During a press conference on Thursday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that he would sign an executive order allowing businesses to deny customers not wearing masks.
“You don’t want to wear a mask, fine. Then you don’t have a right to enter that store,” Cuomo said, arguing that the masks are crucial to allowing the state to reopen.
The Washington Post reported that businesses in Kentucky, Texas, California, and Wisconsin are now no longer allowing customers through their doors while wearing masks. There have been numerous reports of criminals wearing masks to commit robberies.
Today I am signing an Executive Order authorizing businesses to deny entry to those who do not wear masks or face-coverings. No mask – No entry.
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) May 28, 2020
Cuomo was joined by actress Rosie Perez and comedian Chris Rock, who are apparently coronavirus experts now. “When you see hipsters and yuppies walking around without a mask I say, what is it? Is it arrogance?” asked Perez.
“Spreading love the Brooklyn way means respecting your neighbors, respecting your communities, and the way you can do that is by getting tested, wearing a mask,” she added.
“If you love your grandmother, you love your elderly mother, elderly anybody, you should get tested,” said Rock. “I just got tested to come out here. I got a 65.”
I’m glad this is such a serious subject that Cuomo needed star power to make jokes. Rock and Perez were reportedly present to discuss the coronavirus’ disproportionate impact on minority communities.
Cuomo has been under scrutiny the past couple weeks for his deadly nursing home policy that forced positive coronavirus patients to be admitted at nursing homes, thus allowing infection to spread rapidly amongst our nation’s most vulnerable population. Nursing home residents account for less than one percent of the United States’ population, but between 40 and 50 percent of all coronavirus deaths.
Cuomo is desperately trying to appear proactive, but business owners already have the right to deny entry to people who don’t wear masks. In fact, I’ve noticed several businesses put signage up informing customers they must wear masks inside.
We’re not gonna forget your disastrous nursing home policy, Cuomo. Not gonna happen.
Matt Margolis is the author of Trumping Obama: How President Trump Saved Us From Barack Obama’s Legacy and the bestselling book The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama. You can follow Matt on Twitter @MattMargolis