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Gov. Cuomo: ‘the issue’ of recent COVID-19 outbreaks ‘is with that ultra-orthodox community’

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-N.Y.), already facing fierce condemnation from the Jewish community for his latest lockdown order, said in a Friday CNN interview that he believes “the issue” of the recent outbreaks across parts of New York City “is with that ultra-orthodox community,” the New York Post reports.

Recently, areas of New York City, mostly parts of Brooklyn and Queens, have seen an uptick in COVID-19 cases. As a result, Gov. Cuomo issued a lockdown order for those areas affected, which he calls “red zones.”

Many Orthodox Jewish communities live in these “red zones” and, in response to the lockdown preventing them from attending religious services around their holy days, they have staged large protests. Groups like Agudath Israel of America and the Brooklyn Diocese have even sued Cuomo over his executive order for allegedly violating their First Amendment rights.

RELATED: Gov. Cuomo’s office: ‘We’ve been sued virtually every day’ over COVID-19 actions

While the governor made a point of saying, “I don’t care if you’re Roman Catholic, you’re Jewish, you’re Muslim, you’re an atheist. You have to follow the rules of the state, the laws of the state,” he emphasized that he believes the Orthodox Jewish community is “the issue” when it comes to enforcing the lockdowns.

“The cluster is a predominantly ultra-orthodox cluster,” he said. “The Catholic schools are closed because they happen to be in that cluster, but the issue is with that ultra-orthodox community.”

“This is not a matter of religious freedom,” the governor added.

Cuomo, who has had a longtime relationship with New York’s Jewish communities, highlighted this relationship.

“I’m a big supporter of theirs, but you have to follow the rules,” he said, “because we’re seeing the truth and the truth is if you don’t follow the rules, the infection rate spreads, people get sick, and then you make others sick.”

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

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Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar kicked off House Foreign Affairs Committee

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Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar was voted off the House Foreign Affairs Committee Thursday. The action was expected, as Republican members of Congress had criticized Omar’s antisemetic and anti-American rhetoric.

After intense debating on the House floor, the resolution passed with a 218-211 vote. Democrats attempted to pull the race card, accusing Republican House members of racism for removing Omar from the committee.

Omar also accused House Republicans of racism, saying, “I am Muslim, I am an immigrant, and interestingly, from Africa…Is anyone surprised that I am being targeted? Is anyone surprised that I am somehow deemed unworthy to speak about American foreign policy, or that they see me as a powerful voice that needs to be silenced?”

“There is this idea that you are a suspect if you are an immigrant or if you are from certain parts of the world or certain skin tone or a muslim.” Omar said during the heated debate. A fiery Alexandria Ocasia Cortez also chimed in shouting, “This is an attack on women of color!”

Republican Rep. Nicole Malliotakis, from New York, said she had personally witnessed Omar spew anti-American rhetoric. Malliotakis said, “I have been in that committee room where, the representative, equates Israel and the United States to Hamas and the Taliban. Absolutely unacceptable for a member of that committee.”

A four-page resolution was written for the justification of removing Omar from the house Foreign Affairs Committee. The resolution states that in 2019, Omar suggested that Jewish people were buying U.S. political support when she posted on Twitter, “it’s all about the Benjamins, baby.”

Omar also commented on the September 11th attacks saying, “some people did something.” This type of comment is unacceptable for any representative who is sitting on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, lawmakers said.

In the resolution it states that members of this committee should all be held to an “equal standard of conduct due to the international sensitivities and national security concerns under the jurisdiction of this committee.”

 

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