Cuomo pushes private New York employers to bring workers back into the office by Labor Day even as he warns about the Delta variant

Andrew Cuomo
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks at a press conference in June.

  • NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he wanted private employers to bring workers back to offices by Labor Day.
  • “Everyone has to be back in the office,” he said on Wednesday.
  • His comments come amid a nationwide rise in COVID-19 cases, fueled by unvaccinated people and the more contagious Delta variant.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is pushing private employers in the state of New York to bring employees back to work in-person by Labor Day.

“Everyone has to be back in the office,” Cuomo said at a conference with a group of business leaders on Wednesday. “We can do it safely, we can do it smartly.”

Moments before, Cuomo had warned about the spread of the more contagious Delta variant of COVID-19 across the US among unvaccinated people, including in the state of New York.

“The delta variant is real,” Cuomo said, noting that the state reported 2,203 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, compared to just 275 cases one month ago.

According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 57% of people in New York state are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, while about 62% have received at least one vaccine dose.

While breakthrough cases – where fully-vaccinated people test positive for COVID-19 – can occur, the vaccines are effective at preventing serious illness and hospitalization.

Cuomo, a Democrat, also announced that all state workers will need to either get vaccinated or be tested on a weekly basis.

The spread of the Delta variant has created new concerns as cases of the disease rise after falling amid increased vaccinations earlier this year. The CDC on Tuesday introduced new guidance for masking, recommending that fully-vaccinated individuals resume wearing face masks indoors in areas with a high spread of the disease. It previously said vaccinated people could go unmasked in most settings.

Cuomo on Wednesday said state officials were considering the new CDC guidance and urged people to wear masks in public, although he did not announce a new masking requirement. He said local leaders should “seriously consider” the CDC guidance.

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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announces ‘disaster emergency’ and ‘border war’ on gun violence

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo speaking at a podium in front of a skyscraper backdrop.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

  • New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday issued a “disaster emergency” on gun violence.
  • As part of the announcement, he unveiled a series of executive orders and bill signings.
  • This comes less than two weeks since he ended his COVID-19 state of emergency and executive powers.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

In an announcement before gun control advocacy groups and clergy leaders on Tuesday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a series of executive orders and legislative priorities to reduce gun violence.

Cuomo did not take questions at the event and was light on specifics for much of his PowerPoint presentation. His announcement comes after at least 140 people died in shootings across the United States over the Fourth of July holiday weekend.

Major components of the Cuomo executive orders include:

  • Declaring a state of emergency that frees up state agencies to spend money more quickly on gun-related programs.
  • Requiring police departments, including the NYPD, to collect more detailed incident data when responding to shootings.
  • Forming a New York State Police “special unit” to target gun trafficking, coordinating with New Jersey, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania to share data on traffic stops.
  • Ending immunity for gun manufacturers, an exemption created by the Bush administration in the 2005 Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act. Cuomo said he will sign a bill later in the day reinstating public nuisance liability for gun manufacturers.
  • Banning people with active warrants from buying guns by signing a bill already passed by the NY Assembly and Senate.
  • Creating a state partnership with the John Jay College of Criminal Justice to share “best practices” with local police departments on preventing gun violence.
  • Directing the State Division of Criminal Justice Services to issue new regulations preventing police officers with misconduct records from getting jobs at other departments in the state.
  • Investing $138.7 million to community gun violence prevention efforts.

Cuomo showed statistics on how shootings are up 38% in the first six months of 2021 compared to 2020, warning that a fear of violence is keeping the business community from bringing more workers back to the office in the Big Apple. The governor’s presentation contradicted New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s from earlier in the day, where the mayor cautioned against “fear mongering” and showed NYPD data on shootings being down 20% in June 2021 compared to June 2020.

The executive orders are part of a “disaster emergency” declaration, Cuomo said, touting New York as the first state in the nation to do so.

Cuomo also said he will wage a “border war” to stop the flow of illegal guns into New York from “the South.”

“We announced today a border war, and the border war is we’re going to stop guns coming in through our borders and into our cities,” he said. “We know where they’re coming from. They’re coming from the South, and we’re going to declare a border war to stop it.”

The governor also joked that he would build a wall on the state border with his name on it, apparently mocking former President Donald Trump whose hardline stance on immigration involved a still-incomplete wall along the US-Mexico border.

It’s been less than two weeks since Cuomo announced the end of his COVID-19 state of emergency, where the legislature granted him wide-reaching executive powers to respond to the coronavirus pandemic.

Cuomo is still facing an impeachment investigation on top of multiple other scandals, and has resumed in-person fundraising events for a still-to-be-announced 2022 re-election campaign.

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New York’s state of emergency is ending as COVID-19 cases continue to fall, Cuomo announces

GettyImages 1231600007
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks at a vaccination site at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center on March 8, 2021 in New York City. Cuomo has been called to resign from his position after allegations of sexual misconduct were brought against him.

  • New York’s state of emergency is set to end on June 24, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced.
  • The state of emergency lasted for over a year, often overriding county and municipal governments.
  • Cuomo will no longer be able to issue executive orders in areas normally reserved for the legislature.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday that the state of emergency put in place at the start of the pandemic will expire the next day, June 24.

Cuomo faced criticism from legislators only a few months after it went into effect over how he was using his broad reaching executive authority under the arrangement, which the Senate and Assembly granted him.

Although masks will still be required on public transit and for unvaccinated individuals in indoor public places and retail settings, county and local governments will be able to decide on public health measures without being overridden by the Cuomo administration.

Read more: Governors of all 50 states are vaccinated against COVID-19

When Cuomo announced that he was lifting “virtually all” COVID-19 restrictions on June 15, he reiterated that the state will follow federal CDC guidance on things like mask wearing on subways and busses. Other CDC guidance on masks in homeless shelters and medical settings will continue to be observed.

The expiration of the state of emergency also means Cuomo will not be able to issue executive orders in areas normally reserved for the legislature.

Later on at his Wednesday briefing, Cuomo said a new monument honoring first responders and essential workers will open in Manhattan’s Battery Park City by Labor Day.

The governor also talked about public safety as a major issue in New York City following the mayoral primary polls closing, with Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams holding a commanding lead as results remain unofficial.

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Group-chat bans and ‘daddy issues’: A report on Andrew Giuliani’s campaign to be New York’s governor highlights family drama

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani sits with his son Andrew at City Hall during his inauguration for a second term at City Hall.
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and his son Andrew in 1998.

  • Andrew Giuliani’s longshot NY gubernatorial bid was the subject of a New York Magazine profile.
  • Strained family dynamics underpin the shoestring campaign, according to the magazine.
  • Despite being a former White House aide, Andrew is reportedly not Trump’s first pick.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Andrew Giuliani’s gubernatorial bid was the subject of a New York Magazine report published Thursday, with bizarre Giuliani family dynamics taking center stage.

“I’m a politician out of the womb,” he told reporter Olivia Nuzzi, repeating a line from his mid-May campaign announcement. “I’m my father’s son.”

His father, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, has not held office for 20 years, although he remains a prominent figure in national politics as one of former President Donald Trump’s most loyal allies. Andrew said his family name could bolster his campaign and thinks it “evokes a reaction in most people.”

The Republican candidate and former Trump White House aide also said he plans to use guidance from his father to help his run. “If I didn’t use him as an asset, as an adviser, as somebody who I’d rely on, I’d be foolish,” Andrew told the outlet.

But the report also delves into Andrew’s strained relationship with Rudy. After his parents divorced and Rudy remarried in 2003, Andrew went through “long stretches” of his life in which the pair hardly spoke.

Heather McBride, Andrew’s former babysitter and now his campaign spokesman, told the magazine that Rudy is not a member of “the 12-member family group chat that includes extended Giuliani relatives and close friends.”

Still, Andrew has grown to stay by his father’s side, the report says. Andrew spoke out on his behalf in April when federal agents executed search warrants on Rudy’s home and office and seized his electronic devices, per New York Magazine.

“He’s a tough guy. He can take anything,” he told the magazine. “And what he knows is he’s got his son backing him.”

GOP officials and associates close to Giuliani’s family are unsure why Andrew has decided to run for governor, especially in a state where Democrats are virtually guaranteed to win. Some are convinced it has to do with his father.

“There’s pain and daddy issues that exist beneath this,” an unnamed source close to Rudy told New York Magazine.

Even given the remote odds of the eventual Republican nominee becoming the first to win statewide since 2002 – when Republican Gov. George Pataki unseated Democratic Gov. Mario Cuomo, denying him a fourth term – Giuliani is reportedly not the favored candidate.

That would be Republican Rep. Lee Zeldin of Long Island, who has already picked up endorsements from New York’s GOP congressional delegation and Trump is also reportedly rallying support for him ahead of an expected endorsement.

Zeldin also has fundraising experience from his time in Albany and Washington, DC, while Giuliani’s financial viability remains unclear.

“What Andrew is doing is less about Rudy than it is about what Andrew is doing to process Rudy,” a longtime associate told New York Magazine.

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A federal judge has blocked a New York law requiring internet service providers offer $15 broadband to low-income residents

High speed internet
Fast and high speed internet connection from fiber line with LAN cable connection

  • A federal judge issued a temporary injunction against a New York law requiring affordable broadband.
  • The law, known as the Affordable Broadband Act, was passed in April and would apply to about 7 million low-income New Yorkers.
  • In issuing the injunction, the judge said the law would cause “irreparable harm” to internet service providers.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

A federal judge issued a temporary injunction Friday on a New York State law slated to take effect next week that would force internet service providers to provide affordable high-speed internet access to low-income state residents.

The law, known as the Affordable Broadband Act, was passed by the state legislature in April and signed into law by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat. It requires internet service providers that serve more than 20,000 households to offer low-income residents broadband with download speeds of at least 25 megabits-per-second for $15 a month.

Under the law, companies can charge low-income residents slightly more, but no more than $20, for faster broadband with download speeds of at least 200 megabits-per-second.

The governor’s office said the law would apply to about 7 million New Yorkers in 2.7 million households, according to a report from Courthouse News Service. The discounted rates would apply to New Yorkers who qualify for free and reduced-price lunch, Medicaid, and supplemental nutrition program (SNAP) benefits.

But New York’s Eastern District Judge Dennis R. Hurley on Friday sided with a group of telecom companies that sued to block the law from taking effect.

He agreed that, if enacted, the law could cause “irreparable harm” and “unrecoverable losses” to the telecom companies, particularly smaller ones because they’d face penalties if they didn’t meet requirements set by the law or because they’d lose revenue by charging customers less, as The Verge reported.

One company, Empire Communications, argued it would have to turn down a federal grant to expand its service if the law went into effect because it “could not afford to invest in this buildout because a large percentage of its potential customers would be eligible for the discounted monthly rates,” as Courthouse News Service reported.

“While a telecommunications giant like Verizon may be able to absorb such a loss, others may not,” Hurley wrote in his decision to issue the injunction.

In his decision, Hurley also agreed with the telecom companies that the New York law interferes with the work of the Federal Communications Commission because it “regulates within the field of interstate communications.”

The office of Gov. Cuomo said it planned to push forward on the legislation.

“We always knew big telecom would pull out all the stops to protect their profits at the expense of the New Yorkers who need access to this vital utility the most,” said Rich Azzopardi, a spokesperson for Cuomo, in a statement to Courthouse News. “We are going to continue to fight for them.”‚Äč

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Chris Cuomo and Ted Cruz traded jabs over who should be controlling women’s bodies

Ted Cruz
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, speaks with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2021, on the fifth day of the second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump.

  • Chris Cuomo challenged Sen. Ted Cruz in a tweet about women controlling their own bodies.
  • Cruz responded with a slight to Cuomo’s brother, Andrew Cuomo, and his sexual misconduct allegations.
  • “Not sure Cuomo’s [sic] should be talking about controlling women’s bodies….” Cruz said.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

CNN star Chris Cuomo and Sen. Ted Cruz traded barbs on Twitter over who should be controlling women’s bodies.

Cuomo retweeted an audio clip shared by Cruz where he discussed vaccine passports. In the tweet, Cruz wrote: “This is a civil rights and individual liberty issue: There should be no federally mandated vaccine passport.”

Cuomo responded by asking the senator: “Does this liberty extend to women who want to control their bodies?” Cruz is against abortion and has described himself as a “strong advocate for the pro-life movement.”

Cruz hit back at the “Cuomo Prime Time” anchor, in an apparent reference to his brother.

“Not sure Cuomo’s [sic] should be talking about controlling women’s bodies….” Cruz wrote.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Chris Cuomo’s brother, has been accused of sexual misconduct by multiple women, including sexual harassment and inappropriate workplace behavior. He has denied ever touching someone inappropriately, but apologized for acting “in a way that made people feel uncomfortable.”

Chris Cuomo got somewhat wrapped up in his brother’s scandals recently after The Washington Post reported he participated in “strategy calls” regarding how the governor should respond to the allegations.

The news caused concern from media-watch dogs and prompted CNN to release a statement calling the calls “inappropriate.”

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50 New York teens will win full college scholarship for getting a COVID-19 shot, Cuomo says

Cuomo   Kevin P. Coughlin / Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo
New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo

  • New York has offered teenagers a chance to win a full state college scholarship if they get a COVID-19 shot.
  • The scholarship adds to a growing list of incentives for New Yorkers to get vaccinated.
  • New York’s vaccination rate is slowing, and young people are the least vaccinated group.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday that 50 teenagers living in the state could win a full scholarship to any state college or university if they get a first shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine from Thursday.

The “Get a Shot to Make Your Future” prize draw would allow parents of vaccinated 12 to 17-year-olds to add their child’s names to a raffle. State officials would randomly pick ten names every week for five weeks, Cuomo said at a press conference Wednesday.

The scholarship adds to the list of incentives state officials are using to boost vaccine uptake. Last week, Cuomo unveiled a new “Vax and Scratch” program, which would give people $20 scratch-off lottery tickets for a $5 million cash prize. He announced a two-day free pass to any state park for vaccinated New Yorkers on Monday.

Winners of the prize draw would receive up to five years’ worth of funds to cover tuition, books, and room and board for those enrolling in an undergraduate or approved bachelor’s degree program, Cuomo said.

Cuomo said it was open to all vaccinated 12 to 17-year-olds.

New York state also offers the Excelsior Scholarship, which covers tuition costs for students whose parents make $125,000 or less per year.

Cuomo said the state needed to “get creative” to encourage more New Yorkers to get their shot, amid slowing demand.

“Vaccination rates across the state are beginning to slow and our greatest need is with young New Yorkers who make up a large percent of positive cases and have the lowest vaccination percentage in the state,” Cuomo said at the press conference.

As of Wednesday, 46% of New York residents are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and 55% have received at least one dose, according to a New York Times database.

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CNN’s president told staffers Chris Cuomo ‘made a mistake’ but ‘is human’ for coaching brother Gov. Andrew Cuomo through sexual-harassment allegations, reports say

chris cuomo andrew cuomo cnn
Chris Cuomo.

  • CNN host Chris Cuomo advised Gov. Andrew Cuomo on how to respond to sexual-harassment allegations.
  • CNN head Jeff Zucker told staff on Tuesday Chris Cuomo “made a mistake,” per Mediaite and WSJ.
  • But Zucker also said Cuomo would not be taken off air and “is human.”
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

CNN chief Jeff Zucker told staffers that host Chris Cuomo “made a mistake” in coaching his brother, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, through allegations of sexual harassment, multiple reports said.

Zucker told a town hall on Tuesday: “Let me say up front, Chris made a mistake,” according to Mediaite and The Wall Street Journal.

Zucker said, however, that Cuomo “is human and these are very unique circumstances,” The Journal reported.

Zucker said he didn’t see a reason to take Cuomo off the air, but that CNN heads had told Cuomo that he had crossed a line by advising his brother while his brother’s aides were there.

Jeff Zucker CNN
Jeff Zucker.

CNN said last week that it was “inappropriate” for Cuomo to “engage in conversations that included members of the Governor’s staff, which Chris acknowledges.”

Cuomo apologized on air to his colleagues last week.

Earlier this year several women accused Andrew Cuomo of sexual harassment. He has rejected the claims, which the New York attorney general’s office and state assembly are investigating.

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CNN’s Chris Cuomo helped his brother, NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo, with ‘strategy calls’ to craft his response to sexual harassment allegations: WaPo

chris cuomo andrew cuomo
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, left, is seen with his little brother Chris, a CNN anchor.

  • CNN’s Chris Cuomo joined his brother, Andrew Cuomo, for “strategy calls,” according to The Washington Post.
  • The younger Cuomo reportedly helped craft a PR response to sexual harassment allegations against the New York governor.
  • CNN issued a statement saying his involvement was “inappropriate.”
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

CNN host Chris Cuomo was reportedly brought into “strategy calls” with his brother, Andrew Cuomo, and his aides to iron out a communications strategy following the litany of sexual harassment allegations leveled against the New York governor earlier this year.

Andrew Cuomo, who has denied any wrongdoing, was joined by his younger brother on “a series of conference calls that included the Democratic governor’s top aide, his communications team, lawyers and a number of outside advisers,” according to Josh Dawsey and Sarah Ellison of The Washington Post.

Chris told Andrew to take “a defiant stand” and not to resign amid mounting calls from Democrats in the state legislature and most of the Empire State’s congressional delegation, according to The Post.

CNN released a statement to The Post acknowledging the calls and describing them as a mistake.

“Chris has not been involved in CNN’s extensive coverage of the allegations against Governor Cuomo – on air or behind the scenes,” CNN said in the statement. “In part because, as he has said on his show, he could never be objective. But also because he often serves as a sounding board for his brother.”

“However, it was inappropriate to engage in conversations that included members of the Governor’s staff, which Chris acknowledges,” the statement continued. “He will not participate in such conversations going forward.”

CNN also told The Post that the anchor will not face any discipline over the conference calls.

“There were a few phone conversations, with friends and advisers giving the governor advice,” Andrew Cuomo’s spokesman Rich Azzopardi told The Post.

The CNN anchor used the phrase “cancel culture” in one of the calls, according to two people on the line who spoke with The Post.

In mid-March, Andrew Cuomo used the same term when decrying lawmakers calling for his resignation.

The Cuomo brothers were also involved in a scandal around friends and family of the governor getting priority testing for COVID-19, which the governor’s office said was instead part of an effort to protect key personnel from the virus.

Chris is 13 years younger than Andrew, and the two had quite different childhoods when their father, Mario, was the 52nd governor of New York.

Andrew went to high school at St. Gerard Majella’s School in Queens before running his father’s first gubernatorial campaign in his early 20s, while Chris went to high school in Upstate New York at Albany Academy while Mario was governor in the 1980s.

Their relationship raised ethics concerns from media watchdogs when the governor would appear on his brother’s CNN show during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

One segment involving a comedic bit around a PCP test swab – which aired exactly one year before Thursday’s Post story – drew substantial backlash from viewers and political rivals before the pair stopped appearing together.

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Rudy Giuliani’s son, Andrew, announces run for New York governor: ‘I’m a politician out of the womb’

andrew giuliani ny gov
Andrew Giuliani, Republican candidate in the 2022 New York governor’s race.

  • Rudy Giuliani’s son announced Tuesday that he’s running for New York governor.
  • Andrew Giuliani, 35, called himself a “politician out of the womb.”
  • “Giuliani vs. Cuomo. Holy smokes. It’s Muhammad Ali vs. Joe Frazier,” he told the New York Post.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Andrew Giuliani declared his candidacy for the 2022 New York governor’s race on Tuesday, joining Rep. Lee Zeldin of Long Island in the Republican primary contest.

Giuliani, 35, is the son of Rudy Giuliani, a former New York City mayor and embattled personal attorney for former President Donald Trump.

Following in a longstanding tradition of dynastic political families in the Empire State, Giuliani leaned into his familial ties when discussing his campaign in an interview with the New York Post.

“I’m a politician out of the womb,” he said. “It’s in my DNA.”

The gubernatorial hopeful also channeled his father’s penchant for hyperbole, comparing himself and scandal-ridden New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to boxing legends.

“Giuliani vs. Cuomo. Holy smokes,” Giuliani said. “It’s Muhammad Ali vs. Joe Frazier. We can sell tickets at Madison Square Garden.”

“It would be one of the epic showdowns in the state’s history,” he added later on.

Giuliani’s most recent political experience came in the Trump White House, where he worked as a Special Assistant to the president and associate director of the Office of Public Liaison.

He enjoyed unfettered access to the Oval Office until those privileges were revoked by Trump’s acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney in 2018.

Giuliani also had a budding golf career as a teenager, partnering with Tiger Woods at a pro-am tournament and being recruited to play at Duke University. He ended up getting kicked off the team, however, and filed an unsuccessful lawsuit in federal court.

If Giuliani prevails over Zeldin in the GOP primary – where a Trump endorsement could prove highly consequential given the former president’s standing among Upstate and Long Island Republicans, which has dropped since the January 6 insurrection – he would face steep odds against Cuomo or any other Democrat.

After a surge in voter registration ahead of the 2020 election, Democrats now outnumber republicans by more than two-to-one in the Empire State.

Nevertheless, Giuliani projected absolute confidence in his New York Post interview.

“I know we can defeat Andrew Cuomo in 2022,” he said. “I am going to be the 57th governor of New York.”

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