Jewish Insider’s Jacob Kornbluh, and said he had met with Haredi leaders on Monday night, in pursuit of a “positive reset” of his relationship with their community. They told him that his treatment of their community during the pandemic had been “painful” and “confusing,” and they felt they were being singled out by him, even while others were defying the health guidelines.
“I look back now and understand there was just more dialogue that was needed,” de Blasio said during the press conference, adding, “That one night in Williamsburg I let my frustration and concern get away with me and I should have been more careful in my language and I’ve expressed my apology for that before. The No. 1 takeaway from the meeting is more dialogue. More communication is the way forward.”