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'Who do you think you are, God?' Tucker Carlson brands Cuomo the 'stupid governor of a declining state' after he threatens to shut down NYC religious gatherings to stop Covid-19

 Tucker Carlson raged at New York governor Andrew Cuomo last night for threatening to shut down religious gatherings, asking him: 'Who do you think you are, God?'. 

The Fox News host derided Cuomo as the 'stupid governor of a declining state' after the Democrat warned that churches and synagogues would be shut down if they did not enforce social distancing rules. 

At a Monday press conference, Cuomo displayed pictures of large gatherings among Orthodox Jews, in communities which overlap with some of the worst-hit ZIP codes in a recent uptick in coronavirus cases in New York City. 

Cuomo has signed an order shutting down 300 schools in some areas with large Orthodox populations, as New York tries to stop a second wave of infections months after beating back an outbreak that killed more than 24,000 people. 

Fox News host Tucker Carlson has blamed Democrats and the Black Lives Matter movement for the shooting ambush on two Los Angeles sheriff's deputies
Andrew Cuomo

Tucker Carlson (left) raged at New York governor Andrew Cuomo (right) on his Fox News show last night for threatening to shut down religious gatherings

On his show last night, Carlson played a clip of Cuomo threatening to 'close the religious institutions, period' if they do not agree to enforce virus rules.  

'In the country we lived in in January, we had a First Amendment that said government will not get in the way of your exercise of your religion,' Carlson said. 

'People would have laughed at that. We will close the religious institutions, period? Who do you think you are, God?

'You're not, you're some stupid governor of a declining state. 

'Putting aside whether any of that is legal, what's the science behind it, the purported science behind it? Protests fine, religious services not.' 


Cuomo signed an order on Monday closing schools in nine Brooklyn and Queens ZIP codes, and is considering a proposal by city mayor Bill de Blasio to shut down non-essential businesses there as well. 

Those areas represent seven per cent of the city's population but have been responsible for about 1,850 new cases in the past four weeks — more than 20 per cent of all new infections in the city during that span. 

The governor, 62, showed pictures of large Orthodox Jewish gatherings which he said had taken place in recent weeks.

'The city's proposal does not close religious institutions. We know religious institutions have been a problem,' Cuomo said. 

Cuomo threatens religious gathering shut down in fear of COVID spike
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At a Monday press conference, Cuomo displayed pictures of large gatherings in Orthodox Jewish communities which overlap with some of the worst-hit ZIP codes in a recent uptick in cases in New York

At a Monday press conference, Cuomo displayed pictures of large gatherings in Orthodox Jewish communities which overlap with some of the worst-hit ZIP codes in a recent uptick in cases in New York

'We know there have been mass gatherings going on in concert with religious institutions in these communities for weeks,' Cuomo said. 

'I don't mean little violations, you're only supposed to have 50, they had 55. I'm talking about, you're only supposed to have 50 outdoors, they had 1,000.   

'These have been going on for weeks. You don't see masks, and you see clear violation of social distancing.'

Cuomo said religious institutions could only stay open if they agreed to the rules and were prepared to enforce them.   

'One, the community must agree - whether it's the Jewish community, whether we're talking about black churches, whether we're talking about Roman Catholic churches - the religious community has to agree to the rules,' Cuomo said. 

'Second, after we receive the agreement, an agreement is only as good as the enforcement. We have to have real enforcement. 

'If you do not agree to enforce the rules, then we'll close the institutions down. I am prepared to do that.  

Some Orthodox Jews have complained of being singled out for enforcement and criticized de Blasio for proposing the shutdown during a Jewish holiday.  

Orthodox Jews would not be using telephones or computers during the Sukkot holiday, and would not have heard the news until sundown. 

Cases in New York City have risen from fewer than 350 per day in the middle of September to more than 550 per day now, according to CDC figures

Cases in New York City have risen from fewer than 350 per day in the middle of September to more than 550 per day now, according to CDC figures

'Announcing this in the middle of a Jewish holiday shows City Hall's incompetence and lack of sensitivity towards the Jewish Community,' said Daniel Rosenthal, a state Assembly member from Queens. 

De Blasio said he was aware of the holiday but felt obligated to announce the plan as soon as it was developed. 

Many religious leaders say they are already straining to balance rituals and traditions centered on communal gatherings with health rules. 

The Jewish Voice, a newspaper, is urging compliance with health guidelines such as mask-wearing and social distancing.  

But its publisher David Ben Hooren said many Orthodox Jews believe they have been unfairly targeted with stringent restrictions that are not being enforced elsewhere. 

'The Jewish community feels they're being singled out and there's some element of anti-Semitism,' he said Monday. 

'Not that I agree with it, but that's the sentiment in the street. Tensions are running high.' 

Cases in New York City have risen from fewer than 350 per day in the middle of September to more than 550 per day now, according to CDC figures, although the numbers are still negligible compared to the height of the crisis in the spring. 

The average daily figure was more than 10 times higher in mid April, when more than 1,000 people were dying in the city every day.  

Cuomo ordered the school closures to take effect from Tuesday, a day ahead of when de Blasio wanted.   

'These clusters have to be attacked,' Cuomo said, likening the state to a field of dry grass ready to ignite if burning embers are not extinguished fast. 

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