Afternoon News Brief
Written by Tom Tharp on November 27, 2020
Governor Cuomo is under fire for not obeying the hiring freeze in his own administration during the state budget crisis. The governor hired 4 former democratic presidential campaign staffers for 567 thousand dollars, 2 of them are speech writers. Also, Governor Cuomo and several staffers received raises that had been approved before the pandemic even while denying raises to state workers regardless of whether they had been preapproved or not. EJ McMahon, research director for Empire Center for Public Policy, says that “This is a case of the governor just doing what he wants. The message is, ‘Do as we say, not as we do.'”
There will be no COVID updates until Monday November 30th when the Genesee Orleans county health departments will come back from holiday break. Roughly 7000 new cases were reported in New York State on Thanksgiving. The highest number of one day cases reported was back in April at about 12 thousand. 69 people passed away from COVID-19 on thanksgiving in the empire state. Numbers are expected to increase after the large number of gatherings over the holiday and into Christmas and winter holiday celebrations.
Cuomo has a plan for the winter season and COVID during the snowy months. He says that the micro cluster plan will continue and hospitalizations and ICU capacities will be added as factors to determine whether an area should be classified as yellow orange or red. Cuomo says that “Criticality has to weigh hospital capacity, and infection rate in a place that has a shortage of hospital beds is more serious than an infection rate in a place that has fewer hospital beds.” The second part of Cuomo’s plan is to keep schools open as much as possible saying that schools are safer than the surrounding community. The final part is a vaccine distribution plan. As of now, New York has a five phase approach. The plan has some healthcare and nursing home workers in the first phase, various essential workers and at risk groups in the middle phases, and healthy adults and children in the final phase.
The Department of Environmental Conservation of New York State has released a draft for a new statewide deer management plan and opened it up to public comments until December 28th. There are many points to the new plan including dealing with deer diseases and population, encouraging nonleaded ammunition, added hunting opportunities and trainings and citizen science monitoring of deer environmental impact. You can read it on the state DEC website and comments can be sent to email@example.com with “deer plan” the subject line.
Buffalo Bills Offensive Lineman Cody Ford will be out the rest of the season after a torn meniscus. Surgery and rehab are expected to take 3 to 4 months.