Government authoritarianism in America is taking an odd turn as a state leader is using his power to determine which foods should — and shouldn’t — be considered enough of a meal to evade coronavirus restrictions.
Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo made the odd declaration after a slew of bars offered ultra-inexpensive menus in a bid to open under the state’s food-and-drink restrictions.
The order required businesses with liquor licenses to serve alcohol only if it came with the purchase of a food item.
The reasoning behind this attempt to defeat COVID-19 appears to be that with the food requirement, patrons would be more likely to shy away from mingling with others, and thus be less likely to spread the viral disease.
Business owners, with bills mounting and no revenue coming in, began posting $1 menus with options such as a handful of “Cuomo fries,” chicken wings and single slices of cheese.
The menus were a smash hit and soon exploded across social media.
Cuomo apparently wasn’t too happy with this ingenious solution, and soon explained that food had to meet his specifications to qualify as a meal under his rule.
“To be a bar, you had to have food available — soups, sandwiches, etc,” Cuomo said Thursday at a news conference, according to the New York Post. “More than just hors d’oeuvres, chicken wings.
“You had to have some substantive food — the lowest level of substantive food were sandwiches.”
In reality, a number of the state’s coronavirus infections (and fatalities) can be attributed to a disastrous Cuomo order that resulted in nursing homes getting packed with COVID patients.
New Yorkers have a governor who, instead of addressing the real issues, thinks chicken wings are the problem.
As hard as the governor’s line of logic is to follow, the New York State Liquor Authority appears to largely agree with him.
While allowing for chicken wings, the SLA requires that bars must offer sandwiches, soup, or “other foods.”
“Other foods,'” the agency defined in a news release, “are foods which are similar in quality and substance to sandwiches and soups; for example, salads, wings, or hotdogs would be of that quality and substance; however, a bag of chips[,] bowl of nuts, or candy alone are not.”
It’s unclear whether the state will crack down on foods that seemingly fall into a gray area — nachos, charcuterie boards and large appetizers could be interpreted as both substantial meals or as simple snacks, depending on who is asked.
Unfortunately, it looks like New Yorkers will be forced to abide by these and more of Cuomo’s absurd coronavirus rules for the time being.
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