Andrew Cuomo has had it with coronavirus dissenters.
The Democratic New York governor said that coronavirus protesters in New York have “no right” to gather without wearing masks, Newsweek reported. “You have no right to jeopardize my health,” he said.
Cuomo: “Mask is not about your health”
In recent days, Cuomo has had to address rising discontent with his lockdown, and the message has pretty consistently been something like “I hear you, but too bad.” As protests bubbled up in New York City, suburban Long Island and upstate New York, Cuomo put his foot down on Saturday when asked about demonstrators who weren’t wearing masks in Suffolk County.
“You don’t have a right to jeopardize my health. You want to jeopardize your health, God bless you. You have no right to jeopardize my health,” he said. “The mask is not about your health. The mask is about my health, and my children’s health and your children’s health and that’s why you have to wear a mask. It’s not about your life, it’s about other people’s lives,” Cuomo said.
Cuomo, who has said that he will strictly follow “the data” when making his decisions, recently told a group of protesters to “get a job as an essential worker,” according to Fox News. On Saturday, Cuomo said that he understands the anger of those eager to get back to work, and he respects the First Amendment, but it just isn’t time to open the economy yet.
“I’m not going to put dollar signs over human lives. I’m not going to do that. Not for my family and not for yours. But I understand their point of view, and I understand the First Amendment. You have an argument, you’re going to make your argument, God bless America,” he said.
Cuomo, who asserted that he has “no personal interest” or “political agenda” whatsoever, said that he has asked police departments to enforce his state’s executive order requiring that residents wear masks in public.
Phased re-opening planned
While deaths and hospitalizations have been trending down, Cuomo has generally said that it’s too dangerous for New Yorkers to drop their guard. He called the state’s newly recorded 299 deaths on Saturday “obnoxiously and terrifyingly high,” accoring to the New York Post, although the number represents a marked drop from a peak in the 700s.
Despite Gov. Cuomo’s admonition of the protesters, the governor’s own brother — CNN personality Chris Cuomo — recently admitted to breaking quarantine to check out some real estate in the Hamptons, as Fox News reported.
On Saturday, Gov. Cuomo headed to the New York City subway for a photo-op, where he helped disinfect a train. The governor has pushed for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) to clean the city’s subways and trains every 24 hours, according to MSNBC.
Recent antibody testing in New York has shown that millions of residents could already have had the virus, with some one in five New York City residents testing positive, according to Axios. Cuomo’s state is far and away the epicenter of America’s outbreak, with nearly 25, 000 deaths tallied so far, Reuters reported.
On Monday, Cuomo laid out a phased plan for cautiously opening the state as 226 new fatalities were recorded.