Not Cuo fast! NY not ready to follow CDC advice on going maskless, gov says
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Half of New York adults now have COVID vaccine. That’s the good news…
Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio’s refusal to follow federal advice by easing indoor mask mandates has sparked confusion — and conflict — among New Yorkers who are hazy on which advice to follow, business owners griped Friday.
“Today my second client walked in without a mask. She said she thought it was allowed because the president and the CDC said it was OK for vaccinated people,” David Plasse, a personal trainer who runs Plasse Strength & Fitness in Queens told The Post.
“I explained to her, actually we’re waiting for Cuomo to make an announcement. I got her to wear the mask but she was pretty pissed.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention gave the green light Thursday for fully vaccinated Americans to go mask-free inside in most circumstances — but both New York lawmakers refused to sign off, saying they need to “review” the new guidelines.
Plasse, who has about 100 clients but can only allow eight inside the gym at a time due to COVID-19 capacity limits, said he wants Cuomo and de Blasio to get on the same page as the science.
“Clients are sick of wearing masks but, because there has been no official announcement from the governor or mayor, we still have to implement mask regulations. CDC should be the authority but, unfortunately, the governor has the final say in my situation,” he said.
The unnecessary lack of clarity has also triggered several clashes at Big Apple restaurants, including at least one pizzeria in Queens.
“We had five arguments with customers yesterday,” the pizzeria owner, who asked not to be named for fear of retribution from the State Liquor Authority, told The Post.
The restaurateur said he doesn’t think it is fair for “us very small business guys” to bear the burden of being Gov. Cuomo’s enforcers.
“It’s ridiculous,” Queens Chamber of Commerce President Tom Grech also fumed.
“The left hand should be in sync with what the right hand is doing.”
On Thursday, Cuomo announced that Health Commissioner Howard Zucker — the embattled official involved in the alleged COVID-19 nursing home deaths cover-up — will be tasked with reviewing the updated CDC guidance for the Empire State.
“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 Thursday, before then apparently dismissing the science.
“We have received the newly revised guidance from the CDC regarding mask-wearing and social distancing for those with vaccinations and are reviewing them in consultation with Dr. Zucker and our partners and health experts in surrounding states.”
A rep for Cuomo said Friday that his statement still stands — without offering any further update or responding to further questions from The Post.
Mayor Bill de Blasio also hesitated Friday to ease the city’s indoor mask mandate in public spaces.
“We are reviewing the guidance because masks will still be important for schools, public transportation, healthcare and congregate settings and more. But the message is clear: vaccinations are the way to bring our city, our lives, back,” he said in a statement.
Still, Hizzoner urged New Yorkers to go out and get jabbed — ignoring the obvious incentive that following the federal guidance and easing the city’s mask mandate could provide to boost vaccinations.
“Get vaccinated. It’s safe, effective and millions of your neighbors have been vaccinated already,” he said.
Meanwhile, President Biden — who for months has gone to absurd extremes to wear masks, even during a virtual summit and outside after getting fully vaccinated — was happily baring his face Friday.
Asked if he’s enjoying his first day without a mask, Biden told reporters, “Yes,” before walking toward the lobby of the West Wing.
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