Cuomo on Reopening New York: This is Not The Time to Act Stupidly
Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the battle with COVID-19 is going to be a marathon, not a sprint.
Some local officials are feeling the political pressure to reopen, according to Cuomo. He said we can't make a decision to reopen based on political pressure.
"Frankly this is not the time to act stupidly," Cuomo warned. "This is not going to be over anytime soon. I know people want out, I know people want to go back to work. I also know more people will die if we are not smart. I'm not going to have the political obituary of this era be, well, they acted imprudently."
Cuomo once again warned about a second and third wave of COVID-19 like America saw with the Spanish flu.
"If you aren't ready for a second wave, that's the one that's going to knock you down," Cuomo said.
Cuomo told local officials to blame him if others complain about wanting to reopen.
"People will die if we get cocky about reopening," he said. "To those who are upset about our careful approach...don't blame your local official. Blame me."
Cuomo said the goal to complete 40,000 COVID tests each day might not be "realistic," but it remains the goal.
After a positive test, you must trace where the person was and isolate their interactions, according to the Governor. He added we must put together a "tracing Army."
"We can organize, we can train and we can do it," he said.
New York will launch a nation-leading tracing opportunity with the Tri-State governors.
"This is a profound moment in history," Cuomo said. "Our actions shape our future. If we get reckless today, we’ll suffer the consequences tomorrow."
Former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg has volunteered to help deliver a first-ever testing, tracing and isolation program.
"I thank him for taking this on with us — it will be expensive, challenging & require an army of tracers," Cuomo tweeted during his press conference. "But it must be done."
SUNY and CUNY students studying in medical fields will be work as tracers, Cuomo said.
Cuomo reiterated he had a "productive" meeting with President Donald Trump.
"We spoke truth, we spoke facts," Cuomo said. "The President said he's going to work very hard in the next legislation."
Live Updates: Coronavirus in the Hudson Valley
Cuomo noted Congress must have direct relief for states in the next federal COVID-19 bill.
Cuomo says the number of COVID hospitalizations and intubations continues its downward slide in New York but announced 474 people have died in the last 24 hours from the virus, bringing the statewide total to 15,302.
Neighborhoods with high numbers of COVID-19 cases are also locations with polluting plants, Cuomo noted. Asthma and respiratory illnesses are three times more likely among African American communities, according to Cuomo.