Democrat New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo begged employers to bring their employees back to the office by Labor Day, claiming remote work could put the state’s economic recovery in jeopardy—even though his shutdown policies were what drove employers away in the first place.
“Everyone has to be back in the office,” Cuomo said during a press briefing this week.
“I understand remote learning, I understand remote working, I understand trepidation, but the numbers are down, and we know how to do this safely,” he continued. “We need private sector companies to say to their employees, ‘I need you back in the office.’”
Having workers in the office is essential for New York to bring back its economy, he added.
“New York City is not going to come back on its own,” he said.
“Remote working for a short period of time is fine, but that’s not how the entrepreneurial economy works,” he said. “It’s the stimulation of having people in a room banging around ideas.”
Cuomo’s strict lockdown drove hundreds of employers from the state. Several large financial firms even considered moving their headquarters to Florida because so many of their employees moved to the Sunshine State to escape Cuomo’s draconian restrictions.
Cuomo’s announcement came just days after he announced he would be mandating that all state employees get vaccinated against the coronavirus because of rising cases of the delta variant.
However, he denied that the rising case numbers posed a threat to vaccinated employees who are getting ready to return to the office.
He also suggested that businesses could “do their part” to help overcome “vaccine hesitancy” by only hiring vaccinated employees.
“I can argue it’s a good business practice,” he said, “because I want to go to a safe restaurant. I want to go to a safe theater. I want to go to a safe bar.”
By the same reasoning, however, those going to such places could assure their own safety simply by themselves being vaccinated.
Cuomo also claimed businesses can require customers to show proof of vaccination, citing Radio City Music Hall as the “first main venue” that will only admit vaccinated persons.
“More businesses should do it,” he said. “It will be an incentive for more people to get the vaccine.”