As new cases of coronavirus pop up throughout the country every day, those in positions of authority and community leadership are stepping up to make sure their citizens are kept safe and healthy. But what some are offering isn’t quite as helpful as it is just ridiculous.
Take New York, for example.
Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Monday that he was having his own brand of hand sanitizer made. According to Cuomo’s news release on the product, it would contain a higher percentage of alcohol than most of its competitors, as well as “a very nice floral bouquet” scent.
ABC News Politics reported, “Amid coronavirus outbreak, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announces state hand sanitizer – ‘made, conveniently, by the state of New York’ – that will be provided to schools, MTA, prisons, and more. It has a very nice floral bouquet.”
The governor noted that it would be sent to “hot zones,” such as New Rochelle, where the newest and most prevalent cases were found.
The hand sanitizer is to be made in New York by the state-owned company of Corcraft. However, Cuomo failed to mention that Corcraft is the name of the workforce owned by the state made of prison inmates. Essentially, it’s a form of slave labor, as some have called it.
Furthermore, it has been reported by more than one source that those same prisoners making the hand sanitizer were being forced to work and live in conditions nearly unfit for animals, let alone humans. Prisoners within the state’s penitentiary system were noted not to be given any hand sanitizer themselves, nor even soap and water.
Chris Hayes reported, “Got a dispatch today from someone that visited the MDC Federal Prison in Brooklyn where there was ***no hand sanitizer or soap*** and a guard begged the visitor to send word that they are in danger if the virus hits the facility.”
While Cuomo has said it would be given to schools and other very public places, he threatened to put it on the market for sale just to hurt big-name companies like “Purell, and Mr. Amazon, and Mr. eBay.” He said that if these companies “continue the price gouging, we’ll introduce our product, which is superior to your product.”
Well, these companies wouldn’t have to price gouge if they could make prisoners and slave labor to do their dirty work as Cuomo does.
But even with its “superior” alcohol content and “floral bouquet, Cuomo is just creating more of a problem. Sure, he is trying to help. But maybe instead of pushing products that are limited in supply and are now starting to be rationed, he should remind people that soap and water are everywhere, that is, except for his prisons.
And Cuomo isn’t the only New Yorker making ludicrous proposals for how to deal with the spreading virus.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio also took to the airwaves this week, giving some rather unusual advice on how to keep yourself safe.
He told citizens in the ever-crowded city that they should change their work schedules or telecommute, as well as walk or bike to work to avoid people who may be infected.
“Stagger work schedules so people can arrive later or leave earlier to beat the busiest times of rush hour. Plan to have some extra travel time in your commute. If the train that pulls up is too packed, move to a different car or wait to take the next one. Bike or walk to work if you can.”
While these ideas might work for a man of means, like himself, they are hardly practical for the average New Yorker. And those people let him know that his suggestions were pretty much near impossible, if not outright dangerous.
People who work in public schools, restaurants, retail, and several other industries simply can’t change their schedules or work from home. Neither do they have the time to wait around for an uncrowded bus or train car, let alone walk.
And in a city as busy and hectic as New York, biking to and from work or school is simply out of the question, as several social media users noted, as well as life-threatening. One avid biker said, “Happy to ride a bike to work. Can you make it so people don’t die in Queens while biking? Vehicular deaths are a public health crisis too.”
This person makes a good point. Maybe rather than suggesting absurd things, they can come up with something that actually works.