Cuomo: Not so fast on taking off those masks

Shannon Stapleton/Pool via AP

Yesterday we learned from the CDC what many people in the country had known all along. It’s pointless to make fully vaccinated people wear face masks, particularly the cloth ones that most are using. Okay… they didn’t say it in exactly those words, but that’s the underlying reality. But if you live in New York State, don’t start celebrating just yet. The Worst Governor in America was quick to rush out and tell residents of the Empire State that he’s not ready to lift the mask mandate yet, despite whatever the CDC has to say. He’s busy “following the science.” (NY Post)

Pandemic-weary New Yorkers had their hopes deflated Thursday when Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he wasn’t ready to ease the state’s mask mandate — even though the feds gave the green light for vaccinated Americans to finally show their faces and gather indoors again.

In a late-afternoon statement, Cuomo said he and Health Commissioner Howard Zucker had yet to decide if the Empire State would adopt newly announced guidelines from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“In New York, we have always relied on the facts and the science to guide us throughout the worst of this pandemic and in our successful reopening,” Cuomo said.

The pointless mask mandates are simply being used as blackmail at this point, but it appears that Andrew Cuomo isn’t ready to decide how to play this hand to his best advantage. The blackmail angle should have become obvious yesterday when Joe Biden’s Twitter account put out a blatant threat to everyone about getting vaccinated. I’ll admit, my response to it was probably less professional than it might have been.

My initial reaction upon hearing Cuomo’s announcement was to wonder if he’s really just trying to be impeached at this point. After the nursing home debacle and the sexual harassment claims, not to mention the corruption trials surrounding the “Buffalo Billion,” you might think that the governor wouldn’t be trying to tick off even more people. But he seems to either think that he’s politically immortal or he simply doesn’t care anymore.

I also find myself wondering if this is really going to have any sort of impact on the lives of New Yorkers. I know that I had already done away with any mask usage and so have many of my neighbors. As I’ve noted here previously, I carry one along in case I have to go into a store that requires them, but I’m patronizing businesses that don’t have a face mask rule over those that do wherever possible. Most of us are completely done with this nonsense at this point. Does anyone really care what Andrew Cuomo has to say at this point?

That issue of the stores is another matter, however. Even if Cuomo lifts the mask mandate for vaccinated people as soon as this article is published, that won’t alter the status quo if there are still a lot of businesses leaving up their “face masks required” signs. Personally, I don’t think we need some sort of state law preventing stores from doing that. The owners and managers can make the call according to their own beliefs. But consumers have the opportunity to vote with their feet and their wallets in cases like that. If there are two grocery stores in your neighborhood and one retains a mask mandate and the other doesn’t, where will you shop? If the store requiring masks notices a stream of traffic heading toward their competitor, the signs will come down soon enough.

It’s past time to get back to normal. What I’m waiting to see is if Congress ever convenes a 9/11 style commission to investigate how this pandemic response was handled from the beginning. Because it was not handled well and we don’t need to repeat this fiasco the next time there’s a serious health threat taking place.