Cuomo threatens to fine NYC over COVID clusters

As coronavirus hotspots in New York City continue to grow, Governor Andrew Cuomo is saying that City Hall and the Health Department aren't doing enough to enforce safety protocols like mask mandates and is threatening steep fines if things don't get fixed.

So far, twelve zip codes across Queens and Brooklyn are seeing increases in COVID cases, with special attention being paid to Southern Brooklyn, Williamsburg, Central Queens, and Far Rockaway.

And while the problem may not be anywhere near as bad as it was in March, Governor Cuomo is still threatening the city with penalties if they don't get things under control.

"Local governments have to do enforcement," Cuomo said on a conference call. "Whether or not it fits with their political agenda really is pointless. It's the law and their job is to enforce the law."

For each day the rules are not enforced, Cuomo is threatening NYC with a $10,000 fine. However, Mayor Bill de Blasio hit back at the Governor Friday night, saying they are doing nothing but enforcing the rules.

"We're enforcing guidelines with the speed and rigor this crisis demands - not because we fear fines, but because we know our measures will help combat this crisis. Public health and safety drives the day in this city," Mitch Schwarz, Mayor de Blasio's Deputy Press Secretary said in a statement.

Experts say that threatening fines is where the enforcement may get lost.

"Enforceability is going to be an issue and certainly there needs to be a far more clear-cut case," said attorney James Kousouros. Kousouros says that Cuomo's lastest threat needs to be explained more to those who would end up enforcing the rules.

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