Cuomo Cruelly Berates Reporters who Asked Whether City or State Currently has Authority to Close Public Schools

 By Yehudit Garmaise

After Gov. Andrew Cuomo told New Yorkers that “we should show our family members how much we love them” by refusing to see them at all over the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, he asked for questions from reporters, who like so many New Yorkers, have questions about whom is making the final decisions about whether the schools and when.

   For instance, Wall Street Journal reporter Jimmy Vielkind asked Cuomo, “The other day you said, [Closing the schools] is the city’s decision, that they have an agreement [to close] at 3% [COVID positivity rate], but today you said, “Today I might have to impose an orange zone,’ and ‘I might have to close the schools.”

   As so often happens, politicians say different things on different days, and reporters must try to clarify what politicians mean so that readers understand policies that affect them, such as whether one million public school children have school tomorrow or not.

  So, Vielkind then bluntly asked Cuomo, “What is going on?

   “Does the city still have the ability to close its schools? [Or] are you now taking control in saying that you have the power to make the decision?

  But Gov. Cuomo’s usually chatty, jocular tone from his press conferences changed, as he became angry and aggressive.

   “First of all, let’s try not to be obnoxious and offensive in your tone,” Gov. Cuomo abrasively rebuked the reporter, who, along with every other reporter at the press conference in Albany, and watching remotely, squirmed in his seat uncomfortably.  

   Then, the governor went on to tell Vielkind, “You are 100% wrong. 

   “These laws [that schools that fall within micro-clusters are subject to the state’s overriding the local rules] have all been in effect for months. I have always said, ‘We set initial parameters, and then the [688 New York state] school districts will pick the percentage within those parameters. New York City picked 3%.

   After further verbal abuse, Gov. Cuomo then went on mock the questioner by repeating what he asked in an exaggerated voice, “You are now going to override [de Blasio]?”

   “We did it already,” Cuomo thundered. “That is the law! In an orange zone and a red zone. Follow the facts.”

   The reporter then said that he was confused, and Gov. Cuomo, presumably who holds press conferences to explain and clarify his policies, said dismissively, “Well, then you are confused.”

   The reporter then tried to say that parents were confused as well. 

  Gov. Cuomo thundered, “Read the law, and you won’t be confused.”

  Another reporter tried to intervene by asking Gov. Cuomo whether the schools would be open tomorrow, to which Gov. Cuomo replied impatiently, “The schools are open. By state law.”

   Although Gov. Cuomo did not declare New York City to be an orange zone, in which schools would be closed by the state, not long after he spoke, Mayor Bill de Blasio held his daily press conference, in which he announced, that despite the COVID positivity rate of .10% in schools, which many times not shown to be places that transmit coronavirus, he had picked 3% as the number at which he would close schools, and so he was doing so, as of tomorrow.

 (Photo by:  Darren McGee- Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo)

Be in the know

receive BoroPark24’s news & updates on whatsapp

 Start Now

State Senator Andrew Gounardes Declares Victory for a Second Term
  • Nov 18 2020
  • |
  • 7:50 PM

Uvos Ibunim at the Bukarest Shul in Boro Park
  • Nov 18 2020
  • |
  • 5:20 PM