New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Monday mistakenly displayed a 14-year-old photo of an Orthodox community gathering, claiming that the packed event happened two weeks ago amid the COVID-19 outbreak in the state. The said incident occurred during a coronavirus news briefing addressing outbreaks in some parts of the state.
"We know there have been mass gatherings going on in concert with religious institutions in these communities for weeks", Cuomo said.
The governor showed a slideshow with two photos, one of which was taken in 2006 during the funeral of revered Hassidic Rabbi Moshe Teitelbaum in the Orange County village of Kiryas Joel, according to the New York Post.
"These pictures are just from the past couple of weeks", Cuomo claimed.
Netizens on Twitter were separated into two groups, with the first criticising Cuomo's claims, while others defended the incident, saying that "the message is current and relevant".
Cuomo is using a 2006 photo to manufacture excuses for cracking down on New York Jews. It takes 30 seconds to confirm.— Omri Ceren (@omriceren) October 5, 2020
Slide 1: his press briefing, with photo of Jews without masks or social distancing.
Slide 2: reverse lookup of the photo.
Slide 3: it's an AP photo from 2006. pic.twitter.com/iurIYohHHc
Who cares if the pictures are old - the message is current and relevant— Tick Tock Trump (@SpiritualHear10) October 5, 2020
Typical, I won't be surprised if the covid results were from March— Chaim Solo (@ChaimSolo) October 5, 2020
Does it matter...today, tomorrow, 14 years ago it’s all the same— Sean Lilly (@SLilly2321) October 5, 2020
Senior Cuomo adviser Rich Azzopardi said in a statement on Twitter that the incident was "a staff error that was caught in real time".
"This was a staff error that was caught in real time at the presser", Azzopardi tweeted. "It was swapped out with this photo that was taken two weeks ago at the same location. The new slide was up during the last 10 minutes of the press conference".
This was a staff error that was caught in real time at the presser. It was swapped out with this photo that was taken two weeks ago at the same location. The new slide was up during the last 10 minutes of the press conference. https://t.co/tu1hcEU4dx pic.twitter.com/1wsL7HEVPn— Rich Azzopardi (@RichAzzopardi) October 5, 2020