An Orthodox Jewish funeral that gathered thousands of tightly packed mourners Tuesday drew the ire of New York City mayor Bill De Blasio. In a Twitter tirade, de Blasio said he had instructed the New York City Police Department to arrest anyone who attended a large gathering. “Something absolutely unacceptable happened in Williamsburg tonite: a large funeral gathering in the middle of this pandemic… 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.” The mayor, who tweeted that he “went there myself to ensure the crowd was dispersed,” later said he wasn’t singling the Jewish community out after Hasidic leaders blasted his message. The coronavirus pandemic has hit New York City’s Orthodox Jewish community, in part because many have continued to attend packed events like weddings and funerals.
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