NEW YORK CITY, NY – New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is under fire for threatening to defund public assistance to the Orthodox Jewish seminaries claiming Jews refuse to comply with the Coronavirus restrictions. As the city increased enforcement of its COVID-19 cluster zones, the Governor targeted the Jewish community.
Cuomo commented during a conference call Thursday:
“Some of the complexity in the enforcement here, especially with members of the ultra-Orthodox community. They have never complied with the rules.”
The interview was the day after Cuomo said he will withhold funding for local governments that do not enforce restrictions in COVID-19 Micro-clusters. The Governor’s Office issued an update Micro-cluster strategy on October 21, 2020.
The government split the new restrictions across three categories (Red Zone, Orange Zone, Yellow Zone), each of which dictates different capacity limits for houses of worship, mass gatherings, businesses, dining venues, and schools.
The new rules also include a $15,000 fine to anyone who organizes a mass gathering.
Former Brooklyn Assemblyman Dov Hikind expressed his anger at Cuomo for targeting his community:
“King Cuomo has stabbed them in the back.”
“Nowhere in the world has this happened except in New York, and it has actually caused an outbreak of hate.”@HikindDov talks to @ezralevant about Gov. Cuomo singling out Orthodox Jews over #COVID19 measures
— Rebel News (@RebelNewsOnline) October 21, 2020
On October 7, Gov. Cuomo announced more lockdown restrictions targeted mainly at the religious Jewish neighborhoods in New York City calling them “hot spots.”
In a news briefing, Cuomo said:
“Orthodox Jewish gatherings often are very, very large and we’ve seen what one person can do in a group.”
Following the announcement of the crackdown, Orthodox Jews began protesting in Brooklyn. Many of the protestors waved campaign flags promoting President Donald Trump.
The Agudath Israel of America, an organization representing Haredi Orthodox communities, issued a statement in response to the new enforcement:
“It should be made clear that the Governor’s reference to a ‘good conversation’ he had with a group of Orthodox Jewish leaders was largely a one-way monologue, and contained no mention of this new plan. Agudath Israel intends to explore all appropriate measures to undo this deeply offensive action.”
Statement of Agudath Israel on Governor Cuomo’s Limitations on Houses of Worship Today
Agudath Israel to explore all appropriate measures to undo this deeply offensive action.
— Agudath Israel of America (@AgudahNews) October 6, 2020
Three Rockland County Jewish congregations are suing New York state and Gov. Cuomo, claiming he engaged in a “streak of anti-Semitic discrimination” by ordering the crackdown.
The Manhattan federal court lawsuit filed late Wednesday accused the Governor of making negative, false, and discriminatory statements about the Jewish Orthodox community.
Others have accused Gov. Cuomo of singling out the Jewish community and ignoring other large gatherings not complying with restrictions. Three Orthodox Jews from Brooklyn along with two Catholic priests sued in the Northern District of New York following rioting and protests following the death of George Floyd, a black man killed by white police officers in Minneapolis, MN on May 25, 2020.
Not Pictured: Orthodox Jews.
Also Not Pictured: Cuomo and De Blasio giving a bleep. pic.twitter.com/evVmNUPaak
— Jake K. Turx (@JakeTurx) October 18, 2020
Representing attorney Christopher Ferrara stated:
“Why is a large worship gathering deemed more dangerous than a mass protest, full of shouting, arm-waving people in close proximity to one another? These orders, both the emergency stay-home and reopening plan declarations, clearly discriminate against houses of worship.
“They are illegally content-based, elaborate, arbitrary and pseudo-scientific.”
The lawsuit pointed out that New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio ignored the COVID-19 restrictions when he attended the George Floyd memorial event in Cadman Plaza without wearing a mask.
However, in April, de Blasio issued strong warnings to the Jewish community, threatening them with arrests and prosecution for mass religious gatherings after the NYPD dispersed the funeral of Rabbi Chaim Mertz in Williamsburg.
My message to the Jewish community, and all communities, is this simple: the time for warnings has passed. I have instructed the NYPD to proceed immediately to summons or even arrest those who gather in large groups. This is about stopping this disease and saving lives. Period.
— Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) April 29, 2020
The Brooklyn Diocese is also suing the state of New York for limiting the number of people inside its churches.
An official of the diocese said:
“We’ve complied, the people in our community are safe, so we should not be held accountable because the governor is upset some people in the community are not wearing masks.”
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October 20, 2020
NEW YORK CITY, NY – A recent display of sorts, perhaps one might even call it a protest or demonstration, took place outside of a Brooklyn nursing home on October 18th where numerous people gathered around a casket that had thousands of copies of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s new book cover dumped inside of it.
The Democrat Party-press ignores the human devastation caused by Andrew Cuomo and other Democrat governors who forced coronavirus positive patients into nursing homes and assisted living homes. But the families affected by this horror do not forget. https://t.co/LgQLlsDaQJ
— Mark R. Levin (@marklevinshow) October 18, 2020
The erected display was meant to serve as an allegory of the estimated 6,500 elderly people who died in New York due to having contracted COVID-19 while having been residents within nursing homes in the state.
On October 13th of this year, Governor Cuomo released a new book titled “American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic.”
According to the synopsis of the book listed on Amazon, the following is written:
“Governor Andrew Cuomo tells the riveting story of how he took charge in the fight against COVID-19 as New York became the epicenter of the pandemic, offering hard-won lessons in leadership and his vision for the path forward.”
Suffice it to say, apparently the release of this book did not sit well with those who feel as though Governor Cuomo didn’t take “charge in the fight” against the pandemic when reflecting on the handling of nursing home patients earlier in 2020.
The nerve of Gov. Cuomo trying to capitalize on Covid after he killed 1000’s in the nursing homes?? NY man puts Casket with 6500 book covers of Cuomo’s book https://t.co/lOlXEoFI1u
— Melissa Tate (@TheRightMelissa) October 19, 2020
This all comes back to when in late March of this year, Governor Cuomo had the strangest policy related to the pandemic and nursing homes – in that nursing homes had to accept patient admittance regardless of whether or not they tested positive for the virus.
Now, albeit, Governor Cuomo wound up rescinding that executive order that compelled nursing homes to admit potentially positive-testing patients, but said rescinding didn’t occur until May of 2020.
Which this then leads us to the demonstration held outside of the Cobble Hill Health Center, where an estimated 50 people had gathered to voice their frustrations over the loss of theirs and others’ loved ones due to a perceived ill-handling of the pandemic early-on.
Janice Dean, a meteorologist for TV’s “Fox & Friends,” was among those who were demonstrating after having lost her mother-in-law.
However, Dean’s mother-in-law was never even factored into the tallied nursing home deaths in New York because she’d passed while in a hospital – despite having contracted the pandemic while at a nursing home:
“My mother-in-law got COVID in an elder-care facility but died in a hospital, [so] her number does not count.”
Initially, Dean held no malice against Governor Cuomo because the pandemic was something affecting everyone. But then, after having seen the governor making all sorts of television appearances and gushing over how great of a job he’s done, Dean then became resentful:
“At the very beginning, I wouldn’t have blamed anyone. We were in the middle of a pandemic. But then I saw the governor on CNN and the various talk shows talking about his love life and talking about how he brought the curve down to nothing.”
Dean stated that the first thing that should have been on the governor’s agenda when making these numerous tv appearances was something to the effect of “I’m sorry for your loss.”
A key to any protest is that beyond the visual what matters is getting results. These families deserve an investigation and they deserve answers. @NYGovCuomo sent COVID patients to nursing homes when the only thing we knew with certainty is that seniors were among highest risk. https://t.co/RVC81GyItm
— Apryl Marie (@aprylmarie) October 20, 2020
Peter Arbeeny was one of the people who organized the demonstration on October 18th, noting that people “deserve to know the truth” regarding how many mistakes were made in the handling of nursing homes and who all was involved in these moves that led to so much loss.
Arbeeny is among those who lost a loved one due to the virus, as his 89-year-old Korean War veteran father was among 56 people that died within the Cobble Hill Health Center nursing home:
“We are all COVID orphans now. And if somebody made a mistake, and with all that was going on, it was a crazy time…we would forgive. Maybe somebody wouldn’t forgive, but we would forgive. You get a sincere apology when truth comes out, and then we all know, and then we can move on. And we can celebrate the good things.”
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