A birthday party for a New York mover and shaker that was attended by prominent Democrats appeared to defy Governor Andrew Cuomo’s latest executive order restricting the size of such gatherings, reports the New York Daily News.
Friends of Carlo Scissura, president and CEO of the New York Building Congress, a construction trade organization, threw a surprise party for Scissura’s 50th birthday on November 14.
Days earlier, Cuomo, a Democrat, had issued an order limiting private gatherings to a maximum of 10 people. “The limit will be implemented due to the recent prevalence of COVID spread resulting from small indoor gatherings,” Cuomo’s office explained on November 11. “These gatherings have become a major cause of cluster activity across the state.”
But photos of Scissura’s party show far more than 10 people in attendance, including Deputy Brooklyn Borough President Ingrid Lewis-Martin and former Brooklyn Democratic Party Chairman Frank Seddio. Moreover, most celebrants neither wore masks nor maintained their distance from others.
According to the Daily News:
In one image, about two dozen people are seen mingling with one another in an ornate dining area while celebrating Scissura’s 50th. Only two of them are visibly wearing masks.
In another shot, there are a dozen people crammed in the dining area, with just one person wearing a mask. Seddio can be seen in the background chatting with Lewis-Martin — neither of them with a mask.
Scissura told the paper that all attendees were given masks and had their temperatures taken before entering the venue.
“This is a particularly trying time and there were shortcomings that I regret,” he said in a statement. “I greatly appreciate the gesture of my friends to throw me a surprise party, but we all must follow strict protocols so we can get past this pandemic.”
Translation: The rest of you peons “must all follow strict protocols.” My powerful pals and I will do as we please and then issue meaningless apologies if we get caught.
Asked about the incident, Seddio told the Daily News, “[Scissura] and I and about 10 others got together,” which in itself would violate Cuomo’s order. However, when the newspaper informed him that it had photographic evidence of significantly larger attendance, Seddio said sarcastically, “That’s a great angle … I can’t even imagine that.”
Of course, it was highly unlikely that disobeying the governor’s edict would embarrass Seddio; the man seems incapable of shame. While denying the party had violated Cuomo’s diktat, Seddio told the Daily News he had repeatedly engaged in some noisy but odor-free flatulence at the soiree, which resulted in some punches from his wife. “That was the most exciting part of the night,” he declared.
Lewis-Martin, meanwhile, “claimed only six or seven people were at the party by the time she arrived,” wrote the Daily News. “When a photo of a large group including her was described to her, she said people had been coming and going in ‘shifts’ and the picture may have been taken while the shifts overlapped.”
Lewis-Martin also said she had “no concern about spreading” COVID-19 at the party because “I have antibodies. I was already sick.”
Scissura’s celebration is just the latest in a long line of incidents in which prominent political figures have been discovered violating various coronavirus restrictions — even ones that they themselves instituted.
California Governor Gavin Newsom, a Democrat who has told his fellow Californians to stay home and not socialize when they go out, got caught attending a November 6 dinner party at a fancy restaurant. People from multiple households were present at the party, and they did not wear masks. Like Scissura, Newsom offered a tepid apology once he learned the jig was up.
After telling Chicago residents to “cancel traditional Thanksgiving plans” to “bend the curve” of new COVID-19 cases, Mayor Lori Lightfoot showed up at a street party to celebrate former Vice President Joe Biden’s seeming defeat of President Donald Trump. When challenged on her apparent hypocrisy, the Democrat — who had also unabashedly gotten a haircut in April during a hard lockdown — claimed attending the party was acceptable because “there are times when we actually do need to have a relief and come together.”
And the list goes on.
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