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Media, Twitter call out Cuomo’s mask-less presser, advisor’s petulant response doesn’t help

Gov. Andrew Cuomo bragged on Monday to reporters that his mask mandates helped curb New York’s COVID-19 cases. He did this while seemingly blissfully ignorant to the fact that he and his panel of aides were holding an indoor, closed room COVID-19 presser… without masks on.

“What worked in the spring, and the reason you’re wearing a mask today, is because we told the truth, and New Yorkers responded,” Cuomo said at the more-than-hourlong Manhattan press conference.

The governor did not have a face mask on and neither did his five top aides. That includes state Health Commissioner Howard Zucker and SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras. However, there were about a dozen other people in the room who did wear masks… the governor’s spokespeople, photographer and state trooper detail had masks on. So did the reporters. But the select leadership lecturing the good people of New York just couldn’t be bothered because after all… they are above all this petty pandemic stuff.

Earlier in November, Cuomo insultingly stated that “If you were smart, none of this would be a problem.” He literally blamed his constituents for the pandemic because they are ‘too ignorant’ to follow his orders. When Cuomo was called out for his hypocrisy during this briefing, he became arrogantly indignant once again.

When Bernadette Hogan of the New York Post took a pic of Cuomo’s inner circle sans face coverings and wrote a piece on it, one of the governor’s aides took exception to it and snapped back at her: “The room is socially distanced, capacity reduced by 65% with a MERV-14 filter. Masks are worn at all times when not seated. Add this to the pile of cheap & intellectually dishonest @nypost hit jobs. If you don’t think we take this seriously, you’ve been asleep since March.” Someone might want to tell him that a virus travels regardless of social distancing.

The panel’s willfully ignoring of what would seem to be a no-brainer precaution comes after the CDC has warned on its website, “There is evidence that under certain conditions, people with COVID-19 seem to have infected others who were more than 6 feet away.”

“These transmissions occurred within enclosed spaces that had inadequate ventilation.” Cuomo, of course, protests there was adequate ventilation.

Dr. Emily Landon, the University of Chicago’s executive medical director for infection prevention and control, said studies have shown ventilation indoors is usually not enough to control the spread of the coronavirus without mask-wearing.

“So it seems that limiting indoor gatherings where people don’t wear masks is a key part to preventing COVID transmission — and it is,” she said at a press conference. Send that memo to Cuomo, stat.

This briefing, like so many others Cuomo has held, was to announce immediate emergency measures the state is taking to try to stave off another disastrous bout of the coronavirus amid surging cases and hospitalizations. But telling people to ‘do as I say, not as I do’ does not make for believability and certainly does not engender trust.

The room where the presser was conducted was very small for the number of people crowded into it.

Even Cuomo’s own fellow Democrats think this is just nuts. “I think they all should be wearing masks,” state Assemblyman Ron Kim (D-Flushing, Queens), said of the governor and his aides.

“When we do our streaming events, my colleagues are 6 feet apart, and whether we are facing the public or TV, I know my colleagues and I keep our masks on because we’re cognizant of the image that we’re portraying it to the public.”

“I think the governor — especially with his platform and recent popularity — he has a responsibility to lead by example.”

Cuomo says they have a fancy air filter in the room and they wear masks when standing up. As if it is some kind of magical charm that will ward off all coronavirus shenanigans. If so, why aren’t they used in schools, churches, and restaurants? Asking for a few million friends. Maybe they only work for the elite in government there in New York. Yeah, that’s it.

Vivian Zayak, whose mom died in a Long Island nursing home on April 1, stated the presser was an example of blatant “hypocrisy” by Cuomo.

“This is disgusting and infuriating,” she angrily said. “His inner circle doesn’t wear masks while he cracks down on everyone else to wear masks.”

“It’s a continued slap in the face to nursing home families and residents of New York who have to abide by these rules and restrictions.”

A Queens pizzeria owner bluntly told Cuomo, “Lead by example, Il Duce!”

The owner pointed out that he and his workers wear masks all day around hot ovens.

“I’m more than welcome to have the governor and his top people stand by our 600-degree oven for 10 hours with their masks on,’’ the man said. “They couldn’t wear masks for a press conference? They really suck.”

Ironically, Cuomo stated that nearly two-thirds of the state’s recent COVID-19 cases stem from “spreader” small gatherings. The governor is tone-deaf in the extreme or worse yet, just doesn’t care.

When Cuomo was called out by a reporter in early October for not wearing a mask himself, he replied, “The rule is 6 feet social distancing.”

“Do you want to change the rule? If there’s new data, then we should come up with a new law.”

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