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Gov. Cuomo apologizes for using 14-year-old pic to threaten COVID-19 synagogue shutdowns

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At a Monday press conference when discussing how it has been difficult to enforce Coronavirus rules in New York City Orthodox Jewish communities, who have been badly hit by the recent outbreaks in parts of the city, Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-N.Y.) displayed a photo depicting a large synagogue gathering–except, the photo was taken 14 years ago.

Cuomo’s office has since apologized, saying that: “This was a staff error that was caught in real time at the presser. It was swapped out with this photo that was taken two weeks ago at the same location. The new slide was up during the last 10 minutes of the press conference.”

Cuomo’s office also responded to SaraACarter.com earlier saying, “it was a staffer mistake that was caught in real time and swapped out with the intended image.”

His office also stated “we regret the mistake.”

Nonetheless, this error received fierce backlash from anti-Semitism and Jewish advocate groups. Liora Rez of Stopantisemitism.org had some stern words for the Governor.

“By using a picture of Jews gathered at the funeral of Rabbi Moshe Teitelbaum (Z”L) from 2014 during his COVID-19 press conference,” Rez said, this “shows how low him and NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio are willing to go to fan the flames of antisemitism in a city where Jews make up over 50% of all hate crimes reported.”

Gov. Cuomo said at the same Monday press briefing that he will be meeting with leaders of New York’s Orthodox Jewish community on Tuesday.

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

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Healthcare

CA to provide all low-income illegal immigrants health care at a cost of ‘$2.7 billion a year’

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On Thursday, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed a $307.9 billion operating budget “that pledges to make all low-income adults eligible for the state’s Medicaid program by 2024 regardless of their immigration status” reports the Associated Press.

The guarantee of free health care for low-income immigrants here illegally, is a “move that will provide coverage for an additional 764,000 people at an eventual cost of about $2.7 billion a year” adds the AP.

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, a health care nonprofit, people living in the country illegally in 2020 accounted for roughly 7% of the population nationwide, or about 22.1 million people. The border crisis and number of migrants entering the United States illegally has skyrocketed to historic levels since 2020 when President Joe Biden took office.

Medicaid nationwide is the current combination of federal and state governments assisting Americans and low-income adults and children to receive free health care, but the federal government does not cover those living here illegally.

“Some states, including California, have used their own tax dollars to cover a portion of health care expenses for some low-income immigrants” reports the AP. “Now, California wants to be the first to do that for everyone.”

“This will represent the biggest expansion of coverage in the nation since the start of the Affordable Care Act in 2014,” said Anthony Wright, executive director of Health Access California, a statewide consumer health care advocacy group. “In California we recognize (that) everybody benefits when everyone is covered.”

While 92% of Californians currently have some form of health insurance, “that will change once this budget is fully implemented, as adults living in the country illegally make up one of the largest groups of people without insurance in the state” the AP concludes.

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