Anger comes amid Gov Cuomo’s indoor dining ban
Angry workers and business owners in the restaurant industry rallied in New York City protesting Governor Cuomo’s restrictions banning indoor dining.
Tens of thousands of restaurants and bars across the country closed due to the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns.
Cuomo (D) said unstable hospitalization rates in New York were the reason for the shutdown.
Outdoor dining will also shut down this week due to a winter snowstorm.
Activists gathered in the city to rally against mandatory shutdowns while demanding additional access to PPP funding as well as the trust of local governments.
Restaurant workers in NYC: pic.twitter.com/Uot97MOlWC
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) December 15, 2020
“We are not the problem. We deserve to work,” one speaker said.
One Harlem restaurant owner explained she typically employs 35-45 local residents depending on the season.
But since March, her team has been reduced by half, and she was forced to close one of her locations.
The industry leaders emphasized that they are campaigning for options to operate.
Former New York state senator, Eric Adams, said the situation is “choking the life out of everyday people in the city.”
“This city is killing us,” another speaker said.
Protesters plan to march to the governor’s office following the speeches.
Cuomo banned all indoor dining in the city last week indefinitely due to a rise in Covid-19 cases.
Indoor dining will close in New York City starting Monday.
Hospitalizations have not stabilized, and with a rising infection rate and NYC’s density, this means that indoor dining is too high of a risk.
Takeout, delivery and outdoor dining will continue.
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) December 11, 2020
And the economic costs are becoming glaringly apparent:
#EconWatch: With restaurants and bars causing less than 2% of #COVID transmission, @NYGovCuomo has thoughtlessly ordered a ban on indoor dining at NYC restaurants. Result = massive economic costs and hardship. pic.twitter.com/sy21B384IF
— Prof. Steve Hanke (@steve_hanke) December 14, 2020
Just days later, Cuomo announced he was throwing a celebrity-filled birthday fundraiser with big-name Hollywood stars like Robert De Niro and Ben Stiller.
The party, which is virtual, will raise cash for Cuomo’s 2022 reelection campaign.
According to the official invitation, donations range from $50 to $10,000 for the “host” level.