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Some of the music industry's biggest names are set to appear in New York City for the Video Music Awards (VMAs) this week despite Governor Andrew Cuomo saying that New York restaurants could not hold live music events.
The VMA musicians visiting NYC will not have to follow a state-wide quarantine rule that would have them isolate for two weeks if they came from any of 34 "hot spot" states, including California and Florida.
The New York Post reported that members of law enforcement will be present at the VMA events to ensure that performers and "their entourages" are adhering to the COVID-19 protocols such as wearing a mask and adhering to social distancing guidelines.
"The Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment and Citywide Events is working in close coordination with the production to ensure guidelines are being followed," according to a City Hall spokesperson.
While the VMA stars are allowed to perform, locally-owned bars and restaurants are prevented from having ticketed events at their venues across the state—an otherwise important stream of revenue for these business-owners amid the pandemic.
The Post Millennial's Libby Emmons addressed the seemingly contradictory messages expressed by state politicians, noting that there appears to be one standard for big name stars, and another for local musicians.
Among the talent to appear are Lady Gaga, Ariana Grande, and Miley Cyrus—all of whom will be performing outdoors with limited or no audience on Sunday, August 30. The Post added that the event was initially supposed to be held at Barclays Arena, but that the plan was dropped due to pandemic concerns.
HypeBot reported last week that "the statewide ruling effectively bans all live music that would pay musicians a living wage," adding that "only unadvertised and unticketed 'incidental music' is allowed."
It appears that New York authorities have their wires crossed when it comes to priorities, as it was reported that 30 people were shot and 7 killed in New York City this weekend.
NBC New York reported that "the NYPD says 44 percent of shootings across the city have happened on Saturdays and Sundays and this weekend was no different. A 25-year-old mother to three children gunned down in the Bronx was one of eight people killed in New York City between Friday and Sunday morning."
The NYPD noted that shooting crimes in NYC surged by 130 percent in the month of June alone, with the Wall Street Journal reporting that shooting crime in the city has risen 76 percent for the year compared to 2019 data.