NY Mayor Bill de Blasio on Wednesday apologized to the Jewish community after being accused of singling-out of Jews for condemnation for failing to fully observe social distancing rules, following a funeral yesterday in Williamsburg.
"I spoke last night out of passion," the mayor said of his Twitter comments about the incident. "I could not believe my eyes, it was deeply deeply distressing."
"I regret if the way I said it in any way gave people the feeling that they were being treated the wrong way.
"It was said with love, but it was tough love," de Blasio said, asserting that "Members of the Jewish community were putting each other in danger and putting our police officers in danger."
De Blasio had been stark in his condemnation of what he claimed was "unacceptable behavior, writing, "My message to the Jewish community, and all communities, is this simple: the time for warnings has passed."
"I have instructed the NYPD to proceed immediately to summons or even arrest those who gather in large groups. This is about stopping this disease and saving lives. Period.
"We have lost so many these last two months + I understand the instinct to gather to mourn. But large gatherings will only lead to more deaths + more families in mourning. We will not allow this. I have instructed the NYPD to have one standard for this whole city: zero tolerance."
In a previous tweet the same day, de Blasio had written: "Something absolutely unacceptable happened in Williamsburg tonight: a large funeral gathering in the middle of this pandemic. When I heard, I went there myself to ensure the crowd was dispersed. And what I saw WILL NOT be tolerated so long as we are fighting the coronavirus."