Six county executives in New York — Republicans and Democrats — publicly urged Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Sunday to adopt the CDC’s guidance allowing vaccinated people to ditch their mask in most circumstances.
“New York needs to follow the science-backed guidance of the CDC,” read the statement from Orange County’s Steven M. Neuhaus, Rockland’s Ed Day, Dutchess’ Marc Molinaro, Suffolk’s Steve Bellone, Putnam’s Mary Ellen Odell and Pat Ryan of Ulster County.
“As we continue to see active cases, hospitalizations and deaths steadily dropping day by day and more people receiving vaccinations, the Governor should implement the CDC’s common sense guidance.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention gave the green light Thursday for fully vaccinated Americans to go mask-free inside and outdoors — but Cuomo has refused to sign off, saying the state needs to “review” the new guidelines.
Nassau County Executive Laura Curran on Friday had urged Cuomo to follow the federal recommendations.
“New York State should immediately adopt the CDC guidance that those who are fully vaccinated against COVID no longer need to wear masks or physically distance, indoors or outdoors in almost all circumstances. The vaccine works and our residents need to return to normal life,” said Curran, a Democrat who is running for re-election to a second term this fall.
The conflicting stances from the feds and Albany has caused mass confusion in the Empire State, as businesses are forced to explain to irate vaccinated customers that they have to stay masked.
On Thursday, Cuomo said that state Health Commissioner Howard Zucker — the embattled official involved in the alleged COVID-19 nursing home death toll 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.”
In response to a request for comment about the joint statement on Sunday, a rep for the Health Department said: “We continue to review the CDC guidance.”
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