Despite the fact that he issued an order for the constituents of his state as far back as April that anyone over the age of two must cover their nose and mouth with a mask or cloth face-covering in public and maintain social distance, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo apparently has other rules for himself; he recently traveled to Georgia, where he hugged Savannah Mayor Van Johnson and stood close to him without wearing a mask.
The two men also elbow-bumped without masks on at the end of the briefing, triggering criticism. Johnson confessed the elbow-bump at a press conference on Tuesday, although he did not mention the hug. He stated:
We messed up. I mean, yeah, we messed up. I mean, no big deal, in this case. We, if you noticed, and for those of you who were there, if you noticed, for those of you who were there, this was a socially distanced event. Everyone sat six feet away from each other and for the duration of the event, everyone wore a mask. When I was speaking, I took my mask off. When I was not speaking. I put the mask on.
When it was over, I stood up to make my presentation to the governor, and in the moment, gave out presentations. Then he gave a presentation. And then the infamous bump occurred without me realising that my mask was on the table and where he didn’t realize his mask was on the table. Um, so we’re human. We made a mistake, and I mean, I think now, for people who want to take the significance of that entire day, the significance of this massive donation, the significance of this wonderful friendship and partnership and want to delineate (sic) it to a picture, I think they need other stuff to do.
“Cuomo, a Democrat, also declined to self-quarantine after returning to New York, despite his emergency orders dictating quarantine protocols for many New York residents who have traveled to Georgia and other states,” Just The News reported.
The April order from Cuomo stated: “Effective at 8 p.m. on Friday, April 17, 2020 any individual who is over age two and able to medically tolerate a face-covering shall be required to cover their nose and mouth with a mask or cloth face-covering when in a public place and unable to maintain, or when not maintaining, social distance.”
On June 30, Cuomo issued an order that specifically mentioned Georgia as it stated that individuals who came from certain states must be quarantined for 14 days. The order stated:
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that eight additional states meet the metrics to qualify for the travel advisory requiring individuals who have traveled to New York from those states, all of which have significant community spread, to quarantine for 14 days. The newly-added states are California, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada and Tennessee. The quarantine applies to any person arriving from a state with a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents over a 7-day rolling average or a state with a 10% or higher positivity rate over a 7-day rolling average.
Prior to Cuomo’s trip to Georgia, syracuse.com reported, “When asked, Cuomo said he won’t quarantine for 14 days once he returns to New York. Georgia is on New York’s quarantine list, but Cuomo said he’s exempt as an essential worker.”