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Fast Forward

‘If not now, when?’ Pleading for ventilators, Cuomo quotes Hillel the Elder

As President Donald Trump faces mounting pressure to use the Defense Production Act to make private industry manufacture supplies like masks for healthcare workers and ventilators for patients, one voice has risen above the rest in a call for action against coronavirus:

Hillel the Elder.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo took to Twitter Tuesday to rebuke the president and quote Rabbi Hillel.

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As Cuomo used it, Hillel’s famous saying is a rallying cry for social justice. It has also appeared on tank tops and Ivanka Trump’s Twitter account. The leftist Jewish group IfNotNow is a similar reference.

Molly Boigon is an investigative reporter at the Forward. Contact her at or follow her on Twitter @MollyBoigon




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