New York Legislature Begins to Repeal Gov. Cuomo’s Pandemic Orders
New York Legislature Begins to Repeal Gov. Cuomo’s Pandemic Orders

By Ivan Pentchoukov

New York’s Democrat-led legislature repealed several of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s pandemic directives on April 28.

The state’s Assembly and Senate voted to repeal parts of a series of executive orders Cuomo issued over the course of the pandemic of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, commonly known as the novel coronavirus.

The repealed provisions include the requirement for bars to require that patrons purchase food when ordering alcohol. The restriction was deemed arbitrary and ridiculed by bar owners, some of whom introduced menu items like “Cuomo chips” to sidestep it. When the governor said chips wouldn’t be enough to meet the requirement, one restaurant introduced “Cuomo chips and salsa.”

“I believe the order was conceived in good faith when COVID was raging, vaccines seemed far away and we didn’t have the scientific knowledge that we have now about the virus,” said Sen. John Mannion (D).

“Its [sic] clear now that some edicts from the executive, including requiring the purchase of food with alcohol are arbitrary and not based on science,” Mannion said. “I have yet to find any scientific literature that finds a correlation between ordering food with your drink and stopping the spread of COVID-19.”

COVID-19 is the disease caused by the CCP virus.

The Assembly and Senate also repealed a provision concerning volunteers who worked with the state’s government during the pandemic. Those volunteers would now have to be treated as public officers and comply with ethics and government disclosure requirements. The change will affect Cuomo advisors, including Larry Schwartz, who volunteered to oversee the state’s vaccine distribution process.

Before the start of the day’s legislative session, Cuomo announced a timeline for lifting the curfews for bars and restaurants. The move was seen by some as a result of the repeals planned later in the day by the state’s legislature.

“I assure you the governor was not at all pleased that we are passing these repeals today. And in fact, I dare say the additional announcements he made this morning are a direct result of our taking this action today because we made it very clear we are going to continue to review the existing directives and continue to assert ourselves as we see fit,” said New York Senate Deputy Majority Leader Mike Gianaris (D).

The lawmakers also repealed parts of three executive orders dealing with penalties related to vaccine administration.

“These executive orders were issued in order to respond to the constantly evolving health crisis. Now, as New Yorkers continue to get vaccinated, and our infection rate continues to go down, there are executive orders that are no longer applicable or necessary,” Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie (D) said in a statement.

In March, the legislature passed a bill limiting the governor’s emergency powers.

Cuomo is fending off an investigation into his administration’s handling of nursing home CCP virus deaths and accusations of improper conduct from several women. Top nation and state Democrats have called on him to resign, but the governor has shown no sign that he intends to give up his post.

Cuomo’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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