ALBANY, N.Y.- New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is taking it from all sides these days.
As he continues to receive criticism over his mishandling of nursing home patients amid the COVID-19 pandemic, he is now facing accusations of hypocrisy after he joined with New Jersey Gov.
Phil Murphy and Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont to issue quarantine orders for people traveling to their respective states from areas that have seen a spike in coronavirus cases.
In New York, those who do not quarantine and follow restrictions could be subject to fines between $2,000 and $10,000. It is unknown if those restrictions apply to people going out of town to riot, loot, and tear down statues who then return to the state.
“It’s just common sense, Cuomo said last week. “We don’t want to see the infection rate increase here.”
Fox News is reporting that Republican New York state Senate Minority Leader Rob Ortt called out Cuomo’s order as “hypocritical,” since Cuomo had previously criticized other states which had taken a similar stance against New York earlier this year.
“This draconian policy means anyone traveling for a business conference to a state on his list will be forced into quarantine, and anyone who already made vacation plans will too,” said Ortt, as reported in the Democrat & Chronicle.
Earlier this year, Cuomo threatened to sue the state of Rhode Island after that state targeted New York residents who entered there for quarantine, even sending police officers door to door where they found vehicles with New York license plates.
However, Cuomo said last week that this situation was “different,” because he is not singling out only one state, while Rhode Island targeted only New York residents.
The states on the “big three’s” restriction list include Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Texas, Alaama, Arkansas, Arizona, Washington, and Utah.
It is currently unknown if other states may be added to the quarantine list, however a California-based attorney, Jon Corbett, who has property in Brooklyn, N.Y. filed a federal lawsuit over the order last week in the Southern District of New York, citing an “unlawful ‘abridgement’ of his ability to travel.”
In March, when President Trump threatened a two-week lockdown for New York and neighboring states, Cuomo threatened legal action. At the time, Cuomo said that any move such as this taken by Trump was a “declaration of war” and threatened a lawsuit, which was actually based on his argument that the federal government did not have the authority to make such an order.
Cuomo evidently forgot what he said at that time, when he said that “walling off” areas of the country would be “totally bizarre, counterproductive, anti-American, anti-social.
A column in the Star-Ledger referred to that quote, saying that Cuomo had it right the first time and suggested that what he was now proposing was effectively a “war between the states”—although admitting that Florida and Texas had started such with their past orders against the state of New York.
Cuomo also drew sharp criticism after he suggested an investigation be started into a local high school student who attended a “drive-in” graduation ceremony after he had visited Florida, which has experienced an increase in COVID-19 cases.
New York Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.), told Fox & Friends on Monday:
“What I think is the height of hypocrisy is the fact that Gov. Cuomo is demanding an investigation into this individual. High school graduation is an important milestone,” she said. “The reason why it is hypocritical is because the governor refuses to be held accountable for the thousands and thousands of seniors who lost their lives because of the failed and fatal nursing home policies.”
Regarding the high school student, Cuomo has sic’d the state’s contact tracing team on anyone who may have come in contact with the student from Horace Greeley High School in Westchester County.
The Daily Mail says that at the time of the graduation, the student had not yet shown any symptoms of COVID and did not know they were infected.
The student returned to the state prior to Cuomo implementing the 14-day quarantine requirement from Florida.
“We’re prepared to do the aggressive testing and contact tracing required to slow and ultimately control any potential clusters of new cases like the one in Westchester County,” Cuomo said.
The New York Daily News said that the “drive-in” graduation ceremony was held at the Chappaqua train station, however not everyone apparently stayed in their cars.
Some social media posts claimed that not all students were wearing masks, while some were not maintaining a safe social distance. One infected student went to a second event following the graduation, where they contacted other students from schools in adjacent towns.
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