This week, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo told owners of restaurants they should be “happy” for his ban on indoor dining, while only last week he admitted that his own contact-tracing data revealed just 1.43 percent of state cases were linked to bars and restaurants.
Cuomo stated during a press conference this week:
Let’s focus on what the real issues that we should be concerned about and where we are really. I’ve all sorts of people who are concerned, “Well, you went down to 25% indoor dining; you canceled indoor dining; you’re requesting more testing for people in salons, lower capacity in gyms.” Yes to all of them. That is not the real problem, that is not what you should worry about.
What you should worry about is shutdown because if we do not change the trajectory, we could very well be headed to shutdown and shutdown is something to worry about. That is really something to worry about because all these businesses close, we go back to where we were. All non-essential businesses close, they go to zero. So yes, we’re trying to change the trajectory, “Well, I’m upset that you’re trying to change the trajectory.”
You should be happy because if we don’t change the trajectory, we’re going to go to shut down and then your business is going to close. And that, my friends, is a real problem. Worry about that because that is a real worry.
Yet last week, Cuomo trumpeted his government’s own data, saying at a press conference:
This is probably the most informative data. Where are the new cases coming from, right? You want to know what’s generating the new cases, so you know where you can stop them. The troubling information in this, is 74% of the new cases are coming from household gatherings, living room spread. n many ways, you can understand what happened.
You close bars, you close restaurants, you close theaters, you close stadiums, you close mass gatherings, where do people go? They go home, come to my house, they’ll go over to Robert’s house. We’ll invite our friends. We’ll invite our family. Compound that by the holiday season, which is a natural come to my house, my family, my friends, I know we’ll be safe. That is what is driving these numbers.
He added, “Education employees, restaurants and bars, 1.4%. But you’re now down to small numbers, basically, right?”
In reference to his shutdown on indoor dining at restaurants, which was implemented this week, Cuomo said last week, “Indoor dining, which many people have spoken about, it is a generator. We have made strides on indoor dining, by the restrictions we put in place and the safety protocols we put in place. It is still an issue, but it’s much better than it was.”
The New York Post wrote in an op-ed:
He seems to have it in for the city, banning indoor dining only here, though it has the second-lowest case and hospitalization rates in the state. … But then, there’s no point trying to make sense of his imperious pronouncements. … Instead of trying to help the thousands of people he’s putting out of work, the author of “American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic” is helping only himself: He’s hosting a celebrity-studded virtual birthday and holiday reception Thursday night, with tickets from $1,000 to $10,000, with the proceeds going into his political coffers. Apparently, that’s what leadership looks like these days.