Coronavirus

Andrew Cuomo, Ron DeSantis Announce Major Rollbacks of Pandemic Restrictions

Two governors defined by their differing approaches to COVID-19 are both moving in the same direction.

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New York and Florida had famously different responses to the pandemic, the former being especially restrictive, the latter being much more permissive. Today, the governors of both states announced major rollbacks of COVID-19 regulations.

In Florida, Republican Ron DeSantis issued an executive order suspending all local governments' emergency pandemic orders, including mask mandates.

"I think that's the evidence-based thing to do," he said today at a news conference. "I think folks that are saying they need to be policing people at this point, if you're saying that, then you're really saying you don't believe in the vaccines."

DeSantis announced his executive order at a signing ceremony for S.B. 2006. That bill ends all local emergency orders by July 1, as well as amending Florida's laws to make it harder for both states and localities to shut down businesses and schools. The governor's order is meant to bridge the gap between now and when the bill goes into effect.

These moves effectively move Florida, always one of the looser states in terms of COVID restrictions, back to a pre-pandemic state of affairs, combined with a few new checks on government emergency powers.

The governor's order frustrated several local officials who had proactively pushed mask mandates. DeSantis has already canceled fines received by individuals and businesses for violating local emergency orders, prompting some counties to stop enforcing theirs entirely.

Meanwhile, Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that come May 19, New York would be lifting most capacity restrictions, including those on bars and restaurants.

"The tide is turning against COVID-19 in New York, and thanks to our increasing vaccination rates, as well as our successful, data-based regional approach, we're able to take more steps to reopen our economy, help businesses and workers, and keep moving towards returning to normal" he said.

In New Jersey, another Democratic governor—Phil Murphy—announced that his state would be repealing its business capacity restrictions on May 19 as well.

Both Cuomo and Murphy's reopenings come with the proviso that people still need to maintain six feet of distance from each other. Large indoor event venues will be allowed to increase their capacity to 30 percent, up from the current 10 percent. Attendees will also have to show a negative COVID test or proof of vaccination.

The bill signed by DeSantis today prohibits schools, local governments, and businesses from requiring people show proof of vaccination. The governor had issued an executive order also banning these vaccine "passports" last month.

Other states known for restrictive lockdowns have also started to ease up on their pandemic regulations. That includes California, where embattled Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom has said that all capacity restrictions on businesses will be lifted come June 15, provided COVID-19 deaths remain low in the state and there's enough vaccine supply to meet demand.

Aside from the prohibition on private parties requiring proof of vaccination, these are welcome moves. It's particularly heartening to see both red and blue states moving in the same direction. It's a demonstration not just that pandemic regulations are broadly unpopular, but that they are increasingly seen as unnecessary, given the availability of vaccines and the falling number of COVID-19 cases and deaths.

That hope that vaccinations would, at last, remove the justification for these emergency public health restrictions is largely being borne out.

This bipartisan reopening does make the restrictions that still exist more grating. In his remarks today, DeSantis noted D.C.'s ban on people standing at indoor weddings. One hopes that as more states lift their pandemic regulations, those rules too will fall by the wayside.

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  1. Two governors defined by their differing approaches to COVID-19 are both moving in the same direction.

    Well, one has drastically switched direction…

    1. Republican governor repeals emergency orders and checks executive emergency powers, Democratic governors lessen the severity of emergency orders still in place despite signs, including the Republican gorvernor, that the emergency is long over and that their orders were between unnecessary and futile. But… both sides!

      1. There was never even an emergency

        1. dear everybody ^^

        2. Whether the disease or the panicked, oppressive lockdowns themselves was the emergency, DeSantis has handled himself categorically different than the two chumps he’s being lumped in with.

          1. Absolutely.
            But we can’t forget that this whole thing has been a fraud the entire time.

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            2. Absolutely.

              But we have to remember .

            3. Give our wonderful journalists just a bit more time. They’ll soon discover that all the uncounted COVID dead are hidden in the walls of DeSantis’s house. Have faith.

    2. The problem, as i see it isn’t the announcement of implementation or reduction of these unconstitutional edicts. It’s our casual acceptance of either as a legitimate way to govern.

      1. Some of us were calling for mass rioting a full year ago.

        1. Peaceful protests, sir.

          1. Mostly peaceful

            1. Except when the cop shot the unarmed protester in the face and it turns out white lives don’t matter.

              1. They are not actually racists.
                The fascists will shoot a black conservative as fast as a white one.

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    4. Wow, Cuomo is lifting capacity restrictions. DeSantis has removed those long ago. They don’t belong in the same headline, you hack.

  2. Of course, DeSantis is completely eliminating restrictions, while Cuomo’s are still some of the harshest in the nation.

  3. >>come with the proviso that people still need to maintain six feet of distance from each other

    >>suspending all local governments’ emergency pandemic orders, including mask mandates

    totes “same direction”

    1. Yeah, Cuomo and DeSantis are moving in the same direction………

      FFS, what a ridiculous premise.

      1. They’re moving in the same direction just like me racing Usain Bolt in a 100m sprint, we would both be moving in the same direction. Only in this analogy, DeSantis is Bolt and Cuomo is me.

        1. Cuomo is me, that is, if I started the race running the wrong direction before finally figuring it out.

          1. And groped a few people along the way.

            1. While making a pile of personal money from books written by state paid staff?

  4. Meanwhile in Washington state our dear leader Inslee is increasing restrictions by moving counties into more restrictive phases. Even though 33% of people are fully vaccinated and the death rate in last 7 days is 0.2 per 100,000.

    1. He isn’t facing the political pressure that Newsom is so he can afford to stand on our necks long after it’s obvious that it’s not required.

      I knew we were 100% safe the day he dismantled the field hospital at Century Link field. If there was even a 1% chance it would be needed he would have left it there. But throughout this entire year, we’ve seen NO spike in hospital usage at all, regardless of how many covid patients are there. It’s just a long flat like at like 60% total capacity.

      Worst governor except maybe MI at this point.

      1. *flat line

      2. The only purpose of traveling into WA is to buy weed. Thanks for all state line pot shops.

        1. The state income tax might be worth moving across the border into Post Falls.

  5. Alt Text: ✔ Well governed state ✔ Hot Wife ✔ Normal sized hands 2024 is in the bag

    1. but does he drink water correctly?

      1. He’s somewhere between Trump and Zuckerberg on that front per my anonymous sources.

  6. Our local officials in St. Louis just announced that the mask mandates will be in place through the end of May. Indoor dining capacity limits are removed – BUT! – 6 feet of distance must be maintained between tables (so basically no change). The curfews on hours for bars and restaurants, which previously varied from 9pm to midnight, have been lifted.

  7. We need more states prohibiting publicly traded multination subsidy receiving crony capitalist entities from interfering with the rights of others to patronize such parasites without having to diaper.

  8. “Aside from the prohibition on private parties requiring proof of vaccination . . . ”

    Just for the record, HIPPA prohibits inquiries concerning medical information to certified medical professionals certified in proper handling of sensitive medical data. Why in the world would I give medical information to some random store owner or waiter? Especially about whether or not I have participated in a large scale non-random drug trial of an experimental vaccine? No vaccine has been approved by the feds; all use is under an emergency use authorization only. No long term studies, no studies on children, no studies on “persons” capable of child bearing, etc.

    1. Yeah they sort of skated over the real “guidance” here — in NY you will have to show your papers to do stuff.

  9. Oh don’t worry if you live a blue state they’ll concoct some reason to lock down your ass.

  10. Comparing Cuomo to DeSantis doesn’t do anything for Cuomo.

  11. Not surprised about New York. Cuomo is a hands on governor. He has his finger on the pulse of his constituents.

    1. Yes, but it’s the carotid artery he’s pressing on.

    2. A rectal pulse.

      1. I heard that Biden like a different orifice when he takes a womans pulse.

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  13. Can we also be glad that neither governor called their moves “following the science?”

    With all the talk of science and testing, you would think Cave Johnson from Portal 2 was running the pandemic response.

  14. DeSantis has already canceled fines received by individuals and businesses for violating local emergency orders, prompting some counties to stop enforcing theirs entirely.

    LOL

    1. Fun fact: In Orange County FL, they passed something they call a “non-enforceable mandate”. Seriously. I sent an email asking about the ‘exemptions’ listed in the executive order.
      From the county commissioner’s office:
      “On behalf of Commissioner VanderLey, thank you for your inquiry. As a point of clarification, the Mayor’s Executive Order requiring Face Coverings is not an enforceable mandate. As such, there are not procedural requirements in place for those individuals who cannot tolerate a face covering for medical, sensory or any other condition which makes it difficult from them to utilize a face covering. Further, the CDC document you reference are guidelines – also not an enforceable mandate, but the Mayor’s Executive Order and the exceptions therein do align with the CDC guidelines. Please let me know if I may assist with any additional questions.”

  15. The tide is turning against COVID-19 in New York, and thanks to our increasing vaccination rates, as well as our successful, data-based regional approach…

    ROFLMAO

    1. The regional approach turned out to be forcing all the COVID into NYC and letting them fight it out.

  16. The Democrats know they have a serious problem in DeSantis. They very desperately need him to fail.

    1. You’re right. The American people as we have seen are dumb as shit and probably think he’d be a great leader.

    2. I am opening a pool on the date DeSantis will be banned from social media for some unspecified (or completely false) sin.

      1. I would have said that DeSantis isn’t anywhere near spicy enough to get taken down. But then YouTube took down his roundtable with doctors from Oxford, Stanford, and Harvard, likely because two of the doctors asserted that young children wearing a mask in school possible risk to development outweighs the public health benefit. Not a ‘fake news’ flag. Straight up deleted an hour long roundtable with medical scientists.

    3. Which is a damn shame. Part of this is pure regionalism, they could have found some Democratic governor who was more moderate in their reaction, but they had to lionize NY because a large portion of the national media only knows three places.

      Even here in Colorado, Democratic governor, but a more muted reaction. More restrictive than I personally would have gone, but significantly less dramatic than Cuomo.

  17. There realization of fact over fear is starting to take hold. The fear mongers always chanted “follow the science”, but largely ignored science or at best cherry-picked in an attempt to support the narrative.

    It’s not that the virus isn’t real and poses a risk. But life is complex and there are pros and cons for ever action and decision. The fear mongers ignored the majority of variables while focusing on a single item. They elevated this single items importance to cartoonish levels.

    Authoritarian minded politicians seized of the chance to increase their power. Hopefully as citizens reflect on the past year, they will see these authoritarian minded politicians for who they really are and remove them from ever having a position of power.

  18. How “small government” of him to override local orders.

    1. what smug “wisdom” of you.

    2. Those businesses are still/more free to close of their own accord or in accordance with local recommendations and the citizens are still/more free to avoid patronizing those businesses similarly of their own accord or in accordance with local recommendations. Call back if/when he gets around to saying that the compliant businesses can’t slander the open ones for staying open.

      That aside, I’d love to see your calculation that demonstrates that a governor over an entire state is a larger government entity than a local city counsel or county commission, let alone several (hundred) of them, in either an absolute or relative sense.

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