Most New Yorkers are unaware of what will happen on May 1st of 2021. On that date, no one will be required to wear a mask, and no one has to stay six feet apart in a grocery store line. Businesses will no longer have to limit the number of customers or enforce social distancing, and there will be no limits remaining on the size of public gatherings.
In other words, New York will soon start looking like Florida.
Governor Andrew Cuomo has wielded an incredible amount of influence over New Yorkers' lives since the pandemic began. The Democratically controlled New York State Legislature granted him these powers in March of 2020. Since then, Andrew Cuomo has used these powers to decide whether you can eat inside or outside a restaurant. He alone can tell you when or if you can go to the gym and how you must act while there. He has subsequently made a disaster of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout by deciding who and who isn't eligible to receive it.
Cuomo has exercised this authority to issue 65 executive orders and suspend more than 250 laws in the first six months of his rule. Some of those orders were ordered logically. He had to address the rapidly spreading virus. But other executive orders had nothing to do with protecting the public. One executive order made a second wedding license available for free if the first one expired. Another waived annual performance reviews for public school teachers. In what way is an executive order requiring the ordering of food with alcohol purchases at a bar connected to a global pandemic?
For some bizarre reason, the Governor was popular throughout 2020. He even released a self-congratulatory book on his leadership while being dismissive over the criticism of his handling of the pandemic, calling it partisan.
2021 is a bit different.
In January, New York Attorney General Letitia James released a report showing the New York State health department underreported elderly COVID-19 fatalities by omitting hospital deaths for nursing home patients. A state judge has ordered the administration to turn over data on the deaths it has shielded from scrutiny. A few days later, nine senior state health officials quit in rapid succession. According to the New York Times report, state health officials said they often only found out about significant shifts in the state's pandemic policies by watching Cuomo's press conferences. They then had to adjust their guidance to match what Cuomo had announced.
In a confession made during a conference call that was obtained by The New York Post on February 11th, Cuomo Aide Melissa DeRosa admitted that the Cuomo administration 'froze' when asked for data detailing COVID-19 deaths among nursing home patients. On the call with New York state Democrats, she admitted his administration rebuffed a legislative request for the tally in August because “right around the same time, [then-President Donald Trump] turns this into a giant political football.”
“He starts tweeting that we killed everyone in nursing homes,” DeRosa said. “He starts going after [New Jersey Gov. Phil] Murphy, starts going after [California Gov. Gavin] Newsom, starts going after [Michigan Gov.] Gretchen Whitmer.”
“Because then we were in a position where we weren’t sure if what we were going to give to the Department of Justice, or what we give to you guys, what we start saying, was going to be used against us while we weren’t sure if there was going to be an investigation.” “That played a very large role into this.”
Her mea culpa came before the Associated Press published new details into how many patients recovering from COVID were sent back into nursing homes. More than 9,000 recovering coronavirus patients in New York state were released from hospitals into nursing homes early in the pandemic under a controversial directive that was scrapped amid criticism it accelerated outbreaks.
The AP report states the Cuomo administration has been forced in recent weeks to acknowledge it has been underreporting the overall number of COVID-19 deaths among long-term care residents. It is now nearly 15,000, up from the 8,500 previously disclosed.
Today, 14 Democratic New York State Senators joined Republicans in calling for Cuomo's pandemic emergency powers to be rescinded.
'Without exception, the New York State Constitution calls for the Legislature to govern as a co-equal branch of government,' they wrote.
'While COVID-19 has tested the limits s if our people and the state - and early during the pandemic, required the government to restructure decision making to render rapid, necessary public health judgement - it is clear that the expanded emergency powers granted to the Governor are no longer appropriate.
'While the executive's authority to issue directives is set to expire April 30, we urge the Senate to advance and adopt a repeal as expeditiously as possible.'
New York Mayor de Blasio is even joining in with the calls in Albany for Cuomo’s powers to be rescinded.
The Daily News reported:
“It’s time to go back to the normal way of governing things. We’ve learned over a year how to address the pandemic. Cities, towns, counties know what they’re doing: let us do our job.”
“It’s been a whole year. We can’t keep clinging to this situation. We’ve got to start moving forward.”
Cuomo doesn't have a scapegoat in Washington any longer. The Orange boogeyman is gone. The curtain is being pulled back, and people are finally seeing what I've been pointing out HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE. It's nice to see others catching up to his misconduct.
He has been dismissive of entire industries and was branded a hero by political journalists. He was "America's governor," "articulate, consistent, and often tinged with empathy," possessed of a "take-charge attitude" and had a "comforting manner." Cuomo was the Democratic foil to Donald Trump's often unintelligible pronouncements.
Cuomo's maladministration was visible to anyone who was paying attention. The allegations in the James report are generating a lot of attention and putting Cuomo on the defensive.
I am astounded at who gets labeled a fascist and authoritarian. Many said that about former President Trump but overlooked the tyrannical nature of the Governor of New York. After a year of calamity, many on the political left are finally seeing the light. They realize it's time to curtail or let the Governor's executive powers lapse on April 30th.
The American form of representative democracy primarily hinges on the balance of power between co-equal branches of government. This structure was embedded in our democracy at its formation and reflected in its Constitution. The Legislature is the primary policymaking branch in our republican form of democracy.
The Governor's emergency powers should be limited to a specific period and only extended due to approval by the Legislature. It must not be "automatic." I don't think New Yorkers think it's a good idea to have one person make significant economic, social, and business policy decisions. There's a reason we have three branches. There's a reason we elected them.
It's time for our representatives to assert their authority and address the people's business. I'm looking forward to an end to the reign of Cuomo.
Dems split as progressives rage over immigration vote - The immigration status of those seeking new stimulus payments is dividing Democrats.
“Have my friends been taken over by aliens?” – Keith Joyce, writing for the Conservative Woman, wonders how it is all that all his friends have been “suckered into fearing a virus which is dangerous only to a tiny minority, and into believing that they must have a novel type of vaccine in an early experimental stage”
What’s at Stake in the Coming Title IX War - "The Biden administration promises to 'empower and protect young people' by broadening Title IX powers. What it will really be doing is empowering an overweening and remote bureaucracy to try—and undoubtedly fail—to shape the sexual norms of future generations."
“America’s two largest states are fighting COVID-19 differently” – The Economist puzzles over the cases of Texas and California. America’s two most populous states have been quite different in their responses to COVID-19 but not so much in their ‘results’
A Prison of Their Own Making - If the Democratic Party’s objective is to compel House Republicans to act against one of their own, this ultimatum will have precisely the opposite effect. Republicans are trapped in a prison of their own making, and Democrats are leveraging it for all it’s worth.
“How a virus was used to transform a free country” – Writing on the AIER blog, Sandy Szwarc examins how COVID-19, or rather the response to it, is leading the US down a dangerous path
“I can’t stop wondering about COVID-19” – Donald J Boudreaux, on the AIER blog, wonders what is it about COVID-19 that causes sensible and rational people to lose their judgment.
A dog-walker in Canada sums up the absurdity of the ongoing restrictions in a two-minute clip.
Clayton Craddock is an independent thinker, father of two beautiful children in New York City. He is the drummer of the hit broadway musical Ain't Too Proud. He earned a Bachelor of Business Administration from Howard University's School of Business and is a 28 year veteran of the fast-paced New York City music scene. He has played drums in several hit broadway and off-broadway musicals, including "Tick, tick…BOOM!, Altar Boyz, Memphis The Musical, and Lady Day At Emerson's Bar and Grill. Also, Clayton has worked on: Footloose, Motown, The Color Purple, Rent, Little Shop of Horrors, Spongebob Squarepants, The Musical, Evita, Cats, and Avenue Q.