Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s threat to shut Gotham back down is garbage, and he knows it. How can he, or Mayor Bill de Blasio, justify penalizing anyone for drinking or dining in the streets, when they all but cheer people protesting?
“We have received 25,000 complaints of reopening violations,” Cuomo tweeted on Sunday, mainly from Manhattan and the Hamptons.
“Lots of violations of social distancing, parties in the street, restaurants and bars ignoring laws.”
“Enforce the law or there will be state action,” the governor warned.
“Bars or restaurants that violate the law can lose their liquor license.”
Cuomo bragged that he personally called some businesses he saw on the news to chastise them. Hmm. How about the organizers of the hundreds of people who marched through the city, gathered in parks, laid down in Times Square? Did he show such concern?
As for yanking the licenses of bars and restaurants that attract the misbehaving crowds: De Blasio won’t order the police to arrest anyone for violating the guidelines — not after the first weeks of lockdown, when that resulted in “racially disproportionate” arrest numbers. So how is a bar owner supposed to achieve what the cops can’t?
Especially, again, given protests that see far riskier behavior — larger and more-packed crowds of complete strangers shouting at the top of their lungs.
De Blasio had been warning that the protests could spread the virus, but after finding himself under attack from his left he’s again flipped: Over the weekend, he spoke at one demonstration — maskless.
Plus, City Hall has told its hundreds of new contact tracers not to ask people who test positive for the virus if they recently protested.
That’s just willful blindness — and an evident effort to conceal the demonstrations’ role in any COVID-19 spike. This, when growing evidence suggests that crowded “superspreader” events may explain up to 80 percent of all cases.
Of course, the national media have been largely silent over the protests’ potential health impact — even as they’re having fits over President Trump’s plan to hold a rally June 20.
“‘Extraordinarily dangerous’: Trump rally draws grave concerns from top health officials,” blared an NBC News headline on Sunday. Yet its piece on the Brooklyn protests — which didn’t even mention the pandemic once — had a headline with a markedly different tone: “Rally for Black trans lives draws packed crowd to Brooklyn Museum plaza.”
The obvious distinction is that reporters and editors see the protests as speech they support — and Trump rallies as anything but.
Our liberal politicians publicly lean the same way, so they focus on people having a good time drinking rather than those riding on the moral high of protest.
Meanwhile, the city is welding playground gates closed to keep out children — who barely register as COVID-19 cases, let alone transmit it significantly.
For all the talk of being guided by “the science,” our decision-makers are actually ignoring the science as they play favorites.
The double standard is obvious, and erodes the trust of the public who admirably adhered to this era-changing lockdown. Why believe anything the governor, the mayor or the media tell you when they set one rule for certain people and one rule for others?
Cuomo can order new lockdowns if he likes, but the public isn’t going to obey.