Innovo Kitchen, in Albany County, is owned by John LaPosta. His restaurant is a “polished, industrial-chic outpost for burgers, brunch, New American mains & innovative cocktails.”
Innovo’s website says, “New York State has reinstated the mask mandate as of December 13, 2021. All staff must wear masks and all customers must wear masks anytime they are not seated.”
US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is a proponent for masks. Politically correct in every way she can, she is at the forefront of the government knows best movement.
She also likes to eat.
A picture of Gillibrand entering Innovo Kitchen.
At a recent visit, Gillibrand “hurried past” the sign that states the everyone entering must wear a mask and dashed right to her table for feeding.
Nothing would be amiss during normal times, but this is pandemic, and Gillibrand was not wearing a mask.
She walked all of 20 feet, potentially spreading Omicron to diners, though it does seem like she passed any humans on the way to her table.
LaPosta wrote on Instagram on Jan. 14, as he posted the video of the senator:
“The problem with NY politics in a nutshell. My senator blowing past my manager before she can ask her to put a mask on. Walking right past a really big sign that says ‘masks required to enter.’ The masks are a mandate from the governor. As good citizens, agree or not, we must follow our leaders. I guess Senator Gillibrand thinks the governor is wrong or she is special and above the rules.”
The media was tickled to report this news as a ‘gotcha’ story, a tale of hypocrisy, which is always fun.
Across New York State, whose good people elected Gillibrand to represent them in the US Senate, COVID-19 cases have been spreading rapidly in recent weeks, caused by the Omicron variant and perhaps by Gillibrand.
Speaking to The New York Post, LaPosta said his staff didn’t have the chance to ask Gillibrand to wear a mask.
The video shows the portly senator, who moves quickly for a linebacker of her size, move swiftly toward her table.
She may have been famished.
Here are some of many links: [No need to post more since they are all nearly identical.]
In the wake of the publicity, Senator Gillibrand issued a statement, “We all need to do our part to help stop the spread of Omicron and that means following state and local guidance. That includes me and I will do better going forward.”
Gillibrand made a phone call to Innovo Kitchen to humble herself for her enormous transgression.
LaPosta announced the glad tidings on Innovo’s Facebook page:
“We would like everyone to know that our Senator, Kirsten Gillibrand called personally to apologize to the staff and the restaurant for the position she put us in during her visit on Friday. She completely owned the mistake and understood and agreed with our position.”
“For the position she put us in”? She put the guy in a position to get a lot of publicity.
Her apology, however, found a warm response from the genteel and equanimous LaPosta.
He wrote, “As we explained to our Senator, it was not personal nor driven by her politics, we would have reacted the same way to any elected official involved in making policy that they themselves didn’t follow. Our post was never meant to be a Republican nor Democratic statement, it was an American statement.”
Waxing a bit poetic, LaPosta took a moment to preach, but only a moment: “The middle is a hard place to find right now and we believe we need to try harder to find it and this begins with our elected officials.”
After posting the video, speaking to the media, embarrassing Gillibrand, who then abjectly apologized, LaPosta was ready to show he wasn’t after glory or vengeance.
“Multiple national media outlets have contacted us for interviews, we let them all know that the Senator apologized and we declined,” he said.
LaPosta continued, with a touch of irony: “For those of you who commented about us blindly following government/state/local rules please know we blindly follow nothing. We have been very vocal about the recent mask mandate being illogical and we still feel that way, however we own a small licensed business in NYS and employ 60 people.
Yes, LaPosta seems to be right. It is not clear how effective the masks are for stopping Omicron.
According to the CDC, masks might act as a barrier, trapping and filtering out some Omicron virus particles but it appears, with the masks New York State mandates masks are not very effective.
William Schaffner, MD, a professor of health policy and infectious diseases at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, told Health that research found that Omicron infects and multiplies 70 times faster than Delta, “So, the masks’ capacity to interrupt or reduce transmission back and forth is likewise reduced.”
That means masks are 70 times less effective for Omicron which is, in short, another way of saying they are ineffective.
To provide true protection against spreading Omicron, people need a lot more than the mandate mandates.
According to the CDC, a mask should:
- Have two or more layers of washable, breathable fabric
- Fit snuggly against the sides of your face so you don’t have gaps
- Have a nose wire to prevent air leaking out of the top
- And should not have exhalation valves or vents, which allow virus particles to escape.
Also, it would be best if you don’t breathe.
Danielle Zerr, MD, medical director of infection prevention at Seattle Children’s Hospital, tells Health, you should use a double mask – that is place a cloth mask over a disposable mask so that it fits snugger.
To use a bit of logic: if two masks are good, three or four would be better. Perhaps an oxygen tank could be attached to your person, since it will be hard to breathe when masked so tightly.
Logically, breathing less, or not at all, or at least not through the nose, is the best way to stop the spread of Omicron, mask or not.
“We can shed the virus, and thus spread the virus, just by breathing through your nose,” Dr. Schaffner says. “Even breathing in and out can contaminate the air around us up to three feet or even a little further.”