Morire di fame.
That’s “starve” in English — the message Gov. Cuomo, who often touts his Italian-American family’s at-home spaghetti and sausage feasts, sent to the city’s barely-alive restaurant industry. And to the nation’s greatest concentration of culinary talent and 350,000 hard-working employees.
Only some unknown childhood trauma could account for Cuomo’s inexplicable shutdown of indoor dining in the Big Apple. Was he once food-poisoned at Mamma Leone’s?
The ban is supposedly to arrest rising hospitalizations. But what connection is there? The state’s own data at Friday’s press conference
revealed that indoor dining accounted for a scant 1.4 percent of infection spread — which might be less risky than crossing the street.
The restaurant threat ranked miles behind “household/social gatherings” (78 percent) and behind four other categories in the state’s tally.
The data offered no proof whatsoever that anyone who supposedly caught the virus inside a restaurant ended up in a hospital.
Restaurateurs have strictly abided by spacing and ventilation rules. With indoor capacity reduced to 25 percent and tables at least six feet apart, I’ve eaten in places that felt lonelier at 7:30 p.m. than a subway platform at 4 a.m.
Yet buses and stores are full of face-to-face contact. Many cops still go without masks despite the rules requiring they be worn. Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio, usually at odds, wink in lockstep at truly dangerous indoor parties and religious gatherings they’re chicken to crack down on beyond promises to “investigate.”
In Manhattan, the capital of America’s restaurant business with more places, seats, and customers than anywhere else, the new-infection rate is a mere 2.5 percent, compared with 5 percent in the state overall.
Yet absurdly, indoor dining is still allowed everywhere outside New York City — even in areas with 20 percent infection rates.
The indoor ban’s the most painful to restaurant workers and to owners who went beyond the last mile to comply with the ever-changing rules for indoor and outdoor dining.
Owners spent tons of precious dough to make changes as government kept moving the goalposts — for ventilation, space heaters, outdoor shed construction, and closing times.
Sadly, they wasted the money.
As many as 25 percent of city eateries had already closed for good, from high-end Aureole and Gotham Bar & Grill to countless diners, bagel joints and pizza parlors.
Count on some of our most world-renowned, Michelin-starred institutions to perish next in the months ahead
Cuomo paid lip service to restaurants’ dire plight, suggesting that the Federal government bail it out. That’s his solution to everything: Let Washington pay.
Maybe he wanted to give the impression of taking dramatic action against the virus after his catastrophic decision to pack COVID-19 victims into nursing homes where at least 6,000 died.
That’s the most generous interpretation.
A more likely one is that he has an unfathomable hate-on for restaurants — and the city he once called home.
Morire di fame.
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