Cuomo and de Blasio have turned NYC into a scary ghost town in time for Halloween

Cuomo and de Blasio have turned NYC into a scary ghost town in time for Halloween

October 31, 2020

Who’s afraid of the big, bad virus? Supposedly it’s everyone who won’t come into the city because the bug made it too dangerous. But what’s really spooked them is our elected officials’ spectacularly effective campaign to ruin New York City, and Manhattan in particular, brick by brick.

The town’s current pandemic peril is near-negligible. Its new-infection rate hovering around 1.58 percent as of Friday — much of it due to a few “red zone” neighborhoods in the outer boroughs — is the envy of major world capitals.

But Gov. Cuomo’s and Mayor de Blasio’s message for The City That Never Sleeps is: Don’t Even Get Out of Bed.

As penance for their early blunders that drove the virus’ explosive spread last winter, they overcompensate with draconian measures that took away much of the city’s energy and allure.

My suburban friends who won’t come to town say it’s “too dangerous.” They’re embarrassed to admit the real reason: Much about the city they once loved to visit just plain stinks.

Office towers are 85 percent empty, threatening landlords’ ability to pay taxes if tenants walk away from leases. The scarcity of Midtown and Downtown workers is ruinous to shops and restaurants. But why should private-sector employees return to their desks when de Blasio refuses to call back his own, 350,000-strong workforce? Could City Hall send a more damaging signal?

Cuomo, hoping for a Joe Biden victory to bring the state and city gazillions of dollars in federal relief, seems hell-bent on making our plight as terrible as possible with irrational, inconsistent lockdowns and restrictions.

His non-resident “quarantines,” while manifestly unenforceable, create a Leningrad-under-siege mentality.

The Big Apple’s movie theaters remain shut down, even though they’re open everywhere else in the state.

Restaurants must operate at a non-sustainable 25 percent capacity indoors, even though they’ve been at 50 percent everywhere else in the state since July with no known ill effects.

Broadway and concert halls remain 100 percent dark, even though theater owners are willing to go the last mile to make them safer.

Comedy clubs are closed, too, while shopping malls — which shouldn’t have been closed in the first place — were allowed to reopen. The clubs are suing the city and state, but good luck to them in a climate that blames the virus, and only the virus, for everything.

Case in point: When news broke two weeks ago that hedge-fund billionaire Paul Singer will move his headquarters from Midtown to West Palm Beach, Fla., the New York Times claimed it was “prompted by the pandemic.”

Then why is Singer heading for Palm Beach County, where the new-infection rate is above five percent? Likely because de Blasio turned our streets over to common criminals, “homeless” lunatics and Matterhorn-like heaps of uncollected garbage.

There are glimmers of hope. To Cuomo’s rare credit, the state-run subways are cleaner than in generations. Restaurants are bravely reopening despite crippling restrictions. Great museums and the normally impassable High Line Park, reopened after months of needless closures, have never been so pleasant to navigate.

It would be fair to celebrate those modest accomplishments. But optimism isn’t part of our leaders’ COVID-obsessed narrative.

Yes, the virus is mushrooming in other parts of the country. No one should be complacent. It killed my neighborhood tailor. My wife had a blessedly mild infection. A half-dozen friends had cases in March and April that ranged from near-asymptomatic to near-death with gradations of suffering, some of it profound, in between.

But that was then and this is now. It’s time for our elected “leaders” to fight for New York’s future — and to sound like they believe in it.

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