New York leaders were dragged on social media over the weekend for continuing to allow the long-running “Saturday Night Live” show to air without stars practicing COVID-19 restrictions while ordering ‘non-essential’ businesses to remain closed or under limited operation.
“How is a failing sketch comedy show an ‘essential’ business but your families [sic] business or your employer’s business isn’t? The elite take care of their friends and you get to suffer,” presidential son Donald Trump Jr. tweeted Saturday evening.
How is a failing sketch comedy show an “essential” business but your families business or your employer’s business isn’t? The elite take care of their friends and you get to suffer. https://t.co/vGPSGMOPpf
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) December 20, 2020
Trump retweeted entrepreneur Carol Roth, who wrote, “Just to be clear, this is ‘essential’, but small businesses and their employees throughout NYC are not.”
Others made similar observations online in response to the show’s lack of social distancing or wearing of masks, including Fox News Senior Meteorologist Janice Dean, who blames Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s policy of ordering coronavirus-strikes patients into nursing homes as being responsible for killing her in-laws.
“So, @NYGovCuomo is screaming at us not to gather, and if we do make sure we’re wearing masks, 6 feet apart. Restaurants are closed, small businesses too. Families are starving, kids out of school. But @nbcsnl somehow is allowed to do this and have a live audience?!” Dean wrote.
So, @NYGovCuomo is screaming at us not to gather, and if we do make sure we’re wearing masks, 6 feet apart. Restaurants are closed, small businesses too. Families are starving, kids out of school. But @nbcsnl somehow is allowed to do this and have a live audience?! https://t.co/5J7wGmQbHN
— Janice Dean (@JaniceDean) December 20, 2020
No masks. No social distancing. https://t.co/hxg7uzqB5y
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) December 20, 2020
But they’re sticking to social distancing guidelines, or something… pic.twitter.com/Apn7BqMAhz
— Doug Powers (@ThePowersThatBe) December 20, 2020
Maybe at some point people will realize the elites don't fear COVID at all, are exempt from lockdowns, and are perpetrating the largest transfer of wealth in human history https://t.co/9nXal7iKaW
— Tim Pool (@Timcast) December 20, 2020
Restaurants can’t have indoor dining with tables 10 feet apart but this weekly circle-jerk can skirt Covid restrictions by paying its live audience. https://t.co/TYC1cBVQnO
— Grant Addison (@jgrantaddison) December 20, 2020
How many of you haven't been able to hug friends or family members in months, maybe since March?
How many of you had to forgo your livelihoods.
Govt cannot pick haves and have nots. https://t.co/TaZFSeI1Ml
— Carol Roth (@caroljsroth) December 20, 2020
Cuomo, a Democrat, has imposed — and re-imposed — COVID-19-related restrictions on businesses and public gatherings for months as the virus spiked and waned throughout the summer and into the fall.
The most recent came earlier this month with the imposition of red, orange, and yellow zones, where the level of restrictions is determined by hospital capacity and overall infection rates, WABC reported. The higher number of hospitalizations and positive cases, the harsher the restrictions.
In addition, Cuomo ordered all indoor dining to cease for the time being, which many restaurants and bars considered a death blow after taking steep losses since the pandemic began in March.
“We are calculating the data of this week and this weekend, and by those metrics, any new zones we will announce on Monday,” Cuomo said Dec. 11. “If we don’t slow the spread and we overwhelm the hospital system, then every restaurant goes to zero percent indoor, outdoor, zero percent. That’s the worst-case scenario.”
Mayor Bill de Blasio said he was in agreement with Cuomo.
“I support the governor one hundred percent,” he said earlier this month after Cuomo made his announcements.
Indoor dining, WABC reported, accounts for 1.43 percent of the most recent spread of the virus. By far, however, according to Cuomo, indoor gatherings in private homes account for nearly three-quarters of all new cases.
“I feel tremendous empathy for restaurant owners,” de Blasio added. “I feel for them, but sometimes it’s smart to say look, if you take an action now, you can stop much worse things from happening later.”
That said, an organization that represents bars and restaurants disagreed with Cuomo and de Blasio, both of whom have continued to receive taxpayer-funded salaries throughout the pandemic.
“While public health and safety must be paramount, Governor Cuomo’s announcement to once again shut down indoor dining in New York City is at odds with the State’s own data that’s been presented as driving these decisions, and it will be the last straw for countless more restaurants and jobs,” Andrew Rigie, executive director of the NYC Hospitality Alliance, said in a statement to WABC.
“And the restrictions begin on Monday with zero economic support for small businesses that are already struggling to survive,” he added.
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