Some businesses in New York are starting to retaliate against the new round of anti-coronavirus measures being implemented by the state as COVID-19 cases rebounded to new highs last seen in April.
A confrontation caught on video in Buffalo, New York, for example, showed business owners telling a health official and police from the Erie County Sheriff’s Department staff to leave their property and “go get a warrant” as the authorities tried to enter the facility.
Local media WBEN reported that about 100 business owners gathered together in the area before they were tipped off anonymously for violating the 10-person limit for gatherings recently ordered by Governor Andrew Cuomo as part of his tighter coronavirus-related restrictions.
The beginning of the video showed one of the reported business owners telling authorities that unlike them, their livelihood does not come from the government — and they must continue to operate in order to survive.
Business owners told authorities to leave property
“I’ve seen clients die because they’ve lost their livelihood,” the man said. “I’m asking for [you] to have some compassion for the people that have lost everything.”
“Go get a warrant,” another business owner interjected. “This is private property. … This is private property, [they’re] not wanted here.”
“Do your jobs,” he told the sheriffs, noting that this job includes “removing people who are not wanted here.”
One of the sheriffs then told the group that they should all be wearing masks.
“Don’t worry about my health,” one business owner responded.“My health isn’t your concern.”
The sheriff noted that “it’s a government mandate” and “it’s the law” to which the business owners responded “not the law” — probably pertaining to the fact that the mask mandate was an executive order from Governor Cuomo that didn’t go through the state legislature.
Business owners in Buffalo, NY demand “health inspector” leave private property. “Go get a warrant.”
— Justin Hart (@justin_hart) November 21, 2020
“You have to leave,” the business owners repeated. “You guys have to leave.”
Another man yells: “You guys need to leave because right now, you’re trespassing without a warrant; you need to leave.”
Taunts of “civil disobedience” erupt
“Civil disobedience starts now,” another attendee of the gathering interjected. “You don’t get to violate the Constitution … you don’t circumvent or subvert the Constitution.”
The group taunted the officials to “get out” and “we will not comply” as the health official and the sheriffs were escorted out the property.
The business owners cheered afterwards when authorities left the property and complied to their requests.
“Tim Walton attended the meeting that began at around 7pm Friday and tells WBEN there were more than 100 people attending the meeting inside the gym,” WBEN reported.
“In a press release and blog post, Walton says the Erie County Sheriff’s Department and Health Department entered the facility and confronted the gathering, telling them they were in violation of the limit to mass gatherings of no more than ten,” it added.
New York recorded a seven-month high of 5,972 new coronavirus cases on Saturday as numbers continue to soar in hotspots and the upstate. This is the highest for a single-day since late April, when the state was considered the epicenter of the disease in the country.
Today's update on the numbers:
Of the 207,907 tests reported yesterday, 5,972 were positive (2.87% of total).
Total hospitalizations are at 2,443.
Sadly, there were 34 COVID fatalities yesterday. pic.twitter.com/E9VzkcpenN
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) November 21, 2020
“We are in no way immune to the problems we are seeing elsewhere and we are entering a very dangerous period with the cold weather and holidays approaching,” Governor Cuomo said.
Cuomo defers US$25K pay raise for 2021
As businesses worry about surviving the pandemic, however, Governor Cuomo is set to receive a US$25,000 pay raise scheduled for 2021 which would increase his pay from US$225,000 to US$250,000 — making him the highest paid governor in the country. After receiving backlash, the New York governor announced he will “defer” it and asked other state officials to do the same.
Meanwhile, Mayor Bill de Blasio also announced that New York City’s infection rate has gone up as he warned that the city is headed for new restrictions.
This weekend is critical to fighting back #COVID19. Here’s a look at the latest indicators:
• 118 patients admitted to the hospital
• 1,345 new cases
• The infection rate 7-day average is 3.11%
Wear a mask.
Avoid large gatherings.
Get tested: https://t.co/Fo48aDofTa
— Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) November 21, 2020
“The restrictions that are coming. I’ve been very overt in the fact that the governor said an orange zone is coming. By our own projections, based on the state data, that will happen soon after Thanksgiving, probably the first week of December,”de Blasio told a radio show.
Those restrictions, he noted, would include shutting down indoor dining, salons and gyms once again — just a few months since the state started to reopen after earlier lockdowns.
Source: The Scoop