Cuomo admits lockdown order targeting NY Jews was a ‘fear’ based response

by WorldTribune Staff, October 14, 2020

Democrat governors and mayors who have imposed the most strict coronavirus lockdowns on their citizens are continuously insisting that they are “following the science.”

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Oct. 6 announced new restrictions on houses of worship in covid hotspots. / Mike Groll / Office of Gov. Cuomo

In leaked audio, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo admitted that the new covid lockdown order in New York targeting Orthodox Jews is not based on any science or medical expertise, but rather, in his words, is a “fear” based response.

The new restrictions dictate capacity limits for houses of worship, businesses, dining venues and schools. The new rules also include a $15,000 fine to anyone who organizes a mass gathering.

The audio, which was obtained by Hamodia, is from an Oct. 6 conference call Cuomo had with Jewish leaders. In it, Cuomo tells Rabbi Yaakov Bender: “This is not a highly nuanced sophisticated response. This is a fear driven response.”

Cuomo continued: “This is not a policy being written by a scalpel. This is a policy being cut by a hatchet.”

The governor goes on to explain that he didn’t propose the policy, saying it was “proposed by the mayor” (New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio). “I’m trying to sharpen it and make it better,” Cuomo says.

In the call with Jewish leaders, Cuomo said he would limit houses of worship to 50 percent occupancy in areas seeing a coronavirus uptick. But, just hours later, the governor said in a public press conference the limit would be 10 attendees.

“The current rule … in any indoor gathering … it’s 50 percent of capacity,” the governor said in the conference call with Jewish leaders. “That’s the current law. We have to follow that law. If we don’t follow that law then the infection rate gets worse. Then we’re gonna have to go back to close down. And nobody wants to do that. But I need your help in getting the rate down, and the rate will come down, if we follow the rules on the mask and the social distancing and the 50 percent.”

Jewish leaders said they felt “stabbed in the back” after Cuomo’s announcement of the 10-person occupancy limit.

“The governor came to us, supposedly to work with us as a friend,” said a conference call participant who shared the audio recording with Hamodia. “And we would have been happy to work with him on the 50 percent maximum. But then he just stabbed us in the back with this 10-person edict.”

The participant said he also believes the 10-person limit to be illogical: “There are so many shuls in the community that have a maximum occupancy of hundreds of people,” he said. “How does it make any sense to impose the 10-person maximum on them just the same as a small shul? We feel that the governor is not interested in working with us at all.”

New York officials issued 62 tickets and more than $150,000 in fines during the first weekend the new restrictions were in effect, the New York City government Twitter account said on Sunday.

The full audio can be heard here

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