New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) should know better than to sign anymore unpopular executive orders during the coronavirus crisis. He's been inundated with questions about his deadly nursing home policy (since rescinded) in which he forced facilities that house our most vulnerable members of society to accept COVID-19 positive patients. Thousands of New Yorkers have died in nursing homes since the start of the outbreak.
But Cuomo is not done taking advantage of his emergency powers. On Thursday he announced that he's signing an executive order to punish any bars and restaurants who don't follow his reopening guidelines. It comes with the threat of revoking their state liquor licenses or a complete shuttering of their businesses.
NEW: @nygovcuomo signing Executive Order to strengthen state enforcement by State Liquor Authority... if bars/restaurants violate reopening rules & guidelines, it can result in immediate loss of liquor license and a shut down order for business.@WGRZ— Melissa Holmes (@2MelissaHolmes) June 18, 2020
Cuomo says he is signing an executive order to increase social distancing enforcement. The State Liquor Authority would be able to immediately suspend a liquor license if they do not follow the rules; business could be subject to an "immediate shutdown order."— Nick Reisman (@NickReisman) June 18, 2020
Cuomo confirmed his intentions on Twitter.
Businesses that violate health guidelines can face the immediate loss of their liquor license or a shut down order.— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) June 18, 2020
I'm also issuing an Executive Order holding bars responsible for the sidewalk/area in front of their establishments.
New Yorkers listening to the governor's announcement detected a hidden message.
Translation: “Businesses that try to survive will be terminated.”— Jake Cornell, Libertarian For NY Assembly (@RealJakeCornell) June 18, 2020
"Drunk on power," one Twitter user cleverly responded.
Some state lawmakers agree, and have signaled plans to strip him of his emergency powers.
But the most popular response to Cuomo's new EO was one that noticed a hint of hypocrisy. Many are wondering where these Cuomo threats are for protesters who continue to assemble, riot, and loot, despite the state's COVID restrictions.
What if the bar or restaurant claim they are having a protest inside?— Drew Dolan (@DrewDolan5) June 18, 2020