NEW YORK - Mayor Bill de Blasio on Thursday dismissed as "bluster" Gov. Andrew Cuomo's threat to withhold funding from local governments and schools that fail to enforce coronavirus restrictions.
"I'm very used to bluster from Washington and from Albany," de Blasio said at a briefing with reporters. "I've heard a lot of it. I understand bluster when I see it. But here we have a job to do. The job is to protect New Yorkers."
On Wednesday, Cuomo threatened action against the five boroughs after again claiming that the city and other local governments battling coronavirus hot spots have not done enough to enforce social distancing requirements and restrictions on large gatherings.
De Blasio said the city has stepped up enforcement, arguing that on Wednesday officials issued 25 summonses after conducting 1,700 inspections. Over the last two weeks, the mayor said 16,000 inspections were made resulting in 288 summonses, including 11 for $15,000.
Cuomo said Thursday he thought his threat would result in more compliance.
"I believe compliance is going to increase," Cuomo said. "I don't believe these organizations want to lose funding."
De Blasio said he's seeing encouraging signs in COVID-19 hot spots and said that he'll know by Sunday whether "we're in striking range of pulling off the restrictions next week, or whether we need more time."
But Cuomo said it's too early to tell if things are moving in the right direction and gave no indication when restrictions might be lifted.
"It's a state regulation," Cuomo said. "The state will make that determination. It's not up to the city of New York. It's not up to the mayor."