Here we go again: On Wednesday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo slapped new restrictions on businesses and social gatherings amid an uptick in COVID cases. Is a full-blown lockdown far off?
Private gatherings will now be limited to 10 people, and restaurants, bars and gyms must close by 10 p.m. Tougher measures may be around the corner, Cuomo warned.
That comes on the heels of moves by New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, ending indoor dining by 10 p.m., banning indoor bar seating entirely and barring interstate games for indoor student sports.
The moves have little to do with science — or common sense: Science shows kids aren’t at high risk of catching or spreading COVID. Plus, the virus is getting less deadly, and a vaccine is on the horizon.
Of course, Cuomo wants to block New Yorkers from getting that vaccine until Joe Biden takes office. This from the guy who had the gall to write a book about his COVID “leadership” — doing an end-zone dance before he reached the end zone.
Look, New Yorkers know the risks: “I’ll be having more than 10 ppl at my house on Thanksgiving. . . . Some family will come from (gasp!) New Jersey,” tweeted City Councilman Joe Borelli (R-SI).
Meantime, not Cuomo nor Murphy nor Mayor de Blasio could give a fig about the economic and fiscal fallout from their actions. City restaurants already can’t survive with the 25 percent indoor-capacity limit. Gyms and bars will now be crushed.
Does Cuomo think his new rules will lower the city’s 14 percent unemployment rate, which is nearly twice the national average? And with an ailing economy socking tax revenue, how will he and de Blasio balance their budgets? The two fantasize about a Biden presidency sending billions in aid. But any aid is likely to fall far short, especially if the GOP holds the Senate.
And de Blasio has been pushing the problem into future years and promising no layoffs for city workers. Last week, he struck his third such deal, pushing a $45 million payment to the school principals’ union into 2022 and bringing the total amount deferred to $680 million.
Post-COVID, New York may face a fiscal nightmare almost as bad as the virus.
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