The Wuhan coronavirus lockdowns have produced the spectacle of politicians unilaterally deciding what businesses are essential, what products these so-called essential businesses may sell, and -- now in New York -- which foods are considered "substantive" for purposes of selling alcohol.
In New York, as in many other states, bars are required to have food available as a condition for selling alcohol. But during the current lockdowns, Gov. Cuomo made a new rule requiring patrons to purchase a food item in order to purchase an alcoholic beverage. The requirement is reportedly aimed at reducing curbside boozing during the coronavirus pandemic.
Bars struggling to stay solvent during the lockdowns are now being told by the governor which of their food items are considered to be "substantive" foods and which are considered to be mere snacks. And according to the governor, chicken wings don't make the cut.
"To be a bar, you had to have food available — soups, sandwiches, etc. More than just hors d’oeuvres, chicken wings. You had to have some substantive food — the lowest level of substantive food were sandwiches," Cuomo said during a briefing on Thursday.
King Cuomo says chicken wings are no longer food. Please have your business suffer accordingly.— Amanda (@AmandaPresto) July 23, 2020
If chicken wings aren’t real food I should have died from starvation long ago. https://t.co/xt63YBDREV— Ellie Bufkin (@ellie_bufkin) July 23, 2020
Anything short of this is not a full meal according to Andrew Cuomo. pic.twitter.com/7kJU7ST5lQ— David Marcus (@BlueBoxDave) July 23, 2020
California is similarly dictating which foods you must eat while consuming alcohol, ostensibly to discourage bar patrons from lingering over drinks and crowding in tight spaces after their "substantial foods" are fully consumed. It is not clear whether California Gov. Gavin Newsom nor Cuomo have actually ever been inside a bar that served chicken wings.
Cuomo's newest draconian order serves no purpose in protecting the people of New York from COVID-19 infection. Businesses' sleight-of-hand last week in selling "Cuomo Chips" for $1 to circumvent his power flex clearly hit a nerve, and the napoleonic leader responded with a petty new rule, meant only to exemplify his supreme power.
It's time to end to the emergency powers and get back to our chicken wings.