New York sheriff says he won’t enforce Cuomo’s Thanksgiving restrictions: ‘I trust people’
FULTON COUNTY, New York, November 19, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – A sheriff in New York is pushing back against Democrat Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s decree that no more than 10 people gather indoors for Thanksgiving this year, declaring that he will not enforce the latest COVID-19 restriction in his jurisdiction.
Cuomo declared indoor gatherings were a “risk” this week, reminding the public that social gatherings “are now limited to 10 people or fewer” and urging them to also keep windows open, wear masks, and socially distance during them, as well as keep such gatherings short.
“The Fulton County Sheriff’s Office will NOT be enforcing (the executive order) against our County residents,” Fulton County Sheriff Richard Giardino responded. “Frankly, I am not sure it could sustain a Constitutional challenge in Court for several reasons, including your house is your castle. And as a Sheriff with a law degree I couldn’t in good faith attempt to defend it in Court, so I won’t.”
“Who and how many people you invite in to your home is your business, unlike outdoor gatherings, which may receive a police response if disorderly or other violations of public nuisance laws occur,” he continued. “We have limited resources and we have to set priorities, so obtaining a Search Warrant to enter your home to see how many Turkey or Tofu eaters are present is not a priority. We won’t be doing that.”
“So don't feel a need to hide cars, cover with leaves or walk three blocks so your house doesn't become a target of the Governor’s EO,” he reassured Fulton residents. “I trust people in Fulton County to use their own judgment on who and how many people they invite. Obviously, if you have high risk family members, you will weigh the risks to your loved ones versus the reward. Thanksgiving is just that, a time to give thanks for what we have or have received over the year.”
Sheriffs from New York’s Erie, Saratoga, and Washington counties have released similar statements. On Wednesday, Cuomo blasted such dissents, going so far as to equate them with police saying “I'm not going to enforce domestic violence laws because that’s a family affair.”
Various state and local leaders have threatened crackdowns on Thanksgiving gatherings in the name of containing COVID-19, partly taking cues from controversial infectious disease specialist Dr. Anthony Fauci, who said last month that Americans “may have to bite the bullet and sacrifice that social gathering, unless you’re pretty certain that the people that you’re dealing with are not infected.” At the same time, eyes are closely watching these leaders to see who follows or disregards their own dictates in their own holiday plans.
Cuomo’s New York has been a focal point in debates over whether broad lockdowns or more targeted measures are most effective against COVID-19, in light of the state’s significant number of elderly deaths after Cuomo’s order that nursing homes could not turn away patients diagnosed with COVID-19, despite the fact the virus is most dangerous to the elderly.