The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention’s new guidance says that fully vaccinated individuals do not need to wear masks in indoor and outdoor settings. President Joe Biden and the White House Administration even announced they’d be updating their policies to align with the CDC. Biden called it a “great day for America” where you don’t have to wear your mask and you can shake hands.
But New York’s Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio have refused to follow federal advice and ease their state’s indoor mask mandates. The CDC and the President have said it’s okay to ditch the masks but radical left leaders are still struggling to give up that power. For a party that advocates ‘following the science,’ they’re doing a pretty bad job.
Numerous restaurant owners and gym facility operators expressed their frustrations over which advice to follow. Even though the CDC and President Biden gave the green light for fully vaccinated people to go mask-free, facilities are still waiting for Gov. Cuomo to make an announcement.
Gov. Cuomo shared in a late-afternoon statement with Health Commissioner Howard Zucker that they are still reviewing the newly announced guidelines from the CDC and deciding if they will adopt them or not.
“In New York, we have always relied on the facts and the science to guide us throughout the worst of this pandemic and in our successful reopening. We have received the newly revised guidance from the CDC regarding mask-wearing and social distancing for those with vaccinations and are reviewing them in consultation with Dr. Zucker and our partners and health experts in surrounding states,” Gov. Cuomo said.
CDC director Rochelle Walensky even gave the go for anyone who is fully vaccinated to participate in indoor and outdoor activities (large or small) without wearing a mask or physically distancing. In certain crowded settings and venues, masks are still required. Officials in hospitals, prisons, and homeless shelters, were also recommended to continue to wear masks.
But Monroe County Commissioner of Public Health Dr. Michael Mendoza said that this is a “step in the right direction” towards a sense of normalcy that we all want and urged Cuomo and the State Department of Health to adopt the new mask guidance.
“We encourage the Governor and the state Department of Health to adjust New York’s mask mandate to reflect the latest guidance from the CDC. While the mandate was essential to slowing the spread of the virus and protecting our health and safety, we now have another, even more, powerful tool. Vaccination works, and the CDC recognizes that. We believe New York State should as well,” Monroe County officials issued in a statement.
When state Sen. Jim Tedisco heard Cuomo’s response to the newly updated CDC guidelines, he brought up the nursing home scandal from last year and said it is always best to follow the CDC because we’ve seen what the ‘experts’ in New York State have provided. Health Commissioner Zucker, who was one of the officials in the alleged nursing home deaths coverup, will be one of the ‘experts’ tasked with reviewing the updated guidance.
“I don’t think anything this governor says about using experts in New York state is true. He’s working with people who are basically like working with Moe, Larry, and Curly. I’d follow the CDC guidelines any time before following what the governor says,” Tedisco said.
Businesses are pushing Cuomo and de Blasio to get on the same page as science in order to expand capacity limits and get more people through the door. “Clients are sick of wearing masks but, because there has been no official announcement from the governor or mayor, we still have to implement mask regulations. CDC should be the authority but, unfortunately, the governor has the final say in my situation,” said David Plasse, a personal trainer who runs Plasse Strength & Fitness in Queens.
Others have said they don’t believe it is fair for small business people to bear the burden of being Cuomo’s enforcers. The Queens Chamber of Commerce President Tom Grech also criticized New York leadership, adding that the “left hand should be in sync with what the right hand is doing.”
Mayor Bill de Blasio also hesitated to ease indoor mask mandates in public spaces, adding that they are reviewing the guidelines since “masks will still be important for schools, public transportation, healthcare and congregate settings.” He said the message is clear that vaccinations are the way to bring our city and lives back.
While New York was the first state to enact a mask mandate last year, they also appear to be the last state to get rid of them. It’s only a matter of time before Democrats demand to see “your vaccination papers.” Power-hungry Cuomo needs to lift the mask mandate, then resign.