NYC mayor eats at same restaurant as Ebola patient to calm city's fears

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio ate lunch at The Meatball Shop in Manhattan's Greenwich Village Saturday, four days after Ebola patient Dr. Craig Spencer reportedly dined there and one day after the restaurant temporarily closed for a Health Department inspection.

New York City Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett, who joined de Blasio and his wife, Chirlane McCray, for the meal, shared a photo on Twitter.

In a subsequent tweet, Bassett said the Meatball Shop's owner, Daniel Holzman, told her there was a line down the block when it reopened for business Friday night, adding that it was his "proudest day as a New Yorker."

As news of Spencer's case -- and the activities he partook in during the days leading up to his diagnosis -- spread through New York City, authorities have gone out of their way to ensure residents that the establishments he visited before he tested positive for Ebola are safe to patronize.

In addition to his meal at The Meatball Shop, de Blasio went out of his way to take the subway on Friday, as did New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who last week announced the transit system would be subject to random Ebola drills.

Spencer rode the A, 1 and L trains Wednesday evening before experiencing a fever and diarrhea the next morning, sparking unfounded fears that other MTA passengers risked contracting the virus. Ebola can only be spread through direct contact with the bodily fluids of a patient presently exhibiting symptoms, and officials maintain Spencer showed no signs of the disease until Thursday.

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