Gov. Cuomo says NY isn’t ready to follow federal advice on going maskless

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Pandemic-weary New Yorkers had their hopes deflated Thursday when Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he wasn’t ready to ease the state’s mask mandate — even though the feds gave the green light for vaccinated Americans to finally show their faces and gather indoors again.

In a late-afternoon statement, Cuomo said he and Health Commissioner Howard Zucker had yet to decide if the Empire State would adopt newly announced guidelines from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“In New York, we have always relied on the facts and the science to guide us throughout the worst of this pandemic and in our successful reopening,” Cuomo said.

“We have received the newly revised guidance from the CDC regarding mask wearing and social distancing for those with vaccinations and are reviewing them in consultation with Dr. Zucker and our partners and health experts in surrounding states.”

Hours earlier, CDC Director Rochelle Walenksy said, “Anyone who is fully vaccinated can participate in indoor and outdoor activities – large or small — without wearing a mask or physically distancing.”

President Biden called the development “a great day for America,” saying, “If you’ve been vaccinated, you don’t have to wear your mask and you can shake hands.”

“You can even give each other a hug,” he added.

First Lady Jill Biden celebrated by going maskless with actress Jennifer Garner during a visit to a vaccination site in West Virginia.

“We feel naked,” she said before adding: “I didn’t mean it that way!”

Under state rules that were revised last month, fully vaccinated people can go maskless outdoors, “except in certain crowded settings and venues.”

Masks are still required indoors, regardless of vaccination status.

State Sen. Jim Tedisco (R-Grenville) invoked the state’s scandal over nursing home deaths from COVID-19 in saying that “our best bet as constituents is to always follow the CDC because we’ve seen what the ‘experts’ in New York state have provided.”

“I don’t think anything this governor says about using experts in New York State is true,” Tedisco said.

“He’s working with people who are basically like working with Moe, Larry and Curly. I’d follow the CDC guidelines anytime before following what the governor says.”

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