The owner of a restaurant in upstate New York blasted U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand for hypocrisy on the state’s COVID-19 mask mandate, after she entered the restaurant without a mask on.
John LaPosta, the owner and head chef of Innovo Kitchen, based in Latham, New York, made the comments in a post on the restaurant’s Instagram page Friday.
“The problem with NY politics in a nut shell,” LaPosta wrote. “My Senator blowing past my manager before she can even ask her to put a mask on. Walking right past a really big sign that says ‘masks required to enter’ The masks are a mandate from the Governor. As good citizens, agree or not, we must follow our leaders. Her guest is graciously wearing one. I guess Senator Gillibrand thinks that the Governor is wrong or she is special and above the rules.”
LaPosta tagged the CDC, as well as several local journalists and news outlets, at the end of the post. The post included video from a security camera showing Gillibrand walking into the restaurant without a mask on, while the guest, who is wearing a mask, follows her briefly before apparently stopping at the host desk to check in.
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In addition to the signs inside, the home page of Innovo Kitchen’s website has a section notifying customers that the statewide mask mandate was reinstated on December 13, 2021. “All staff must wear masks and all customers must wear masks anytime they are not seated,” the website reads.
Speaking to the New York Post, LaPosta knocked Gillibrand for her hypocrisy. “Gillibrand is part of the system that put the mask mandate in place,” he said. “She thinks she’s above the law.”
“It’s hypocritical to me. The arrogance is just breathtaking. Our politicians should be with us, not against us,” he added.
LaPosta also said that Gillibrand’s flouting of the mask rules will make it harder to enforce them in the future. “People will say, ‘If Gillibrand is not wearing a mask, why should I wear a mask,’” he said. He added that he believed Gillibrand owed his staff and apology.
Gillibrand issued a statement acknowledging her wrongdoing late Friday. “We all need to do our part to help stop the spread of Omicron and that means following state and local guidance,” Gillibrand said in a statement, via the New York Post. “That includes me and I will do better going forward.”
The Democratic Governor of New York reimposed the statewide mask mandate on December 10, as The Daily Wire reported. “Governor Kathy Hochul today announced masks will be required to be worn in all indoor public places unless businesses or venues implement a vaccine requirement,” the governor’s office said in a press release at the time.
The New York Post reported that failures by businesses to enforce the mandate would be punished by a fine of up to $1,000.
The order is expected to be “reassessed” Saturday, per the governor’s office. As of the publication of this article, there has been no decision made publicly available.