But mayors have complicated jobs! It’s true that the heads of other major American cities faced similar challenges and virtually all rose to the task, keeping the number of dead down everywhere but here. Cook County, Illinois, home to Chicago, has reported 1,347 deaths to date. Los Angeles has reported 1,000. King County, Washington, home to Seattle, reported 429. San Francisco reported 23. You might think, even after accounting for all other variables—New York’s high density, say—that the catastrophe visited on New York City wasn’t simply the work of the coronavirus but a man-made disaster, in fact one man’s self-made disaster. But you’d be mistaken. He isn’t the problem at all. The problem is this small and already-targeted minority, trust me.
What? What’s that? This doesn’t make any sense?
Of course it doesn’t. Stop twisting yourselves into pretzels of befuddlement and shocked-shocked confusion about the mayor’s actions. If it walks like a worse-than-useless bigot and talks like a worse-than-useless bigot and tweets like a worse-than-useless bigot, I’ve got news for you: It’s not the effective and tolerant mayor of a great city. De Blasio might’ve been capitalizing on the behavior of a few Hasidic Jews when he railed against “the Jewish community” at large, but anti-Semitism doesn’t differentiate between those in long beards and black hats and Jews who are clean shaven and bare headed. In singling out the Jews for spreading the virus, the mayor was targeting all of us, making us all less safe.