GOVERNOR CUOMO CALLS ON DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, CONGRESS TO INVESTIGATE THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY’S HANDLING OF TRUSTED TRAVELER PROGRAM BAN
State To Pursue Civil Damages From Department of Homeland Security
State Liquor Authority and New York State Police Task Force Issued 37 Violations to Establishments Last Night
Toronto Blue Jays Will Play Home Games at Sahlen Field in Buffalo This Season
Hospitalizations Down to 650 — New Low Since March 18
Total Number of Patients in ICU Down to 156 – Lowest Since March 16
Less than One Percent of Yesterday’s COVID-19 Tests were Positive
9 COVID-19 Deaths in New York State Yesterday
753 Additional Coronavirus Cases in New York State – Bringing Statewide Total to 410,450; New Cases in 50 Counties
Earlier today, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo called on the U.S. Department of Justice and Congress to investigate the Department of Homeland Security’s handling of the Trusted Traveler Program, after new information revealed DHS officials admitted to making false statements to justify the Department’s banning of New Yorkers from the program earlier this year. Prior to this development, federal officials consistently and inaccurately insisted that New York’s limitations on access to the state Department of Motor Vehicles database were unlike any other state. The Governor also announced the State will pursue civil damages from the Department of Homeland Security.
Governor Cuomo: “You can’t play politics with government. You can’t use the Department of Justice as a political tool. You can’t use the Department of Homeland Security as a political tool, it doesn’t work that way. And it’s not just ‘not right’ and unethical and immoral, it’s illegal, it’s illegal. I was a federal Cabinet Secretary, I was Attorney General for the State of New York – it is illegal what they did. And I believe it violates, Acting Secretary Wolf and Acting Deputy Cuccinelli, they violated their oath of office. Nowhere in your oath of office does it say you can use government resources to advance political purposes. Six months you filed court papers making representations that this was a bonfire act by the federal government? And now yesterday you say, “We had no idea that it wasn’t just New York, there were actually other states. I believe Mr. Wolf and Mr. Cuccinelli have possible criminal liability. I believe there is civil liability. It was a clear abuse of government power for political purposes.”
The Governor also provided an update on the recently formed multi-agency task force to combat violations of coronavirus-related regulations at bars and restaurants. Over the course of several days this week, the State Liquor Authority and New York State Police Task Force conducted nearly 1,100 compliance checks, documenting violations at 84 establishments and issuing 37 violations last night alone. Businesses found in violation of social distancing regulations face fines up to $10,000 per violation, while egregious violations can result in the immediate suspension of their liquor license.
Cuomo: “One of the things we’re watching are the bar and restaurant violations and the congregations in front of bars and restaurants. We believe that’s connected to the increase in the number of young people, the infection rate among the number people, 21 to 30, went from nine to 13, so we’re watching that. I’ve asked local governments repeatedly to step up and do the enforcement. That’s what they’re supposed to do, enforce the law. They’re not enforcing it aggressively enough.”