Long Island News Post Published on May, 19th 2020, Written by Nick P.
Another protest took place on Long Island over the weekend, this time in the town of East Meadow. Similar to other recent protests, such as the one in Commack, locals have had enough of the Social Distancing requirements and shutdown of the economy and are ready and willing to get back to work.
Long Island Protests Continue
The Sunday protest in East Meadow called for small businesses to reopen immediately despite the NY Pause which is in effect in the area. The protest occurred on Hempstead Turnpike in East Meadow during an Open Up NY Rally.
Protesters who attended the rally stated that small businesses on Long Island are ready to open now, despite the NY Pause still being in effect. Small business owners in the area feel as if they should be able to choose to return to work and run the risk of getting sick.
Tommy Mcdougal, a protester from Bethpage, said: "Two months ago I would have not been here". He continued In March, "I think the shutdown was perfect. I think we had to flatten the curve -- we flattened the curve." Mcdougal’s opinion seems to match how many people feel in the country.
Organizers of the Open Up NY Rally explained how small businesses need to be able to open up soon or many will have to close for good. This situation is impacting many families on Long Island, as roughly 80% of the local economy is made up of small businesses.
President Trump Reacts to Long Island Protests
President Donald Trump reacted to a scene videotaped from the Long Island Protest that occurred over the weekend The President took to Twitter to show support for the protest after seeing a video of the Commack protest where protesters were holding up various signs including one that said: Fake News is Non-Essential.
Other signs in the protest exclaim “We The People Are ALL Essential”, showing the eagerness local communities have to return to work. Another sign read “Hang Fauci”, referring to Anthony Fauci who has been a member of the Coronavirus Taskforce and director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984. Anthony Fauci has taken a lot of criticism in recent weeks regarding his opinion on the way the country should reopen.
President Trump released a Tweet about the Commack Protest saying “FAKE NEWS IS NOT ESSENTIAL!” in response to the video, which can be seen in the Tweet. The Tweet has now gone viral, gathering over 20,000 retweets and 100,000 likes in less than 3 days.
Although his Tweet has gotten a great public reception, it was met with criticism from the media. Headlines read “Trump backs anti-lockdown protesters who heckled Long Island reporter”, and “Trump Salutes Protest Where ‘Hang Fauci’” sign was displayed.”
Despite the criticism from the media, the general public seems to be supportive of the Long Island Protest, as small businesses across the country are facing desperate times. Tension is building as New York looks across the country to Los Angeles, who has extended its stay at home order for several months last week.
Long Island’s Progress Towards Reopening
As we have previously reported, many other areas of the state have started the reopening process. This requires meeting all of the benchmarks laid out by the state, something Long Island has yet to do. Downstate areas of New York including Long Island are under a continued stay at home order that is in effect until May 28th.
Although the stay at home order is unlikely to be lifted any earlier than that date, the economy can progress through the reopening phases as early as it meets the benchmarks to do so.
Last week, however, Long Island was able to meet the fifth benchmark, leaving only 2 left before it can enter Phase 1 of the plan laid out by the state. A 14-day decline in-hospital deaths and more contact tracers are the requirements the area needs to meet before it begins reopening.
NY Governor Cuomo stated that the need for more contact tracers is not because of a shortage of applications, but rather some administrative things that need to be sorted out before enough contact tracers are allocated to specific areas throughout the Long Island.
So far a total of 1,298,757 New Yorkers have been tested for COVID-19 with 43,051 testings positive. Specifically, on Long Island there have been 37,544 in Suffolk County and 38, 743 in Nassau County. There have been a total of 3,713 deaths from COVID-19 on Long Island so far.
Long Islanders who have been Socially Distancing and doing their part to slow the spread of the virus are eagerly awaiting to return to their daily routine. At this point, we can only do our part to continue to slow the spread until we meet each benchmark required to reopen. Hopefully, we can enter Phase 1 in the near future with progression through each phase until we are back to life as we know it, not a "new normal".
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Long Island News Post Published May 19th, 2020
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