'Don't make me come down there': Gov. Cuomo responds to video of people crowding a New York City street to socialize and drink
A video posted to Twitter on Friday showed a crowd of people seeming to drink, socialize, and listen to live music at St. Marks Place in New York City's East Village. "Don't make me down there," Gov. Cuomo tweeted in response to the video on Saturday afternoon. The state of New York, which suffered the worst COVID-19 outbreak in the US, is currently in the process of reopening though restaurants and bars are still take-out only. On Friday, 32 people in New York state died from COVID -19 — the lowest number since the pandemic hit the state. The state also saw its lowest number of hospitalizations since March 20, Cuomo said. Outdoor dining, which is permitted in Phase 2 of New York's reopening plan, could resume by the end of the month in New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio previously predicted.
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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Saturday took to Twitter and seemingly threatened to intervene after a video posted Friday to Twitter showed a New York City street crowded with people ignoring social distancing guidelines. "Don't make me come down there," the New York governor tweeted alongside the video, which was recorded on Friday evening at St. Marks Place, a famed street in New York City's East Village, according to a local news outlet that originally posted the video. The office of the New York governor did not immediately respond to an Insider request for comment on Saturday about what kind of actions — if any — the governor would take if such behavior became more common. The clip sparked a myriad of mostly negative reactions, with many people expressing outrage over the crowded street. "When there's a new spike people will blame the (masked) protests, but it's really gonna be maskless crap like this," one person said. "I don't fault businesses who are trying to keep the lights on, but what the actual f---," another tweeted. "I just don't understand why people can't wear masks," one person said. The majority of people seen in the video were not practicing social distancing and were not wearing facial coverings. A few people appeared to be wearing facial coverings, though the majority of them had their coverings pulled below their nose and mouth, rendering them useless. Some sort of live music can be heard in the video, as people who stand in the sidewalk and the street chat, sip drinks, and dance along to the music.
Friday night (6/12), St. Mark’s Place pic.twitter.com/hujW2ZFFrY — evgrieve (@evgrieve) June 13, 2020
On May 22, Cuomo, who faced pressure from a lawsuit that alleged his "PAUSE" order prohibition on group gatherings led to violations of the First Amendment, announced that gatherings of 10 people or fewer people were permissible. On June 8, New York City officially entered Phase 1 one of its reopening, which allowed approximately 400,000 construction, retail, and other manufacturing workers to begin their return, The New York Times estimated. Still, much of the city remain closed. Bars and restaurants are still to-go only, and New York City establishments are not yet permitted to offer outdoor seating to their patrons. There have been 206,322 confirmed cases, 53,484 hospitalizations, 17,388 confirmed deaths, and 4,688 probable deaths related to COVID-19 in New York City, according to the city health department. The number of new cases and deaths has dropped significantly since the peak of the outbreak in New York. On Friday, 32 people in New York state died from COVID -19 — the lowest number since the pandemic hit the state in March. New York also saw its lowest number of hospitalizations since March 20, Cuomo announced. Also Friday, five regions in other parts of the state of New York moved on to Phase 3 of the state's reopening plan, according to NBC New York. Under Phase 3, restaurants can resume in-person dining in a socially distant capacity. For months, social media users have shared and tweeted videos and photos of crowded New York City streets, parks, and indoor spaces amid state-mandated social distancing. Still, experts have stressed the importance of access to outdoor space during the pandemic, and research suggests that the risk of contracting COVID-19 in an open-air outdoor space is lower than indoor spaces. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio recently estimated that that New York City could be ready to enter Phase 2 of reopening, which allows for socially distant retail shopping and restaurants to resume outdoor dining, by the end of June. Cuomo's tweet comes amid recently-reignited tensions between Cuomo and de Blasio over who has the authority to make decisions for the city's 8.4 million population. Cuomo and de Blasio have differed on strategies for both COVID-19 and ongoing protests over the death of George Floyd, according to CNN. Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Inside London during COVID-19 lockdown
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