Cuomo declines apology to Orthodox Jewish community over COVID-19 lockdown
21st October 2020

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday that he sees no reason to offer an apology to Brooklyn and Queens’ ultra-Orthodox Jewish community over the recent COVID-19 hot-spot lockdowns as did Mayor Bill de Blasio a day earlier.

“No,” Cuomo simply said during an Albany press briefing when asked by a Post reporter whether he believes an apology is owed.

“I am sorry that they feel the disruption, I am sorry that they are disrupted, their religious ceremonies are disrupted, how many people they can have in a synagogue is disrupted, how many people they can have at a wedding is disrupted, the operation of their schools is disrupted. I am sorry for that,” said Cuomo.

The governor continued, “In the same way I’m sorry to the Catholic community and Muslim community and to all New Yorkers. I’m sorry that we are going through this. I’m sorry that people are dying. I’m sorry the state has to impose disruptions on your life. I’m sorry that we had to close your businesses which may mean you lose your business.”

As a way to combat the emergence of coronavirus cluster zones in Brooklyn and Queens neighborhoods — some of which have large Orthodox Jewish populations — Cuomo earlier this month ordered a color-coded system of restrictions, including the closures of schools and non-essential businesses, in the effect areas.

Those restrictions had prompted anti-lockdown protests in the Orthodox Jewish enclave of Borough Park.

On Tuesday, de Blasio offered a rare mea culpa to ultra-Orthodox Jewish leaders in Brooklyn and Queens, saying he didn’t clearly explain coronavirus regulations to the community.

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