New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday singled out the “religious practices” of Orthodox Jews as the cause of renewed spread of the coronavirus in New York City.
“We’re now having issues in the Orthodox Jewish community in New York, where because of their religious practices, etc., we’re seeing a spread,” Cuomo said.
Last week, Orthodox Jewish leaders vehemently criticized Cuomo and took to the streets of Brooklyn to protest the governor’s new coronavirus restrictions on schools, businesses, and houses of worship. The restrictions would shutter schools, non-essential businesses, and strictly limit the number of congregants allowed in houses of worship, in some areas allowing only ten worshippers at a time. Many of the Brooklyn and Queens “red zones” designated for the new restrictions are Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods.
“We are appalled by Governor Cuomo’s words and actions today,” read a letter from four Orthodox Jewish lawmakers who represent the neighborhoods affected by the new restrictions. “He has chosen to pursue a scientifically and constitutionally questionable shutdown of our communities.”