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It's been more than a month since New York state ordered so-called "non-essential" businesses to close due to the coronavirus pandemic. Last week, one business owner had had enough.
Rabin is the owner of the Peter Elliot boutique, a retail clothing store in New York City that specializes in high-end men's and boy's apparel.
"We have maintained our distance and we have obeyed every single rule, but I feel that this country is being dictated to unnecessarily."
— Eliot Rabin, ‘Tucker Carlson Tonight’
Rabin said he closed his store when the state's order first went into effect last month, but after applying for small business loans and receiving nothing in return, he now feels compelled to keep his store open to protect the "soul" of his business: his employees.
"I opened with the idea that I want to protect my people, protect my country, and I'm not going to allow someone to dictate to me something," Rabin said.
"I haven't been in my shop for three weeks, we've been closed, we owe a lot of money to a lot of people. We've applied to every government agency you could possibly think of. We've got registration numbers and we heard nothing back."
Rabin said he found it "ludicrous" that "Shake Shack" and "cruise ships" were permitted to operate.
"This country's backbone [is made] of businesses like mine all over our country. I don't find myself being brave," he told host Tucker Carlson. "I find myself being reasonable. I find myself having common sense. We're observing every single rule and regulation that's come down."
Rabin said that he was recently visited by NYPD officers who had heard Peter Elliot was defying the nonessential business closure orders, but their reaction surprised he tailor.
Rabin explained to the officers that he was planning "to clean my store, clean my inventory, and if people want to walk in, they're allowed to walk in. I am not forcing them in. I am not a hairdresser. I'm not a manicurist or a barber. I'm a retail store but I'm open to the public and if they want to walk in, I'm not going to stop them from walking in."
"They looked at me and said 'You're a veteran?' I said 'Yes, I am.' And they said 'Thank you for your service,'" and left without citing him, Rabin noted.
"We have maintained our distance and we have obeyed every single rule, but I feel that this country is being dictated to unnecessarily," Rabin said. "Personally, I'm putting no one in danger."