Governor Cuomo: We will Close Bars / Restaurants IF Illegal Gatherings Continue
Over the course of the past week decisions would be made by local leaders – Paths taken in light of the threats to New York’s advancements in its fight against the Coronavirus Pandemic. Fears and worries that the state would suffer through a COVID-19 rebound due to the deteriorating health metrics of a growing number of states as well as New Yorkers acting against the best interest of their fellow citizens.
This all came about in anticipation of New York City’s expected entry into Phase 4 on July 20 and following a week of Governor Andrew Cuomo confidently voicing that New York will indeed experience a second health crisis.
The related video from the Governor’s briefing yesterday can be found near the bottom of this page followed by its transcript.
The best way to go about this is with a quick bulleted timeline.
Thursday, July 16
During Daytime Press Briefing, Governor Cuomo mandates the following:
- Three Strikes and You’re Closed: Any bar/restaurant with three violations (likely related to liquor or COVID-19 Adherence)
- Egregious violations can mean immediate loss of liquor license
- No Walk-up bar service allowed anymore. You can only purchase liquor if you’re seated at a table.
Friday, July 17
- Videos and News Reports show masses of New Yorkers partying in an Astoria, Queens neighborhood. Many of whom are seen without masks and congregating in disregard of social distancing rules.
Monday, July 20
- Governor Cuomo threatens to roll back reopening and close bars / restaurants if congregations continue
- Later, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio threatens to issue summonses if need be. He also states that the NYC Sheriff’s Office and the NYPD would play a greater part in assuring adherence.
- This all comes as a great surprise considering the Mayor’s long standing position against mixing law enforcement with compliance enforcement. He’s also shown reluctance in even considering the issuance of fines.
- The Mayor also announced that a restaurant responsible for a good portion of the illegal congregations in Astoria was shut down
Tuesday, July 21
- Governor Cuomo reiterates yet again that some bad apples are taking advantage of the Outdoor Dining Initiatives and regulations.
- He names four establishments which have lost their liquor licenses.
Governor Cuomo on Monday, July 20
“We have two main threats. The first threat is the number of congregations that we’re seeing across the state, but especially in downstate, primarily of young people. I have talked about this before. We saw it again over the weekend and it is a problem. It is a problem. We know enough about this virus. We know that there are inevitable consequences to our actions. If you have congregations of people, they are going to spread the virus. Now, many of these conversations tend to be young people and young people, as a general rule, believe their super heroes. I understand. I was a young person once, just last week. Okay, maybe not last week. “Well, we can’t get sick.” First of all, that’s not a fact. There are facts and there are wrong pieces of information. You can get sick in your 20s. You can get sick. You can die in your 20s, people have. Even if you live by the theory of you’re a super hero, you will take the virus and you will give it to someone else. Unless you live in a hermetically sealed bubble, that will happen. You will go home and you will transfer to someone else who will transfer it to someone else, and you could kill someone. So from an aspect of any social responsibility at all, it’s not just about you. It’s not just about you. It’s about who you could infect and who you could hurt. And it has, it has continued unabated and it’s getting worse. I am telling you it is a problem. It’s not a new problem but it is growing.”
“To the partiers who come out, I understand the frustration. I understand you’ve been inside for a long time. I understand you’re young. I understand people like to socialize. I get that it’s the summer. I get that the work environment is not as tough, so you have the flexibility to go out. I get all of that. I really do. But, I’m telling you it has to stop. And I’m telling you in plain, New York speak, as a born and bred New Yorker, it’s stupid, what you’re doing. It is stupid. Well that’s not a governmentally appropriate word. It’s a true word. Don’t be stupid. That is good advice in life. Take it from a person who’s lived a lot of life. Don’t be stupid. What they’re doing is stupid and reckless for themselves and for other people. And it has to stop.”
“To the local governments, I’ve said repeatedly that the local governments are in charge of compliance and enforcement. If young people are going to come out and do something stupid, the local governments have to enforce the law. That’s how it works in life. And the police department has to enforce the law. And they are not doing it. And that is their job and they have to do it. I will tell you what’s going to happen. I spoke to a number of restaurant owners yesterday. We’ve had numerous conversations. The bad restaurant and bar owners are going to make it worse for the good ones. Most restaurants and bars are complying, they’re going through a very tough economic situation, but they’re living by the rules. The bad ones who are exploiting the situation and breaking the law, by the way, this is not just morality, they’re breaking the law, are going to make it bad for everyone. The local governments are not doing their job. We cannot allow those congregations to continue. If it happens, I’ll tell you what’s going to happen. We’re going to have to roll back the opening plan. And we’re going to have to close bars and restaurants.”
“That is what we are going to have to do. So to local governments I say look, you don’t want to enforce the law because you think it’s politically unpopular, and you don’t want ot do something that’s politically unpopular. I’ll tell you what’s more politically unpopular. When you’re going to have to explain to the people why we had to close all bars and restaurants. That’s going to be more politically difficult than telling the NYPD to do their job. This is not a point of sending out the police department to inform young people to wear a mask. They’ve heard that message. The police department is not there to inform them of mask compliance. Police departments have to enforce the law. They have to enforce the law. That is the only line between anarchy and civilization. They have to enforce the law. And they’re not. “
“The bad bar, bad operators in terms of restaurants and bars, they’re going to make it bad for everyone and for themselves. We will have to roll back the bar and restaurant opening. If congregations continue, if the local governments don’t stop it, that is what is going to happen. One plus one still equals two, right, and there’s a logical consequence of actions, and that’s where we are. That’s the first threat.”