New York City has experienced weeks of George Floyd protests and riots. Thousands of people crammed in close proximity, violating social distancing guidelines. A great deal of the protesters did not wear masks, and chanted protest battle cries, releasing potentially dangerous coronavirus respiratory droplets into the air. But New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo doesn’t seem to be too concerned with the protests. He is very perturbed about too many patrons at restaurants, and he wants New Yorkers to rat out any businesses not following COVID-19 restrictions.
Hundreds of partiers descended upon St. Marks Place in the East Village on Friday night.
After seeing the viral video of the crowds, Cuomo unleashed fresh threats against New Yorkers. The Democratic governor vowed to shut down Manhattan and the Hamptons if throngs of people frequented bars and restaurants. Cuomo said the state received 25,000 complaints against businesses not complying with coronavirus restrictions.
“We’re getting reports from all across the state that there are large gatherings. Social distancing is being violated. People are not wearing masks,” Cuomo said. “Manhattan and the Hamptons are the leading areas in this state with violations. They are rampant, and there’s not enough enforcement.”
Cuomo threatened to put parts of the state back on complete lockdown if the behavior continued. “If local governments are not monitoring policing, doing the compliance, yes, there is a very real possibility that we would roll back the reopening of those areas.”
Cuomo also threatened to pull a restaurant or bar’s liquor license for not adhering to social distancing and capacity regulations.
“Local government, do your job. If we have to close, then people are going to hold you accountable,” Cuomo said. “Bars and restaurants, do your job. Or you can have an SLA violation and possibly loss of your license.”
Cuomo then asked citizens to rat out businesses that didn’t comply with restrictions. “These are not hard-to-spot violations,” he said. “People send videos of these violations.”
“It’s disrespectful to the health care workers and the essential workers who sacrificed themselves for 100 days. Some of whom died and gave their life to crush this COVID virus,” Cuomo added. “Show a modicum of respect and wear a mask.”
“We’re not going to go back to that dark place because local governments didn’t do their job,” Cuomo promised. “If you do not [do your job], and this continues, we would have no choice but to take state action, ceasing the behavior.”
New York City is in phase one of its four-stage reopening plan, and the earliest they can move to phase two would be July.