I’m coining a new phrase: “CUBAR” – Cuomo-ed up beyond all recognition.
The latest in a long list of things to be CUBARRED is the students wearing masks debacle that hit the Empire State over the past week. As we’ve come out of COVID and lifted almost all restrictions, the question remained: what about kids in school – do they have to keep wearing masks? The Governor finally decided to deal with the issue, and he and his staff could not have made a bigger mess of it if they tried.
Follow this timeline:
-Friday: DOH Czar Howard Zucker sends a letter to the CDC saying that NY would lift the mandatory mask requirement for kids in school “effective Monday”, unless the CDC could offer evidence that this would be a mistake.
-Sunday night: The administration put out a clarification saying masks would still be required, after schools uniformly (at least in the Capital Region) announced that they would continue with the mandatory mask policy due to confusion from Zucker’s letter.
-Monday: Cuomo announces that there was no confusion, they were merely inquiring of the CDC further guidance, and at no time did the administration say that any shift in policy was going to be put in effect. (Zucker’s letter in fact did say “effective Monday”). Further, kids would not need to wear masks OUTSIDE the school building but would need to still wear them inside.
As Congressman Lee Zeldin (Republican candidate for Governor) put it on our show Thursday, “The administration had a mandatory mask policy on Thursday, then they reversed it on Friday, then they reversed the reversal on Sunday, and then they half-reversed the reversed reversal on Monday.” All the while, the Governor said on Monday that, “There was no confusion on schools.” CUBARRED.
The irony in all of this is that Cuomo and Zucker had it right in the first place. (And I almost NEVER say that about those two.) The Mask Mandate for Students should have been lifted UNLESS the CDC could indeed have made a cogent argument as to why lifting it would be a health risk. The CDC made no such case however, and so the policy should have been lifted on Monday, as Zucker said it would be. But common sense does not come natural to this administration; CUBARRING things does, and that’s what they did.
In the end, they had three options on the mandatory mask mandate for kids:
1. Don’t send the memo to the CDC and keep things as they were until the end of the school year - fine.
2. Stand by the memo and lift the mask mandate, leaving an option for schools that wanted to keep the mandate in place to do so - fine.
3. They could mess it up. Of course, they chose number 3 - they chose to get involved, then they half-undid that involvement, and ultimately they changed almost nothing and the kids are left confused and still wearing masks mandatorily all while the positivity rate in the state is under .4%.
In other words, they CUBARRED it.