Mar 19, 2020

Andrew Cuomo March 19 Coronavirus Briefing: Orders 75% of New Yorkers to Stay Home from Work

Andrew Cuomo New York Coronavirus Update March 19
RevBlogTranscriptsAndrew Cuomo TranscriptsAndrew Cuomo March 19 Coronavirus Briefing: Orders 75% of New Yorkers to Stay Home from Work

Andrew Cuomo delivered an update today in a series of daily briefings on COVID-19 and ordered 75% of New Yorkers to stay home from work. Read the full transcript here.

Andrew Cuomo: (00:00)
To my left, Secretary to the Governor Melissa DeRosa. To her left, Budget Director Robert Mujica. Let me make a couple of points if I can today. Again, the context, the perspective is probably what’s most important. Coronavirus is a critical governmental situation. It’s a public health crisis. Government has to respond to it, and that’s what the coverage is all about. It is a war in many ways, and government has to mobilize as if it is a war. The federal government is now engaged in a way they haven’t been. I think that is very good news.

Andrew Cuomo: (00:43)
I’ve worked in the federal government. I was a cabinet secretary and one of the senior governors in the nation. I know what a state can do. I know what the federal government can do, and states don’t fight wars. They did it at one time in this nation’s history. It was a tragedy. The federal government has the capacity to mobilize the way we need society to mobilize today, and I’ve had numerous conversations with the President. I spoke with him again last night. He is mobilizing. He’s mobilizing the federal government. We had a number of meetings with different federal officials yesterday, and I think that is the best positive sign that the federal government is actually stepping up to the plate.

Andrew Cuomo: (01:37)
You will see that this has been diagnosed, pardon the pun, as a healthcare crisis from moment one. This has always been about one thing, reducing the rate of spread so the healthcare system can manage it. And it’s been a question of math and projections, and it is still exactly that. Can we get this spread down to a rate that the healthcare system can manage? What is going to be the issue in the healthcare system? It’s going to be the number of hospital beds, it’s going to be the amount of protective equipment, and most of all it’s going to come down to ventilators, a piece of equipment that up until now was relatively inconsequential. But when you have respiratory illnesses and then there’s volume of respiratory illnesses, all of a sudden the number of ventilators becomes critical.

Andrew Cuomo: (02:41)
Just to give you a sense of scope, we have about 5,000-6,000 ventilators that we can identify. We need about 30,000 ventilators. This is a nationwide problem. I was on the phone with the governors from the other states, with the National Governors Association yesterday. Every state is shopping for ventilators. We’re shopping for ventilators. We literally have people in China shopping for ventilators, which is one of the largest manufacturers. So this is a major problem. It’s an issue that the federal government can actually play a very constructive role. There’s something called the Federal Defense Procurement Act, where the federal government can basically order companies to produce certain materials, and we’re going to need protective equipment in hospitals. We’re going to need ventilators, and that is something that a state can’t do, but the federal government can do.

Andrew Cuomo: (03:50)
Also, as this has gone on, we said we are fighting a war on two fronts. We’re fighting the virus, and we’re fighting fear, and they are two totally different situations that you have to deal with. In many ways, the fear is more dangerous than the virus. I started working on disasters, emergency situations, when I was in my thirties. My first experience was Hurricane Andrew in Homestead, Florida, and I felt it. I saw on the ground what happens when people panic. And the panic and the fear is as dangerous or more dangerous than the hurricane. I’ve seen it in floods. I’ve seen it in fires. We now have misinformation, and fear, and panic, which is as contagious or more contagious than the virus, and we have to deal with both of them.

Andrew Cuomo: (04:57)
I’ve had some conversations that are just irrational with people who heretofore were wholly rational. I had a conversation last night with a business person from New York City who I know, who was panicked that New York City was going to be locked down, that there were going to be roadblocks, that there were going to be mandatory quarantine. He was going to be imprisoned in his house. And I said, “Where did you hear that?” “Well, that’s what they say. That’s what I’m hearing they’re saying.” And I was saying, “Look, I would know, right? Because I would have to authorize those actions legally. It’s not going to happen.” “Well, I hear it. It’s going to happen.” I said, “I know, but I would have to do it, and I’m telling you I’m not doing it.” It must have taken me 25 minutes just to slow him down to hear the information.

Andrew Cuomo: (06:07)
When you get that emotional, that fearful, you literally don’t process information the same way. So we have to be very aware of that. Clear communication from everyone, from our friends in the media, from the healthcare professionals, from all elected officials, clear communication, consistent communication, because misinformation, emotion, fear, panic is truly more dangerous than the virus at this position, in my opinion, because the facts on the virus, we know. We’ve watched it from China to South Korea. We’ve studied it here. We know the numbers. It is exactly what we said it was. It’s exactly what we said it was from day one.

Andrew Cuomo: (07:04)
We talked about the increased spread. We talked about the vulnerable populations: seniors, compromised immune systems, people with underlying illnesses. So we know what this virus does. We know how it communicates, and we know how to deal with it. It’s not going to be easy. It’s not going to be pretty, but we know the trajectory of the virus. Let’s just take a deep breath and make sure we’re acting on facts as opposed to acting on fear. When you act on fear, then you’re in a dangerous place. The facts we can handle.

Andrew Cuomo: (07:51)
Let me give you a couple of the new facts today. Just to recap, we said we have a plan of action. There are three steps: flatten the curve, slow the spread, increase the current hospital capacity, and number three, identify new hospital beds, do them all at the same time, which is the challenge, make government work, mobilize, operationalize, get it all done, get it all done today. On density reduction, this is a data-driven decision. Look at the increase in the number of cases, look at the hospital capacity, and do adjust and do everything you can to slow the increase of the spread so that your hospital system can deal with the growth.

Andrew Cuomo: (08:45)
We’ve been taking increasing steps on density reduction, because the numbers have been increasing. And again, this is driven by science and by data. We said voluntary work from home, mandatory closing of schools statewide, mandatory reduction of state and local workforce, mandatory tri-state agreement on bars, restaurants, gyms, mandatory in-office workforce cut by 50%. We said that yesterday. The numbers have gone up overnight. I am going to increase the density control today. No more than 25% of people can be in the workforce. Yesterday it was 50%. We’re reducing it again, except the essential services that we spoke about yesterday. That means 75% of the workforce must stay at home and work from home. Again, voluntarily I’m asking all businesses to have people work from home. As a mandate, 75% of your employee base must work from home. In terms of increasing current hospital capacity, our current hospital capacity is about 50,000 beds statewide. Majority of those beds are in downstate New York. Commissioner Zucker is working with the hospital industry. He’s going to put out new regulations, assessing how many more beds we can get in our existing hospitals, waiving Department of Health rules, waiving Department of Financial Service rules. How many more beds can we get in those hospitals? And we’re working on that aggressively.

Andrew Cuomo: (10:37)
At the same time identifying new hospital beds, the Army Corps of Engineers was with us yesterday. We had a very good meeting. We’re looking at sites across the state to find existing facilities that could expeditiously be turned into health care facilities. And again, when I said the federal response is very welcome, I want to thank the President. He said that he would bring the Army Corps of Engineers here. They came here the next day. I spoke to them last night to follow up on the meeting. So this is going forward aggressively.

Andrew Cuomo: (11:14)
We’re also going to take a bold action, but a necessary action, offering 90 day relief on mortgage payments, waiving mortgage payments based on financial hardship. Meaning, if you are not working, if you’re working only part-time, we’re going to have the banks and financial institutions waive mortgage payments for 90 days. That will be a real life economic benefit. It will also be a stress reliever for many families. Waiving these payments will not have a negative effect on your credit report. There’ll be a grace period for loan modification.

Andrew Cuomo: (12:05)
We’re not exempting people from the mortgage payments. We’re just adjusting the mortgage to include those payments on the back end. No late fees or online payment fees, postponing or suspending any foreclosures during this period of time, and waiving fees for overdrafts, ATM credit cards. This is a real life benefit. People are under tremendous economic pressure. Making a mortgage payment can be one of the number one stressors. Eliminating that stressor for 90 days, I think, will go a long way. Again, we’ll reassess as the situation goes on if that should be extended or not.

Andrew Cuomo: (12:51)
Number of positive cases, total positive 4,000, number of new positive, 1, 769. You see additional counties that are being added to counties that have cases. The spread mirrors what’s happening in the country. Just as the spread has gone through all states, the spread is going through our counties. It was downstate first. It’s now moving upstate. New York now has 2000 cases. Washington State, 1100 cases. Washington State had cases earlier because it went through a nursing home, if you remember, but New York State has more cases than Washington State, more cases than any state in the nation. And I’ve made that point to the federal government and the President, and he understands that if there’s a state that needs help, the state by the number of cases is New York.

Andrew Cuomo: (13:53)
In terms of testing, we have tested now 22,000. We tested 7,500 people last night. Why are you seeing the numbers go up? Because you are taking more tests. People see those numbers go up, they get nervous, they panic. “Oh, look at how many more people have the virus.” That’s not how many more people have the virus. You’re just taking more tests, so you’re finding more positives. There are thousands and thousands of people who have the virus who we’re not testing. There are thousands and thousands of people who had the virus before we started testing. There are thousands and thousands of people who had the virus and who resolved and never knew they had the virus. We’re still testing because you want to find those positive cases so you can track them down, isolate people, and stop the spread. But you can’t watch these numbers like the stock market and say, “Well, that’s the indicator.”

Andrew Cuomo: (15:03)
… Market and say, “Well, that’s the indicator of anything other than the indicator of how many tests we’re taking.” It is good news that we’re now up to 7,500 tests. We were at one time doing 200 tests per day, just to put that 7,500 in focus. So that’s a tremendous increase in the number of tests, and you want to see the numbers go up. The hospitalization rate is very relevant because remember this is all about the flow into the healthcare system. So 777 out of 4,152, perspective, perspective, perspective. We know the virus, we know what it does, we know who it hurts, we know who it affects. Johns Hopkins, since day one, has tracked this virus through China. 222,000 cases, 9,000 deaths, 84,000 recoveries, 129,000 pending.

Andrew Cuomo: (16:08)
One last point, we talk about this as a government response. The federal government’s doing this. State government is doing this, government, government, government. This manifests on a number of levels and the government response is obviously very important, but the impact I think is greater and probably greatest as a social phenomenon and on people and on families. This is tremendously disruptive on all sorts of levels. It came out of the blue. For me in New York, it reminds me of 9/11 where one moment, which was inconceivable, just changed everything, changed your perspective on the world, change your perspective on safety. Children who were young at that time but of school age watched on TV, they didn’t know if their parents were coming home. I think it changed their whole outlook on life after 9/11. This is a situation like that. It’s obviously totally different magnitude, but it’s like that.

Andrew Cuomo: (17:30)
It’s a moment that just changes your whole life. Yesterday you were going to work and you were going to go to the office party. Today, you’re at home and the kids are at home and you’re worried about health and you’re worried about your job and you’re worried about economics and you’re dealing with personal issues, and you’re dealing with family issues and it’s all happening at once and then you turn on the TV and there’s all this different information and nobody can tell you if this is going to be 30 days or 60 days or four months or five months or nine months. The stress, the emotion is just incredible, and rightfully so. It is a situation that is one of the most disruptive that I have seen, and it will change almost everything going forward. It will. That is a fact. It’s not your perception.

Andrew Cuomo: (18:41)
It’s not just you. It’s all of us, and it’s true, and it’s real. Nobody can tell you when this is going to end. Nobody can tell you. I talked to all the experts. Nobody can say, “Two months, four months, nine months.” Nobody. It’s hard living your life with that big question mark out there. Nobody can tell you when you’ll go back to work. People can tell you that it’s not just you economically, it’s everyone. Take comfort in that. Federal government is actually acting on an economic package, but it’s true. Having your family all together is a beautiful thing. It’s also different for a lot of people, especially for a prolonged period of time. So these are major shifts in life and in the most emotional, stressful conditions that you can imagine. And I think my own personal advice is, understand it for what it is, and that it’s not just you.

Andrew Cuomo: (19:56)
It has changed everything, and it will for the foreseeable future. And think through how you’re going to deal with it and what it means, and even try to find a positive in it, right? It’s a very negative circumstance, but you’re going to have time on your hands. You’re going to have time with your family, you’re going to have time at home in this busy hurry up world. All of a sudden somebody said, “Okay, you have a couple of months where you’re going to be home with the family. No work. You work from home. But it’s a totally different situation.” How do you use that? How do you adjust? It’s not going to be done overnight, but it is something that everybody has to think through. My last point is to the younger people in our great state and in our great society and that’s why I invited our special guest here today, McKayla.

Andrew Cuomo: (21:06)
My grandfather Andrea, my grandfather on my father’s side, his name was Andrea. I’m named for my grandfather Andrew, Italian-American immigrant. When I was young ish, I was like 16, 17, 18 and I would do something that he didn’t like. He would just look at me and he would say, “We grow too soon old and too late smart.” And I would say, “What does that mean, grandpa? Is that a criticism?” We grow too soon old, too late smart. These pictures of young people on beaches, these videos of young people saying, “This is my spring break? I’m out to party. This is my time to party.”

Andrew Cuomo: (21:57)
This is so unintelligent and reckless I can’t even begin to express it. Now, I had a conversation with my daughter about this. I’m governor of the state. I can order a quarantine of 10,000 people, but I can’t tell my daughter to do anything. All right? And I have to be careful because there’s almost an inverse response to a direct action, but I did say to all three of them, from soon as they could crawl. I used the one line … What is the one line I used to say?

McKayla: (22:47)
Risk reward.

Andrew Cuomo: (22:48)
Risk reward, risk reward. Just pose the question. I couldn’t offer an answer because whatever answer I would offer, they would do the other. Risk reward. It makes no sense to go expose yourself to these conditions and expose other people, expose other people. McKayla wanted to take … First of all, McKayla was graduating this year and her school closed to online courses, so she’s not going to have the graduation. We’re going to have a big party at the appropriate time. We don’t know what that time is going to be, if it’s going to be two months, four months, six months, nine months. But at the first opportunity we’re going to have a big party, so that’s going to happen. But she was deprived of the last year and the last few months of college, which I’m sure were a very intense study period and that’s what she’s deprived of, that intense study period of those last few weeks. I remember those last few weeks. A lot of study.

Andrew Cuomo: (23:52)
But that’s a shift in life, but she was going to take a vacation on spring break and go with friends and take a trip, and risk reward. And luckily she made the right decision and I’m proud of her for that. No prompting from me, besides the question, risk reward. What these people are doing is the risk does not justify the reward. They’re putting themselves at risk. Young people can get coronavirus. That’s one of the other myths. Young people don’t get it. Young people do get it and young people can transfer and you can wind up infecting someone and possibly killing someone if you’re exposed to it. Risk reward. Questions, comments?

Speaker 1: (24:59)
What’s your plan for the MTA? They asked the feds for a four billion dollar bailout. [inaudible 00:25:01].

Andrew Cuomo: (25:03)
The economic consequences here are for the MTA, for the state budget, for county budgets, town budgets, village budgets, all the public authorities. It’s just a big question mark. They’ve all lost tremendous revenues and we’re going to have to figure out as a nation how to deal with this. The ridership is down on the MTA and the revenue’s down on the MTA and say hello to every other public transit system in this United States of America. So it’s going to have to be a national response.

Speaker 1: (25:41)
[crosstalk 00:25:41] shut down transportation. How is that possible if the transit [inaudible 00:25:45]? Is there any plan right now that you guys are going to [inaudible 00:25:50] the MTA?

Andrew Cuomo: (25:51)
The MTA will continue running. They’re in essential service on the essential service list and the revenues, we’re going to have to make do. Rob, do you have anything that you want to add?

Rob: (26:04)
So right now we’re looking at the ridership, right? Ridership is down in all of the systems, right? But the workers are there, the workers are running the trains, the trains are running on time and New York City still has, right. There are still some businesses in essential services that are flowing. So the MTA is part of bringing people back and forth. So right now we’re looking at that, but every transit system in the nation is facing the same reality.

Speaker 1: (26:31)
[inaudible 00:26:31] impact for rider regulations?

Rob: (26:35)
we’re looking at, we’re looking at the MTA as well. So this is part of the discussions that we’re having with the legislature right now.

Speaker 1: (26:38)
[inaudible 00:26:43]?

Rob: (26:42)
We’re looking at the, as the governor mentioned, the entire budget is impacted, right? So we’re going to have to have flexibility in the budget to be able to prioritize certain services over others. As governor indicated, the MTA is an essential service for New York City.

Andrew Cuomo: (26:56)
Also, guys, remember all these broad statements. We have to run a government. We have to run and serve as a society, right? We need the healthcare system up and running. Doctors have to get to work, nurses have to get to work. Healthcare workers have to get to work. We need police, we need fire, we need bus drivers, we need daycare workers. All those functions have to happen. So we need a transportation system because we need people getting to work. Refuse has to be picked up. Right? All these functions have to continue, so when they talk about shut down, we have to make sure we’re operational and healthy and functional.

Speaker 2: (27:47)
I know you’ve had trouble with the phrase shelter in place, but are you considering any kind of more stringent restrictions on people leaving the home or going to businesses or things like that?

Andrew Cuomo: (27:59)
Yeah. I believe communication is important and I believe words are important. Say what you mean and don’t say what might alarm people. The level of alarm in this country, in this state, especially in New York City is higher than I have ever seen it. Somehow people have the idea that New York City may be quarantined, maybe locked off, that they may be imprisoned in their home. I don’t know where they get it. This is the conversation I was talking about last night. This is a smart person who I know for a long time. Just panic. Just fear. None of that is going to happen. None of that is going to happen. There is no quarantine plan for New York City. He said to me, “Well, you did a containment plan for new Rochelle.”

Andrew Cuomo: (28:55)
My containment plan in New Rochelle didn’t contain anyone. It was a bad word. It meant to contain the virus. You could come and go in New Rochelle. Schools were closed, large gatherings were closed, but there was no quarantine containment. Well, you called up the National Guard. I called up the National Guard to help with food delivery and cleaning surfaces. And by the way, we use the National Guard every time there’s a snow storm or a fire or a flood, I call up the National Guard. It does not signal martial law. Shelter in place, mandatory evacuation, but you don’t have to evacuate. Well, then don’t call it mandatory evacuation. Mandatory fasting, but you can eat. Well, then don’t call it fasting. If you look at the principles of shelter in place, first of all, shelter in places is deceptive because it does have a meaning. Shelter in place literally means it … It’s currently used in an active.

Andrew Cuomo: (30:03)
…means. It’s currently used in an active shooter context. It was most recently used for nuclear war protection. And what shelter-in-place meant was find the room in your house with no windows where you would be free from smoke or gases and stay there until you get the all clear sign. That’s where it comes from.

Andrew Cuomo: (30:30)
While we mean a modified shelter-in-place. Then don’t say shelter-in-place. Say modified shelter-in-place. If you look at what other places call shelter-in-place, it’s what we’re doing now.

Jesse: (30:44)
Not exactly though. I mean-

Andrew Cuomo: (30:46)
But virtually

Jesse: (30:46)
-what they’re doing the San Francisco Bay area is basically warning people, only do essential things. You can go get medicine, you can go get groceries, things like that. Would you consider that sort of model, the San Francisco model, for New York City or any place in the state?

Andrew Cuomo: (31:00)
You want to wager a dollar that’s not what San Francisco model says? Be careful, because there it is. So I won’t take your dollar.

Andrew Cuomo: (31:11)
The shelter-in-place, except go out for essential services, walk the pet, go out for exercise, walking, biking, running, family members’ homes to help with a family member or a family member pet. Well, if I’m going out to help with pets, right, I’m not in a room in a post-nuclear Holocaust waiting for an all clear sign. So language matters. That’s what I’m saying.

Andrew Cuomo: (31:39)
We are doing… Excuse me a second. Businesses, we’re down to only 25% of the workforce should go to work. That will continue to adjust with the spread.

Andrew Cuomo: (31:52)
On the residential side, stay home. Stay home. If you have to go out to shop for essential services, go out to shop. If you have to go help a family member, they have a problem, go help a family member with a problem, and if you have to get outside of the house to exercise to get some fresh air, which is 100% necessary for a lot of people in a lot of circumstances, then do it.

Andrew Cuomo: (32:24)
But social distancing, just stay away from people. Stay away from… There’s people even in New York City parks who were all clustered together. I don’t know what they’re thinking. Stay away from people.

Andrew Cuomo: (32:38)
A person can infect you and they won’t even know that they have the virus. And then a special consideration, if you are a senior citizen, then hyper-cautious on all these points or compromised immune or underlying illness. But if you look at the actual rules, Jesse, what San Francisco is doing, what we’re doing, they’re virtually identical.

Jesse: (33:03)
So it’s just semantics at this point?

Andrew Cuomo: (33:06)
Words matter at this point. Words matter. Quarantine. Lock down. These words are scary words and nobody is talking about those things.

Jesse: (33:18)
But San Francisco isn’t talking about those things.

Andrew Cuomo: (33:20)
Well, shelter-in-place is a scary term for people, especially when they don’t know what it is means, and especially when you’re not doing what it means. If you’re not doing that, why do you call it that?

Andrew Cuomo: (33:42)
We have a mandatory evacuation policy, but you don’t have to evacuate. Well then why did you call it a mandatory evacuation? You know what I mean? Why do you scare me and then I have to get unwound, right? There’s not an active shooter shelter-in-place. It’s not a nuclear Holocaust shelter-in-place. Wait for the all clear sign. It’s not going to be any all clear sign, right?

Speaker 3: (34:10)
Are you worried about filing petitions on time now that the deadline has been shortened?

Andrew Cuomo: (34:14)
We changed the dates. Didn’t we?

Speaker 4: (34:18)
So what the legislature did yesterday was they passed a law to make the filing deadline for the petition travel with the new end date of the petition. Previously it had been, I think, March 30th and then between April 1st and April 3rd you had to file. So if you see, the dates actually just traveled exactly. The issue with leaving the filing deadline open is it invites fraud. People can continue to go out and collect signatures and predate them. So that was all that we did. We had the dates travel together.

John: (34:47)
On the topic of rumors spreading and things going through social media, there is a lot of chatter on social media about the village of Kiryas Joel and the Hasidic community there. Do you know anything about any positive tests in that village? And is that an area of concern at this point?

Andrew Cuomo: (35:04)
I have not heard that, John. I haven’t even heard the rumors. Normally I hear the rumors.

John: (35:10)
[crosstalk 00:35:10] broadcast there, but there are rumors of positive tests in Kiryas Joel and I’m trying to figure out if that’s true.

Andrew Cuomo: (35:16)
I have not heard. Not that were highly in tuned to rumors, unless they come from the LCA. Those rumors, we hear.

Speaker 5: (35:26)
Of the 777 people that are hospitalized, how many are in the ICU and how many are [inaudible 00:35:31] at this point?

Andrew Cuomo: (35:32)
We would have to get those numbers for you. You know, we’re giving you the most recent numbers on a rolling basis. But then sometimes they come with incomplete information as to where is everyone and the numbers are getting so big now that they’re hard to get over the particulars, but as soon as we get them, we’ll give them to you.

Speaker 5: (35:52)
[crosstalk 00:35:52] that they have in China trying to procure more ventilators.

Andrew Cuomo: (35:58)
There is a global… You know how we went through the price gouging on hand sanitizer? And you know we make our own hand sanitizer here in the state of New York. I can get it for you. I know people. I know people. Citrus smell. I was kidding when I said it was that floral bouquet. I took up pounding for that. I thought it was an obvious joke. Obviously not everybody appreciates my sense of humor. Yeah, I know. I know too well.

Andrew Cuomo: (36:32)
What was the question again?

Speaker 6: (36:35)

Andrew Cuomo: (36:35)
Ventilators. We had price gouging on the hand sanitizer. The ventilators, there was a global rush for ventilators, and literally we have people on the ground in China. You can’t even buy them from China. And as I mentioned, I had the National Governors Association. I had most of the governors on the telephone yesterday, and every state is looking for them. That’s why the federal government has to come in and handle this, because see, I believe the Army Corps of Engineers and the state working together can create more beds. The beds do me very little good without the ventilator, because almost all of these Covid cases require the ventilator, and a bed is great, but if you don’t have the ventilator, then the bed is virtually useless.

Andrew Cuomo: (37:28)
There is a federal stockpile of medical equipment. I haven’t gotten official number, but the suggestion is that stockpile has about 12000 ventilators for the nation. Again, just for context, where we are, we have about five or six thousand secured. We need 30000. Federal government has 12. This is a bad situation, and it would literally take the federal government to say to manufacturers, “Stop what you’re making” or “start making these machines.” They’re fairly technical, as I understand it, but the supply chain issues are real. But it would take the federal government saying, “We need to make these ventilators.” It would take the federal government to say, “We need PPE equipment, we need gloves, we need masks.” You know, when the CDC starts putting out guidance, you can use a scarf as a mask, it’s time to make more masks.

John Campbell: (38:38)
Governor, there’s a sales tax deadline tomorrow, and yesterday, the Restaurant and Tavern Associations wrote a letter to you practically begging you to delay that deadline. Is that at all a possibility?

Andrew Cuomo: (38:51)
You know who that is? That’s John Campbell. You know the video on baloney? He’s the man. Whatever. No, go ahead. No, no, no, no.

John Campbell: (39:08)
We’ll talk later.

Andrew Cuomo: (39:08)
Okay, we’ll talk later.

John Campbell: (39:11)
But on the sales tax deadline…

Andrew Cuomo: (39:12)
So I don’t like to answer his questions because [crosstalk 00:39:14].

John Campbell: (39:15)
But if you could answer this one here-

Andrew Cuomo: (39:16)
Rob can answer it, because I don’t know the answer. I was just stalling.

John Campbell: (39:19)
Is there any chance that the sales tax deadline is going to be delay?

Rob: (39:21)
We’re looking at the deadline. But just to be clear, this is for sales taxes that were collected prior, right, for sales that were prior to the crisis. So it’s people pay their sales taxes, the businesses collect them on behalf of the state. So they’re just holding those taxes. So we’re looking at the deadline. But just to be clear with that, we’re not asking them to pay anything. They’re holding taxes that belong to the state. But we’re looking at the deadline, because they might not be able to file and the timing of it. So we’re considering, and we’ll have something, a decision on that today.

Speaker 7: (39:51)
What’s the effect of this new federal law, the Corona virus stimulus, on the state budget? You said before, your budget couldn’t work if that house bill passed the Senate.

Andrew Cuomo: (40:00)
It’s no real money for the state in the budget. It’s good for people. It’s good for industries, but it’s de minimus from our point of view.

Andrew Cuomo: (40:11)
One last point, I’m glad that Michaela is with me here today. All of this government talk, this is a social family issue as much as anything and it has to be talked through and dealt with, family by family, and it’s a little different for all families. I’m dealing with it with my family, with my daughters, with my siblings, with my person I have the most concern for, which is my mother. So I thank her for joining me today. She’s with me up in Albany now. She’s not on spring break. I think it’s cooler to be with me than, like, road trip, right?

Michaela: (40:55)
So cool.

Andrew Cuomo: (40:58)
So cool. Are you sarcastic?

Michaela: (40:59)

Andrew Cuomo: (41:01)
Thank you guys very much. Thank you.

Andrew Cuomo: (41:08)
No, I’m saying it to everyone.

Speaker 8: (41:16)
Governor, will you address the situation on Rikers Island? There’s a prisoner there that has been testing positive. What are you doing to safeguard prisoners and/or guards?

Andrew Cuomo: (41:21)
We have special precautions in prisons? I don’t know anything specific about Rikers Island? I just don’t know. Thank you guys.

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