New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has threatened “to close the synagogues” if they don’t abide by the state’s in-person limit on public gatherings. This, even though thousands of people have taken to the streets to protest and riot in New York City over the past several months.
The Democrat governor made the statement while talking to reporters on Monday, The Washington Times reported.
“You’re dealing with government saying to religions, ‘you shouldn’t have more than X people in your church or your mosque or your temple,’” Gov. Cuomo said.
“The Sheriff’s Office has 150 people. What do you think 150 people are going to do? I mean, it’s just not enough. … I have to say to the Orthodox community tomorrow, ‘if you’re not willing to live with these rules, then I’m going to close the synagogues… It’s a difficult conversation and you’re right on the line of government intrusion on religion,’” he added.
Gov. Cuomo’s comments followed a new order he put out on Monday which temporarily closes public and private schools in several areas with large Orthodox populations, according to The Associated Press.
“People are very turned off and very burned out. It’s not like we’re the only people in New York getting COVID,” said Yosef Hershkop, a Hasidic Jew from Brooklyn who works for a chain of urgent-care centers.
This isn’t the first time the Jewish Community has struggled against the authorities in New York during the COVID-19 outbreak.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio took heat at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic for singling out the Jewish Community for quarantine enforcement.
Following a large gathering of mourners in Brooklyn, New York for the funeral of a Jewish Rabbi, de Blasio blasted the group.
“My message to the Jewish community, and all communities, is this simple: the time for warnings has passed. I have instructed the NYPD to proceed immediately to summons or even arrest those who gather in large groups. This is about stopping this disease and saving lives. Period,” he said.
Over the past month, the state of New York has seen a relatively small increase in COVID-19 positive cases, though the rise does not compare to the wave that hit New York City in March and April.
According to The New York Times, the 7-day average of COVID-19 positive cases was 1,295 on October 5. On April 10, that 7-day average reached a high of 9,877 new cases per day.
Additionally, the 7-day average of deaths from coronavirus on October 5 was 13 for the whole state of New York. On April 10, it was 921 deaths per day.
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Photo from Lev Radin/REUTERS
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