Mar 27, 2020
Andrew Cuomo New York Coronavirus Briefing March 27
Andrew Cuomo: (00:00)
We were assembled and did such a great job on this facility. The increase in the number of cases continues. We still see that trajectory going up. Those are the dates from March 3rd to March 25th.
Andrew Cuomo: (00:19)
Strategy. Plan of action all along. Step one, flatten the curve. Step two, increase hospital capacity. Flatten the curve, meaning if you do it as well as you can do it, hopefully there is no high point of the curve. There is no apex. It’s a flat or lower curve, why? So the hospital capacity can keep up with it. That’s what this is all about. Not overwhelming the hospital capacity, and at the same time increasing the hospital capacity that we have, so if it does exceed those numbers, which it will in most probability, that we have the additional capacity to deal with it.
Andrew Cuomo: (01:08)
Flattening the curve. These are all sorts of measures that we put in place. Barring nonessential workers, social distancing, closing bars, closing restaurants, all the things I did that made people very happy with me. But the way you make a decision is the benefit and the burden, right? The risk and the reward. We are battling a deadly virus. Is there an intrusion on daily life? Yes. Is there an intrusion on movement? Yes. Is there an intrusion on the economy? Yes. But what’s on the other side of this scale is literally saving lives and that’s not rhetorical. That’s not drama. That’s fact. Public education is very important. It’s important to all of us.
Andrew Cuomo: (02:09)
On the other side of the balance beam is public health. I decided to close the public schools because I believed it was safer to close the schools and reduce the spread. We did that on March 18th. We said we would do it for two weeks, and then we would reassess the situation at the end of two weeks. Two weeks ends on April one. We also said that we would waive what’s called the 180 day requirement that every school has to teach for 180 days. We would waive that, but that we would close the schools until April one and then we would reassess.
Andrew Cuomo: (02:50)
Also, we said that every school district before it closes had to come up with plans to continue functions that they were doing, because school districts do more than just educate, they provide child care for essential workers, they provide schools, they provide meals in the schools. So everything that they were doing, they had to come up with a plan to mitigate the consequence of their closing, including distance learning for their students.
Andrew Cuomo: (03:23)
I have to reassess because April one is just in a couple of days and I believe the schools should remain closed. I don’t do this joyfully, but I think when you look at where we are and you look at the number of cases still increasing, it only makes sense to keep the schools closed. They have to continue the programs they’re doing. They have to continue the childcare, continue the meals, continue the distance learning programs. I’ll continue the waiver on what’s called the 180 day mandate that they have to be in operation, but we’re going to close the schools for another two weeks and then we’ll reassess at that point. And that is statewide.
Andrew Cuomo: (04:07)
At the same time, we’re working to increase hospital capacity. What is the possible apex of the curve? It changes a little bit depending on the day to day today, but now we’re looking at about 21 days for a possible apex. So we want to do everything we can to be ready for that increased capacity that could hit us in 21 days and ramp up the hospital capacity.
Andrew Cuomo: (04:38)
We are doing everything we can. We’re doing things that have never been done before. We’re doing things that when we put them on the table, people thought they were impossible, but we are now doing the impossible. As you know well here with what you did over the past week, all hospitals have to increase their capacity by 50%. We’re asking hospitals to try to increase their capacity 100% because we need that many beds. We’re also looking at converting dorms. We’re looking at converting hotels. We’ve been gathering equipment from everywhere we can, PPE equipment, most important piece of equipment for us, the ventilators, and we’re shopping literally around the globe to put it all in place. We’re creating a stockpile of this equipment so that when and if the apex hits, we can deploy equipment from the stockpile to whatever region of the state or whatever hospital needs it. So we collect it, we hold it as a hospital needs it, a region needs it, then we deploy it.
Andrew Cuomo: (05:52)
The N95 masks, surgical masks, examination gloves, protective gowns, coveralls, and most importantly the ventilators. Why ventilators? Because this is a respiratory illness. People need ventilators who come in for acute care and the people are on ventilators much longer than most patients are on ventilators. Most people are on a ventilator for two, three, four days. These COVID patients can come in and need a ventilator for up to 20 days. So you see why that need for ventilators is so important. And again, all of this is to make sure we’re ready for that apex when the entire system is stressed and under pressure, and that’s what we’re working on.
Andrew Cuomo: (06:49)
For the hospital capacity at the “apex,” we need 140,000 beds. We have 53,000 beds, that’s why we’re scrambling and that’s why we’re asking you to do as much work as you are doing. We need 40,000 ICU beds. The ICU beds at the intensive care unit beds, they have ventilators. We have, when we started 3000 ICU beds with 3000 ventilators, so you see how monumental the task, how monumental the mountain that we have to climb. Of the 140,000, how do we get to the 140,000? As I said, all hospitals increase by 50%. Some hospitals will increase 100%. They’re going to get the gold star hospital award. I don’t know exactly what that means, but we’ll figure it out later. FEMA and the army Corps and the national guard have been working to put up these emergency hospitals. So far, we have planned for four, the one we’re in today at the Javits center, one in Westchester County center, one at Stony Brook and one at old Westbury. That would be 4,000 additional units. They are all underway as we speak, not as far along as your good work at Javits, but they are on their way.
Andrew Cuomo: (08:25)
Again, with all of these beds, we still have a short fall so we’re going to go to plan B. What’s plan B? We’re going to seek to build another four temporary emergency hospitals, which will get us another 4,000 beds. And we just have been scouting sites for a few days. We have settled on a few sites working with the army Corps of engineers, and I’m going to ask the president today if he will authorize another four temporary hospitals for us. I want to have one in every borough. I want to have one for the Bronx, Queens, Manhattan, Brooklyn, one for Nassau, one for Suffolk, one for Westchester, so everybody knows downstate, which is where the essence of the density is right now, that everyone equally is being helped and is being protected. We looked at a site in the Bronx at the New York expo center, it’s a 90,000 square foot site. Seeing what we did here, we think it would work very well and again, the army Corps of engineers has worked with us and looked at all these sites and thinks that these sites work. One in Queens at the Aqueduct race track site, 100,000 square feet there. One in Brooklyn and what’s called the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal. It’s owned by the port authority, but it’s a wide open space. We can convert it very easily, 182,000 square feet. And in Staten Island, the college of Staten Island, which is a CUNY facility, 77,000 square feet, again inside can be converted. It has power, it has climate control, etc.
Andrew Cuomo: (10:25)
We would do the same thing that we’ve done here successfully, so we know what works. We know it’s feasible. Building the interior space, we have exterior space that we could put up a temporary tent for supplies, equipment, etc. That would give us coverage all across the downstate area with proximate facilities to every location downstate, and frankly is the best plan that we can put together and execute in this timeline. We also have beyond the next phase of temporary hospitals. If the white house grants that request, we have the Navy Ship Comfort coming up, that is going to be on its way soon. It’s going to be right here in New York Harbor. It is a massive facility in and of itself, 1000 beds, 1200 medical personnel, 12 operating rooms. That has a pharmacy, it has a laboratory, and it should be here on Monday, so that will also help us in this quest.
Andrew Cuomo: (11:40)
And then we’re looking at dormitories and converting dormitories downstate. We’re looking at city college dormitories, Queens college. We have the dormitories because the colleges are closed and the students have left, so we actually have dormitories that we can convert. We’re also looking at hotels and nursing homes. We’re looking at the Marriott Brooklyn Bridge hotel and a nursing home called Brooklyn Center.
Andrew Cuomo: (12:14)
So as you can see we’re looking far and wide, very creative, aggressive and finding all the space that we can possibly find and converting it to be ready in case we have that overflow capacity. We also have it planned out so that this will be coming online before we think the apex hits, and at the same time, we’re trying to flatten the curve to delay and soften that apex, those are the two strategies. Slow the spread, flatten the curve, in the meantime, increase the hospital capacity so whatever that surge is that you have, you actually have the capacity to deal with it. And right now we have a plan where over the next three or four weeks, which is same timeline as the apex possibly coming, we’re going to have the capacity as high as we can possibly get the capacity.
Andrew Cuomo: (13:23)
In terms of where we are today because we’re tracking the numbers, we want to see what’s happening and are we getting closer to the apex? Are we succeeding in flattening the curve? We’ve been testing, we test more in this state than any state in the United States. We test more per capita than China or South Korea. So we ramped up very quickly on the testing. New tests, 16,000, total tested, 138,000 number of positive cases, total cases, 44,000, new cases, 7,377. It continues to spread it all across the state as it continues to spread all across the country.
Andrew Cuomo: (14:12)
The number of deaths, we’re up to 519 in New York, that’s up from 385. That is going to continue to go up and that is the worst news that I could possibly tell the people of the state of New York. The reason why the number is going up is because some people came into the hospital 20 days, 25 days ago, and have been on a ventilator for that long a period of time. The longer you are on a ventilator, the less likely you’re going to come off that ventilator. And that’s not just true with this virus, that’s true with every illness. When somebody on that ventilator…
Andrew Cuomo: (15:03)
… virus. That’s true with every illness. When somebody’s on that ventilator for a prolonged period of time, the outcome is usually not good. So we’re seeing a significant increase in deaths because the length of time people are on the ventilator is increasing, and the more it increases, the higher the level of deaths will increase. And again, we expect that to continue to increase. It’s bad news, it’s tragic news, it’s the worst news, but it is not unexpected news either. If you talk to any healthcare professional, they’ll tell you about, if you’re talking about a loved one, if they’re not off that ventilator in a relatively short period of time, it’s not a good sign. Overall, 44,000 people have tested positive, 6,000 currently hospitalized, 1500 in intensive care units. That’s up 290. Those are the people who need the ventilators. Two thousand patients have been discharged. That’s up 528. So you have people coming into the hospital, getting treatment, and leaving the hospital.
Andrew Cuomo: (16:18)
Most people who get the virus will never even go into the hospital in the first place. So we have to keep this in focus. 80% of the people who get the virus will what they call self resolve. You’ll feel ill, maybe you won’t feel that ill you’ll think you have the flu, and you self resolve. 80% of the people. 20% will go into a hospital. Some of them will get short term treatment and then they go home. A very small percent, and they tend to be older people, more vulnerable people, people with an underlying illness, this respiratory illness compounds the problem they have. They had a compromised immune system, they were fighting emphysema, they were battling cancer, and on top of that they now get pneumonia, which is what this Corona Virus is. That’s the population that is most vulnerable. They then go onto a ventilator, some percentage get off quickly, some percentage don’t get off.
Andrew Cuomo: (17:33)
The longer they’re on, the higher the mortality rate. New York is still by far the most effected state, both in terms of number of cases and in terms of number of deaths. Why? Because we welcome people here from all over the globe. So travelers came here, people from China came here, people from Korea came here, people who are traveling around the country and stopped in China and stopped in South Korea and stopped in Italy, came here. And because we are a very dense environment. Social distancing, stay six feet away, that’s hard in New York City. Walk down the sidewalk and tell me that you can stay six feet away from someone. We’re so dense, we’re so together, which is what makes us special, gives us that New York energy, gives us that New York mojo, it also, that density, becomes the enemy in a situation like this. This is the total number of people who have been hospitalized and we’ve been watching these numbers every day.
Andrew Cuomo: (18:55)
We are now compiling the numbers I think in what’s a smarter way. Before we were getting individual patient data. Every hospital had to tell us about each individual patient, what their address was, where they came from, what the underlying illness was, and they had to put all that information together, which was very labor intensive. So it was erratic the way the information would come in. Sometimes the hospital was just too busy to put all that information together so they didn’t send it in until the next day or the day after. This is a more uniform set of data. This is all the number of people, the entire number of people in that hospital who have the COVID virus without getting into all the specifics of individual names and individual circumstances. So it’s easier for them to get us this data. And you see again, the steady incline in the number. But, and this is good news, early on you see that the number was doubling every two and a half days, then it was doubling every three days, now it’s doubling about every four days.
Andrew Cuomo: (20:17)
It’s still doubling, and that’s still bad news because it still means you’re moving up towards an apex, right? Because that number still goes up. But there is good news in that the rate of the increase is slowing. So there are two separate facts. The rate of the increase is slowing, but the number of cases are still going up, and those two points are consistent. And that’s what we’re seeing. We want to see the rate slowing and then we want to see the number of actual cases coming down or flattening. That’s the flattening of the curve, but this is where we are today. Again, to keep it all in perspective, people don’t know what to make of the coronavirus. What’s going to happen, what’s going to happen. Johns Hopkins has studied every coronavirus since China, 542,000 cases they’ve studied. Of all those cases, there’ve been 24,000 deaths. That’s a lot of deaths. Yes, but compared to 542,000 cases, it gives you a sense of the lethality of this disease. And if you look at the 24,000, they’re going to be overwhelmingly older people, vulnerable people, people with underlying illnesses, et cetera.
Andrew Cuomo: (21:52)
The amount of support that we have gotten from New Yorkers in the midst of this crisis is just extraordinary. I am a born and bred New Yorker. If you can’t tell my Queens accent, I can tell you a Bronx accent and your Brooklyn accent and your Manhattan accent and your Staten Island accent. But New Yorker never cease to amaze me, how big their heart is. They talk about how New Yorkers are tough. Yeah. You know we’re tough to live in a place like this, you have to be tough, but as tough as we are is as loving as we are, and is as big as our heart is, and when someone needs something, there’s no place I’d rather be than New York. And the number of people who are volunteering, who are coming forward. We put out a call for additional medical personnel because we have to staff all these additional beds. We put out a call, 62,000 volunteers. The number went up 10,000 in one day. How beautiful is that? These are people who are retired, who did their duty, who could just sit at home, but they are coming forward. Same thing we asked for mental health professionals who could provide mental health services electronically over the telephone, through Skype, et cetera. Many people are dealing with mental health issues. This is a stressful taxing situation on everyone, on everyone. And isolation at home. You are home, you’re home alone day after day after day, that is a stressful situation. You don’t know what’s going on, you’re afraid, you’re afraid to go out. You’re isolated with your family, that’s a stressful situation.
Andrew Cuomo: (24:07)
Not that we don’t love to be with our family, we all do, but that can create stress. And there’s no place to go, there’s no one to talk to about that. So this mental health service over the telephone is very, very important. I wanted to speak to the most important people in the room for a moment, who are the people who are responsible for this great construction behind me. First I’d like to introduce General Patrick Murphy, who’s to my left. General Murphy is tested smart and he is tested tough. I’ve been with the general for nine years. I’ve seen him in hurricanes and Superstorm Sandy and floods and everything mother nature could throw out us. I’ve seen him in attempted terrorist attacks. There is no one better. He leads from the front, he knows what he’s doing and you could not have a better commander at this time than General Patrick Murphy and I want you to know that. I want to congratulate the Army Corps of Engineers for what they did here.
Andrew Cuomo: (25:34)
I used to be in the federal government. I worked with the Army Corps of Engineers all across the country. I worked with them on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation building housing. And one of the officers of the Army Corps of Engineers is still in service and reminded me of that. They are top shelf and what they did here is top shelf. I want to thank the Javitz staff, which has really stepped up, and I want to thank our National Guard because you are the best of us. You are the best of us. And whenever we call on you, you were there and what you did in this facility in one week creating a hospital is just incredible. I don’t know how you did it. Now you did such a good job that I’m asking for four more from the president. That’s the downside of being as good as you are at what you did, but what you did is really incredible. And I want to make two points to you, and I want to make two promises to you. This is a different beast that we’re dealing with.
Andrew Cuomo: (26:51)
This is an invisible beast, it is an insidious beast. This is not going to be a short deployment. This is not going to be that you go out there for a few days, we work hard and we go home. This is going to be weeks and weeks and weeks. This is going to be a long day. It’s going to be a hard day and it’s going to be an ugly day and it’s going to be a sad day. This is a rescue mission that you’re on. The mission is to save lives. That’s what you’re doing. The rescue mission is to save lives. As hard as we work, we’re not going to be able to save everyone. What’s even more cruel is this enemy doesn’t attack the strongest of us, it attacks the weakest of us. It attacks our most vulnerable, which makes it even worse in many ways because these are the people that every instinct tells us we’re supposed to protect. These are our parents and our grandparents.
Andrew Cuomo: (28:12)
These are our aunts, our uncles. These are a relative who are sick and every instinct says protect them, help them because they need us, and those are the exact people that this enemy attacks. Every time I’ve called out the National Guard, I’ve said the same thing to you. I promise you I will not ask you to do anything that I will not do myself and I’ll never ask you to go anywhere that I won’t go myself. And the same is true here. We’re going to do this and we’re going to do this together. My second point is you are living a moment in history. This is going to be one of those moments they’re going to write about and they’re going to talk about for generations. This is a moment that is going to change this nation.
Andrew Cuomo: (29:18)
This is a moment that forges character, forges people, changes people, make them stronger, make them weaker, but this is a moment that will change character. And 10 years from now, you’ll be talking about today, to your children or your grandchildren, and you will shed a tear because you will remember the lives lost and you’ll remember the faces and you’ll remember the names and you’ll remember how hard-
Andrew Cuomo: (30:03)
…Remember their names. And you’ll remember how hard we worked, and that we still lost loved ones. And you’ll shed a tear, and you should, because it will be sad, but you will also be proud. You’ll be proud of what you did. You’ll be proud that you showed up. You showed up. When other people played it safe, you had the courage to show up, and you had the skill and the professionalism to make a difference and save lives. That’s what you will have done. And at the end of the day, nobody can ask anything more from you. That is your duty, to do what you can, when you can. And you will have shown skill, and courage, and talent. You’ll be there with your mind. You’ll be there with your heart, and you’ll serve with honor. And that will give you pride, and you should be proud. I know that I am proud of you. And every time the National Guard has been called out, they have made every New Yorker proud and I am proud to be with you yet again. I’m proud to fight this fight with you. I bring you thanks from all New Yorkers, who are just so appreciative of the sacrifice that you are making, the skills that you are bringing, the talent that you are bringing, and you give many New Yorkers confidence.
Andrew Cuomo: (32:07)
So I say my friends, that we go out there today and we kick Coronavirus ass. That’s what I say. And we’re going to save lives and New York is going to thank you. God bless each and every one of you. [Applause 00:32:28]
Andrew Cuomo: (32:28)
The question was for those of you who couldn’t hear it, let me paraphrase it the way I want to paraphrase because I don’t want to answer this question directly. When you’ve been doing what I’ve been doing long enough, you learn and just answered the question you want to answer.
Andrew Cuomo: (33:08)
The facts, okay Zack, somebody said on one of the cable news shows the ventilators that New York needed aren’t even being deployed. They’re in a stockpile. Yes, they’re in a stockpile because that’s where the supposed to be because we don’t need them yet. We need them for the apex. The apex isn’t here, so we’re gathering them in the stockpile so when we need them they will be there. We don’t need them today because we’re not at capacity today. That’s why they’re not deployed because they’re not needed.
Andrew Cuomo: (33:47)
Second point, well maybe you don’t need 30,000. Well, look, I don’t have a crystal ball. Everybody’s entitled to their own opinion, but I don’t operate here on opinion. I operate on facts and on data and on numbers and on projections. We have Cornell Weill, which is making projections. The CDC is making projections. McKinsey and company are making projections for us. All the projections say you could have an apex needing 140,000 beds and about 40,000 ventilators. Those are numbers, Zack, not I feel, I think, I believe, I want to believe. Make the decisions based on the data and the science and we’re following the data and the science and that’s what the data and the science says.
Andrew Cuomo: (34:47)
I hope we don’t need 30,000 ventilators. I hope some natural weather change happens overnight and kills the virus globally. That’s what I hope, but that’s my hope. That’s my emotion. That’s my thought. The numbers say you may need 30,000.
Andrew Cuomo: (35:19)
You will see as these numbers increase, you’ll see hospitals reaching capacity. You’ll see, if the numbers continue to increase, hospitals over capacity. That’s this whole planning exercise. That’s why we just are building a thousand bed facility here. That’s why we’re building three other 1,000 bed facilities. That’s why I’m asking the president for another 4,000 bed facility because those hospitals will reach capacity.
Andrew Cuomo: (35:55)
So, to be alarmed, well the hospital is reaching capacity. Yeah, that’s what we’ve been saying. That’s what we’ve been planning for. That’s why we’re here.
Audience Members: (36:28)
[Question from audience member. inaudible 00:36:19].
Andrew Cuomo: (36:31)
What I said is initially when I close the schools, I said, let’s do it for two weeks and see where we are at the end of two weeks. Two weeks is up. I said, let’s extend it another two weeks and see where we are and at the end of two weeks, if the same trajectory is going up and there hasn’t been a change, then you’re right. Then we’ll extend it.
Andrew Cuomo: (36:54)
Why not say today we’re going to extend it for four weeks or six weeks or eight weeks, because I don’t know what’s going to happen. I don’t know what’s going to happen next week. Nobody knows what’s going to happen next week, so two weeks and then we’ll reassess. But your right Andrew, if the numbers continue this way, then yes, in all likelihood we’ll extend it another two weeks.
Audience Members: (37:17)
[Question from audience member. inaudible 00:37:23]
Andrew Cuomo: (37:30)
I’ll ask Dr. Zucker, but look, flatten the curve. There’s only two things you can do. Life is options.
Andrew Cuomo: (37:37)
One, social distancing, which we have taken as dramatic an action as anyone anywhere. Two, testing to find the positive, isolate the positive, stop the spread. We’re doing more testing than any place in the country and per capita more than any place in the globe. So we’re doing everything we can. Is that why the curve is slowing or the doubling is slowing? I would think there’s a correlation. I don’t think it’s a coincidence and the rate of doubling is slowing and that’s the good news, but the curve is still going up. Dr. Do you want to add anything to that?
Dr. Zucker: (38:23)
I concur with what the governor is saying. There’s a lot of different factors that can be involved in this. Obviously, the social distancing is I believe working and the virus is not spreading to more individuals as we, well it’s spreading, but it’s not where the numbers of hospitalizations keep rising and at a doubling rate as it was earlier. So I think that we’ll have a better answer to this probably in a couple more days when we see the trend.
Audience Members: (38:55)
[Question from audience member. inaudible 00:08:59]
Andrew Cuomo: (39:05)
Starting with a [inaudible 00:39:07], really multifaceted question. Since I don’t even remember the last one. Yes.
Andrew Cuomo: (39:13)
The criteria, you need a large open indoor space with power, with HVAC, with accompanying space where you can set up medical staff, supplies, a staging area. You need a place that’s now empty so you don’t have to clear it. And my strategic decision was one per County. So every County, every borough has one facility in their borough.
Andrew Cuomo: (39:48)
We started, we looked at about 10 sites and we eliminated them. We got them down to a short list. We went with the Army Corps of Engineers because they would actually do the construction of it. And we came up with a final list of these four. I am today going to send that list to the president, ask him to approve those four. That would be an additional 4,000 units. We have 4,000 units on the table. This is 1,000 of those 4,000, so it’d be a total of 8,000 units from the Federal government for temporary hospital beds.
Audience Members: (40:30)
[Question from the audience. inaudible 00:40:32]
Andrew Cuomo: (40:36)
Well the first step is the approval. So, we need the approval first and then the timeline to get them constructed is somewhere in the neighborhood of 10 days. But the first question is the approval. That’s up to the president.
Audience Members: (40:50)
[Question from the audience. inaudible 00:40:57]. Do you support that policy?
Dr. Zucker: (41:05)
So we are looking at that policy and recognize that this is difficult for many families. The hospitals, we are trying to figure out what would be the approach that we would have with this, but the hospitals have the right to do something further than we would recommend.
Audience Members: (41:22)
[Question from the audience. inaudible 00:41:25]
Dr. Zucker: (41:49)
We are working closely with all the hospitals. The healthcare workers are on the frontline as the governor has mentioned before. And we are addressing what the necessary, both precautions which we’re working with them, but also to provide information to their patients. And they have been a very responsive and obviously they’re concerned about their patients.
Audience Members: (42:18)
[Question from the audience. Inaudible 00:00:42:09]
Andrew Cuomo: (42:23)
Yes, we do the budgeting discussions with the legislative leaders.
Andrew Cuomo: (42:27)
The federal government said, promise, implied, stated that they would provide aid to state governments. They passed the bill that didn’t do that. This is math, at one point. We have no state revenues to speak of. We’re going to have to dramatically cut our state expenses. You can’t spend that which you don’t have. You can’t do that in a family. You can’t do that in a business. You can’t do that in government.
Andrew Cuomo: (43:05)
The federal government only gave us $5 billion. That’s only for Coronavirus expenses. That’s all it can be used for. We’ve lost about 10 to $15 billion in revenue. People don’t work, they don’t pay income tax, business is closed, they don’t pay tax. So we have about a 10 to $15 billion hole.
Andrew Cuomo: (43:30)
The Federal government gave us zero, nada, Yente, zilch. We’re going to have to cut. That’s all New York terms.
Andrew Cuomo: (43:44)
We’re going to have to cut education aid because that’s the number one expense. And health care, we can use the $5 billion from the feds for the Coronavirus care.
Andrew Cuomo: (43:56)
But the main expense for the state budget is education. They know that. So when they didn’t give the state funding, all they did was cut the education budget to the state of New York, which is a tragedy.
Audience Members: (44:19)
[Question from the audience. Inaudible 00:44:12]
Andrew Cuomo: (44:19)
I could do both with them. There’s not a lot to negotiate. When the number is zero, it makes it an easy budget to negotiate because zero is actually an easy number.
Audience Members: (44:36)
[Question from the audience. Inaudible 00:44:35]
Andrew Cuomo: (44:37)
Executive order four, I’m sorry. To freeze rents, we have said there can be no evictions based on rent for 90 days. So if you don’t pay rent for 90 days, you cannot be evicted.
Audience Members: (44:58)
Have you considered closing down construction sites because a lot of these workers are working…
Speaker 4: (45:03)
[inaudible 00:45:00] construction sites because a lot of these workers are working in close proximity. They may not have protective gear, and it doesn’t seem like it’s certainly necessary unless it’s a utility doing emergency repairs.
Andrew Cuomo: (45:15)
Yeah, that’s exactly what we did yesterday. The question was closing down construction sites. We’re closing down non-essential construction sites. Some construction is essential, right, to keep the place running, but nonessential construction is going to be stopped.
Speaker 4: (45:34)
What’s considered non-essential?
Andrew Cuomo: (45:37)
We have a list. I can get it to you later if you’d like.
Speaker 5: (45:39)
Governor, what’s your message [inaudible 00:45:59] suspended [inaudible 00:45:53].
Andrew Cuomo: (46:01)
Yeah, it is. I signed what’s called an executive order which the governor has the authority to in situation like this. People are out of work. You’re out of work. You can qualify for unemployment insurance. That’s not what you were making. You still have to buy food. You still have to pay expenses. Rent, which tends to be 40-50% of a person’s income, believe it or not, becomes a very big expense to carry.
Andrew Cuomo: (46:31)
I signed an executive order saying for the next three months, a landlord by law cannot evict a tenant for nonpayment of rent. So if you can’t pay the rent, that’s an understandable circumstance. We said 90 days because we don’t know how long this is going to go on. We could always revisit it, but for now, for 90 days, by law, the landlord cannot evict you.
Andrew Cuomo: (47:01)
All right, let’s go to work guys. Thank you all very much. Let’s give them a big round of applause for what they’ve done and what they’re doing. Thank you. I’m taking my coffee. They’re just going to sit there like that? I’ll see you guys. Thank you.
Speaker 6: (47:49)
[inaudible 00:47:49] couple more. [inaudible 00:47:55] Ken. [inaudible 00:48:16] [inaudible 00:48:37] Yeah. [inaudible 00:49:11] rationing us. [inaudible 00:50:04] No, no. One [inaudible 00:50:07].Bring your stuff. [inaudible 00:50:24] Yeah, I know. [inaudible 00:50:54] [inaudible 00:51:06] Probably means [inaudible 00:51:11] [inaudible 00:51:34] [inaudible 00:51:54] for like [inaudible 00:52:00] stuff [inaudible 00:52:02] [inaudible 00:52:38] [inaudible 00:53:23] see me? Okay. Switch cameras. Switch cameras. Oh, Dan. Dan. Dan. Hang on. The video cable back. Okay, hold on. [inaudible 00:54:12].
Speaker 7: (55:05)
Okay. Clean as a whistle even on the down. So it might have been his white shirt that was fucking it up on his camera. He might have been [inaudible 00:55:11] stopped a little too much or something. [inaudible 00:55:12] As clean as a whistle. So I have a feeling his camera might have been clipping the white shirt. All right, I’m going to get up. All right,[inaudible 00:55:27]. I’ll go [inaudible 00:55:35]. [inaudible 00:56:05] (silence).