Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-N.Y.) said Monday that the state Department of Health has granted Santa Claus a rare waiver allowing him to skip a 14-day quarantine in the state but clarified that Kris Kringle would have to still wear a mask.
At the end of his prepared statements at a midday press briefing regarding COVID-19 updates and the vaccines, but before questions from the press, Cuomo adopted a serious tone when discussing an “unusual request” from someone to skip quarantine.
“We had a request for a waiver of quarantine. We normally do not do waivers of quarantine,” he said. “It’s unfortunate that we’re in this situation, but people from other states that have a higher infection rate, or what we’re dealing with the U.K. now… as I said, no state is an island, so you have to protect yourself and that’s what the quarantine rules did,” Cuomo added, referencing the new strain of the coronavirus that has spiked in the United Kingdom recently, causing multiple European countries to halt travel with the island nation this weekend.
“But, we have an unusual request,” he said, then pausing for a beat. “But the DOH has been considering it for the past few days and they have actually granted the request.”
“Santa Claus asked from an exemption [from] the 14-day quarantine requirement,” Cuomo revealed, then chuckling, “because it would be impracticable for him to be in this state and then quarantine and still get all his gifts delivered on time.”
Father Christmas, however, must wear a mask when delivering gifts.
“The DOH was flexible,” he continued. “They have granted the quarantine waiver. But—Santa is required to wear a mask this year.”
Despite the jolly, bearded fellow wearing a mask, Cuomo thinks he will remain easily recognizable, joking about Santa’s appearance.
“I think you will still be able to recognize him, even though he’ll be wearing a mask,” the governor said, pointing out that Santa “does have a fairly distinct outfit that he wears, plus his body style is fairly distinct.”
“So I don’t think there’ll be any issue in identifying Santa this year,” he emphasized. “He’ll be able to do his job, but do it safely because he’ll be wearing a mask.”
You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.
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Shanghai: China’s Potemkin Village
Following a recent outbreak of COVID-19, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has imposed a month-long draconian lockdown on the residents of Shanghai. The CCP has used the outbreak to persecute its own citizens, including through forced evictions and quarantines, and placing alarms on doors to prevent COVID-19 people from leaving their homes. The harsh measures have resulted in food and healthcare shortages and separation of families.
But of course, we wouldn’t know that by reading the CCP-run press readily available in the United States. Instead of presenting the facts, the CCP engages in a comprehensive propaganda campaign that props up Shanghai as a Chinese Potemkin village. The CCP media asserts that China’s actions in Shanghai are benevolent and wise, while Western criticism is a product of malice. Chinese state-run media also insists that the Shanghai lockdown promotes economic stability in China and the world.
Claim 1: China Has the Best Policy for Combating COVID-19
The CCP media portray the Shanghai lockdown as the best and ideal policy. As cited by a XinhuaNet editorial, “China’s dynamic zero-COVID approach” is “the best option to save lives,” according to a “Rwandan researcher and publisher,” “…a miracle for us to learn,” according to a Kenyan scholar, and “a very ideal response,” according to Ethiopia’s National COVID-19 Response Task Force Coordinator. According to CCP media, Chinese citizens have greeted the Shanghai lockdown warmly, even with “[a] mixed sense of intensity, unity and hopefulness,” according to China Daily.
Claim 2: The West Hypocritically Defames China
The CCP press also accuses the West of lying about the Shanghai lockdown, and using COVID policies for nefarious ends. According to XinhuaNet, “Shanghai…has never imposed what Western media described as a ‘lockdown.’” Other CCP editorials actually accuse the West of malice. One Global Times editorial claims that the lockdown “has been deliberately exaggerated by the West.” Another Global Times editorial asserts that the Western approach of “coexisting with the virus” amounts to a way “…to drive out a large number of the vulnerable people with low immunity,” and a form of “cruel social Darwinism.”
Claim 3: China’s COVID Policies Result in an Economic Windfall to China and the World
The CCP also portrays the lockdown as necessary to achieve great economic growth in China and beyond. One Global Times editorial, while conceding that the lockdown amounted to a “sealing-off,” it is “a temporary measure to better resume work and production and to make the economy and society function more effectively. Its effectiveness has been proven.” According to another Global Times editorial, China’s policy is “widely considered to be the best strategy…to both contain the epidemic and ensure stable economic development.”
In an Orwellian fashion, Chinese press claims that China is solving, not causing, the world’s economic problems. According to XinhuaNet, “China has played a decisive role in stabilizing the global economy and resuming the supply chain disrupted by COVID-19.” Citing a Bloomberg article, the same XinhuaNet editorial claims that China “has prevented a huge number of deaths at home and ensured that everything from iPhones and Teslas to fertilizer and car parts continues to flow to the rest of the world.” Chinese citizens, of course, are collateral damage: Ji Qiwei, vice-general manager of SAIC Motor Passenger Vehicle, stated that “The domestic market may be impacted a little by the COVID-19 outbreak this year, but our export market will continue to see strong growth,” according to China Daily.
While the world continues to suffer economic and human damage as a result of COVID-19, China continues to revise history regarding its role. Through its propaganda in its English publications of Xinhua, China Daily, and Global Times, China seeks to portray itself as a benevolent force in the fight against the virus.
You can follow Steve Postal on Twitter @HebraicMosaic
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