Opinion: End The Restrictions

It’s time to end all restrictions on gatherings and businesses implemented by King Cuomo in a botched attempt to stop the spread of COVID-19. I understand this pandemic is dangerous and deadly, but the policies intended to stop the spread have amounted to the worst abrogation of our rights and liberties this century.

Let’s follow the science: lockdowns don’t work. Forcing small businesses to restrict capacity or close altogether while large corporations rake in record profits does nothing to beat the virus. California and New York have in place some of the harshest restrictions in the country, yet infection rates remain high. Meanwhile, Florida has no state-level mandates or restrictions. That state has left it up to businesses and individuals to determine any necessary measures to combat the virus. Unlike New York and most other states, Florida trusts its people to do the right thing, and their infection rate is not out of control like California’s. Their schools are fully reopened, with the option of remote learning, and almost all extracurricular activities are up and running. There is no social distancing, and no requirement to wear masks. Florida is just about back to normal. Florida is free.

Let’s follow the science: less than 2 percent of all new infections come from indoor dining and entertainment venues, yet King Cuomo in his infinite wisdom has implemented the asinine mandate that all such businesses close by 10 p.m., and indoor dining in New York City is once again banned. This will not defeat COVID,  but it will destroy thousands of small businesses statewide and ruin thousands of livelihoods.

The tyranny our state has been plunged into is not entirely King Cuomo’s fault. Both Democrats and Republicans in the state legislature voted to give him unlimited executive powers, making them complicit and just as responsible for the reprehensible restrictions that are strangling the state economy and driving countless families into financial ruin. While millions of residents are struggling to make ends meet, King Cuomo and the legislature continue to comfortably collect their six-figure salaries at taxpayers’ expense.

Even if these restrictions worked, government, much less a governor, has no right to decide which jobs are essential, how late a business can stay open, how many people can be on a business’s property, or how many people can be gathered in one’s private home. Government doesn’t own you or your business or your home; you do! It is your right and your responsibility to determine any precautions necessary to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and it is your right to earn a living even during a pandemic.

Emergencies are not an excuse to trample upon the liberties of we the people. Therefore I urge Albany lawmakers to end all COVID-related restrictions and revoke King Cuomo’s unlimited power.

Originally published in the Mid-Hudson Times, December 31, 2020

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