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Houston billionaire Tilman Fertitta was blasted by New York Mayor Bill de Blasio’s press secretary over his criticism of the city’s indoor restaurant dining directives.
Fertitta slammed the Democrat mayor in a CNBC interview on Wednesday as he discussed the risks to U.S. businesses amid ongoing coronavirus restrictions, especially in the area of indoor dining. The owner of the Golden Nugget Casinos and Landry’s restaurant corporation called out de Blasio’s lack of planning for hurting businesses in the city, prompting a rebuke from Bill Neidhardt who told the billionaire to “kick rocks.”
Landry’s Chairman & CEO @TilmanJFertitta calling out @NYCMayor Bill de Blasio over his lack of a plan for indoor dining. pic.twitter.com/VzOypBVV4x
— Power Lunch (@PowerLunch) August 25, 2020
Noting how, despite dropping numbers of COVID-19 deaths and confirmed cases, restaurants are still reeling from the initial shutdowns and are grappling with orders only allowing limited dining, sometimes only in outdoor areas.
“You’re only 50 percent in Texas, so on your busy night, you cannot fill up your restaurant. But you could, if you could open up and still, most of the states, very few are at 100 percent,” he told CNBC.
“As you know, California you can only patio dine and in New York, you can only patio dine,” Fertitta added, noting how Chicago is ready to allow restaurants to operate at 50 percent capacity once the number of positive coronavirus cases reaches a certain threshold.
“In new York? Nothing,” he pointed out.
“No guidance, whatsoever,” Fertitta said, slamming the mayor. “It’s almost as if he wants his legacy to be: ‘I want everybody to move out of New York. I don’t want this city to survive.'”
The owner of the National Basketball Association’s Houston Rockets contended that de Blasio is “doing absolutely nothing to communicate with people in the industry or anybody,” and doesn’t care about his own city.
The backlash was quick from the press secretary for New York’s mayor.
Billionaire Tilman Fertitta doesn't care about New York.
He doesn't care about his workers. He doesn't care about small biz owners.
He wants to force indoor dining so he can make another billion while putting a whole city at risk.
Kick rocks, Tilly. Also the Rockets suck. https://t.co/uyEXExb2wv
— Bill Neidhardt (@BNeidhardt) August 25, 2020
“Billionaire Tilman Fertitta doesn’t care about New York,” Neidhardt declared in a tweet accompanying the posted video clip.
“He doesn’t care about his workers. He doesn’t care about small biz owners,” he continued. “He wants to force indoor dining so he can make another billion while putting a whole city at risk.”
Neidhardt polished off his jab by telling the billionaire, “Kick rocks, Tilly,” adding: “Also the Rockets suck.”
CNBC’s Tyler Mathisen, co-anchor of “Power Lunch,” also criticized New York because “they haven’t told you where the goalposts are,” saying that in the city, “there is no indoor dining, there is no prospect of indoor dining.”
“And yet, in New York State and New York City, the case count is way down, the hospitalizations are way down,” he said. “I know a lot of people must be thinking, and you among them, what the hell are you waiting for?”
“That is where we all are, 100 percent,” Fertitta replied, noting that he owns many other restaurants in other parts of the state.
“Our mayor has decided, ‘I want to see as many businesses possible go out of business. He has no idea now what he is doing to these industries and these poor workers that cannot work, that are no longer getting the $600 stimulus.”
“Do you know what? Mayor de Blasio hasn’t missed a check so he doesn’t care about everybody else,” Fertitta argued. “He is not the mayor of the people. It is all about himself and, for some reason, he does not care about New York because all he has to do is let us open up and, if there’s any rise at all in cases, shut us back down again.”
De Blasio came under fire when he suggested that indoor dining may not be an option in New York City until 2021.
“Indoor dining, there is not a plan right now,” de Blasio told “The Brian Lehrer” show on WNYC last week.
“There’s not a context for indoor dining. We’re never saying it’s impossible. But we do not, based on what we’ve seen around the world, we do not have a plan for reopening indoor dining in the near term,” he said.
(Source: Fox News)
The Democrat was shredded over the remarks which came on the heels on reports that the MTV Video Music Awards would be allowed to be held in New York City. Additionally, artists performing at the event are also allowed to skip the state-mandated travel advisory which requires a two-week quarantine period.
The smug response to Fertitta from de Blasio’s press secretary was also called out on social media.
This isn’t about billionaires. Why can the rest of the state dine indoors? What are the metrics that NYC must hit to get to that place? Your boss has no plan and hates his constituents.
— Justin Schwartz (@JustinSchwartz1) August 25, 2020
Was this you speaking on behalf of the mayor?
— Real Man of Genius (@realmanofgenius) August 26, 2020
Funny that Indoor dining is literally working EVERYWHERE including in places like TX and FL that went through the Summer Spike.
— Char A (@CriticalZaku) August 26, 2020
1. You might be the stupidest person alive. I bet you can’t find one owner in NYC who thinks we should still be closed while Nassau and Suffolk are opened. Schools are safe but restaurants are not? They don’t even have toilet paper and you are dealing with kids who are restless.
— JPG (@jamespgwynne) August 25, 2020
School kids are gonna be dining indoors for lunch, why can’t we do the same?
— White Goodman 🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸 (@soulcookie322) August 26, 2020
Nincompoop, do you know how many blue collar jobs are lost because restaurants are closed for indoor dining?
— Vox Bridge Inspector (@RealArchieRoman) August 26, 2020
Fertitta has plenty of money. If he didn’t care about his employees, he wouldn’t care about reopening. Those workers can’t earn a living right now.
— Lexcat (@Lexcat12) August 26, 2020
KICK ROCKS JOB CREATOR – WE DON’T NEED YOU GIVING PEOPLE WORK AND LIVELIHOODS IN THIS CITY. TAKE YOUR JOBS AND GET OUT OF HERE BECAUSE COVID AND STUFF..
— Johnny Wishbone (@JWishbon3) August 26, 2020
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