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On CNN, Mayor Walsh says ‘a lot of people were disappointing’ by playing golf, soccer on Sunday

Boston Mayor Marty WalshBlake Nissen for the Boston Globe

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh appeared on “CNN Tonight” with Don Lemon Sunday night to talk about how city officials are managing the coronavirus pandemic as Massachusetts emerges as a virus hot spot.

Walsh told Lemon that “a lot of people were disappointing” in the way they took advantage of Sunday’s sunny, 60-degree weather.

“There were people out golfing,” he said. “There were people playing soccer. There were people gathering — I think, right now — not understanding the severity of what’s happening here in this country and in Boston, in Massachusetts. It’s just wrong.”

He took the opportunity to encourage CNN viewers to continue being responsible about coming into contact with others.


“Social distancing is the key,” he told Lemon. “You stop coronavirus by social distancing. That’s the only way it’s going to happen.”

Walsh had also deployed several trucks fitted with sound equipment to Hyde Park, Mattapan, Dorchester, East Boston, Roxbury, and Roslindale on Sunday — the neighborhoods with the highest rates of illness from coronavirus. The trucks played a message telling people to wash their hands and stay inside in seven languages.

When asked on CNN about recent data showing that a large number of the city’s homeless population has tested positive for the virus, Walsh said the city is fortunate to have a strong network for its homeless community. Half of the city’s 1,000 beds in the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center field hospital will go to homeless people who are ill.

Officials must now pivot from focusing on cases in nursing homes and among the city’s homeless population, and learn more about how the virus is spreading among other Bostonians, he said. Further testing is key.

“The president [said] today that we’re going to have more swabs than we know what to do with,” he said. “Certainly we could use some of them here in Boston and Massachusetts.”