Apr 12, 2020
Andrew Cuomo New York COVID-19 Briefing April 12
Governor of New York Andrew Cuomo held an Easter April 12 press conference today on coronavirus. Read the full transcript here.
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Andrew Cuomo: (00:00)
In this beautiful day, let’s start with the good news because we deserve some good news. Lord knows. Changing total number of hospitalizations is down again. This is the number that we have been watching because the great fear for us was always overwhelming the hospital system, the capacity of the hospital system. And we’ve added capacity, we’ve moved equipment around, but the great fear was always overwhelming just the raw capacity of the hospital system, the number of beds. So the number of additional net beds was always important to track and that’s what we see here. The net beds is down to 53 which is the lowest number since we started doing these charts. So that is a good number.
Andrew Cuomo: (01:11)
A three day average, which is a little more accurate than the day to day, which tends to fluctuate is also down as you see. Total hospitalizations, 18,700 but you see the 18, 18, 18, 18 that’s the so called flattening of the curve. The apex isn’t just an apex, it’s a plateau. You see that line flattening and that’s what the experts were talking about, that it might’ve been a straight up and then rapid down. Or it might be up to an apex and the apex becomes a plateau. That’s what these numbers suggest.
Andrew Cuomo: (01:56)
Changing ICU admissions ticked up. Again, the ICU admissions is a little questionable now because almost all the beds in the hospital have turned into an ICU bed. So how hospitals classify ICU admissions is a little dubious to me, but that’s my personal two cents. It’s three day average and ICU admissions is the same thing. Tick up in the intubations, which is not good news. But you see yesterday was great news. That may have been a blip in the overall.
Andrew Cuomo: (02:34)
The intubations are very relevant because people come into the hospital, they get treated, hopefully they get discharged. If they don’t get discharged, they stay in the hospital, they decline, they become intubated. If they become intubated, the longer you’re on a ventilator, the less likely you will be to get off that ventilator.
Andrew Cuomo: (02:57)
So that’s the trajectory we see. And the intubations, most people who are intubated will not come off the ventilator, so that’s a troubling number. The intubation number, which is real. But the three-day intubation rate, again, is down relative to where we were. So all the numbers are basically saying the same thing.
Andrew Cuomo: (03:21)
Number of discharges goes up because we had that high hospitalization rate. People stay for a week, two weeks, they get discharged. That’s why the discharges are a function of the hospitalization rate. Three-day average of the discharges you see again basically flat. So it’s all reinforcing the same thing. A flattening of all these numbers. You’re not seeing a great decline in the numbers, but you’re seeing a flattening. And you’re also seeing a recurrence of the terrible news, which is the number of lives lost, which is 758.
Andrew Cuomo: (04:09)
Somebody asked the question once, can you ever get numb to seeing these numbers? Unfortunately, no. 758 people lost their lives in a 24-hour period. I speak to many families who are going through this. Many people who lost loved ones. Everyone is a face and a name and a family that is suffering on this weekend, which for many people in this state and in this nation is a high religious holiday. Which is already distorted because we have churches closed, we have temples closed.
Andrew Cuomo: (04:52)
So this is truly tragic news and I want every family to know that they are in our thoughts and prayers and we’re sorry that they had to go through this. And I want them to know that New Yorkers did everything humanly possible to be there for their loved ones and try to save those lives, and we’re proud of that.
Andrew Cuomo: (05:16)
You see also a flattening in the number of lives lost at a terribly high rate, but if you look back over the past several days, you see there’s a certain continuity to that number. Again, that’s the one number that I look forward to seeing drop as soon as I open my eyes in the morning. And it has been flattening but flattening at a terribly high level.
Andrew Cuomo: (05:48)
Again to put it in context, 9,385 lives lost when you add those from yesterday. But in the context of 9/11 which was supposed to be the tragedy of my lifetime, 2,753 lives lost, we’re now at 9,385. Big question for everyone is when do we reopen? People want to get on with their lives. People want to get out of the house, cabin fever, we need the economy working. People need a paycheck. Life has to function. When do we reopen? When do we reopen?
Andrew Cuomo: (06:29)
Look, the answer is, we want to reopen as soon as possible. Everyone does. On a societal level, everyone does. On a personal level, let’s just end this nightmare. Groundhog day, you get up every day, it’s the same routine. You almost lose track of what day of the week it is because they don’t even have meaning anymore. And there’s all sorts of anxiety and stress that we’re all dealing with, so we want to reopen as soon as possible.
Andrew Cuomo: (06:59)
The caveat is, we need to be smart in the way we reopen. What does smart mean? It means a coordinated approach, a regional approach and a safe approach. Nobody wants to pick between a public health strategy and an economic strategy. And as governor of this state, I’m not going to pick one over the other. We need a public health strategy that is safe, that is consistent with an economic strategy. How do you reopen, but how do you do it in a way that is smart from a public health point of view. The last thing we want to see is an uptick in that infection rate and an uptick in those numbers that we worked so hard to bring down. So we need a strategy that coordinates business and schools and transportation and workforce.
Andrew Cuomo: (07:52)
What New York pause did, is it stopped everything at the same time. It was a blunt device but it shut down everything at the same time. We’re going to need testing, more testing, faster testing than we now have when you start to move people back to work and we’re going to need federal help. There is no doubt about that.
Andrew Cuomo: (08:18)
I did a joint statement with governor Hogan, who is the chairman of the National Governors Association. He is a Republican. I am the vice chair. I’m a Democrat, those of you who don’t know. And we did a joint statement that said, look, the Federal government did a stimulus bill, a bill that was supposed to help move the economy along, called the Federal CARES Act. The Federal CARES Act just almost ignored state governments. When you ignore a state government, you ignore our situation. We have a 10 to $15 billion deficit.
Andrew Cuomo: (09:01)
We got a budget done, but our budget was basically contingent on what happens going forward. And without federal assistance, how does this state economy come back? How do we really start to fund schools, et cetera. And that has to happen from a federal level.
Andrew Cuomo: (09:23)
There is no level above a state government that can make a difference besides the federal government. And we did a statement on a bipartisan basis that said the federal government has to fix this in the next bill, and we called for the $500 billion for funding for state governments. And again, we did that on a bipartisan basis.
Andrew Cuomo: (09:44)
From New York’s point of view, the past bills were like most federal passed bills. They went through the political process and to get a bill passed in Washington, everyone has to get their piece of the pie to pass a bill.
Andrew Cuomo: (10:05)
I understand politics. I understand that very well. That’s not how they should be operating here. And you did an injustice to the places that actually had the need, which from an American tax payer point of view, that’s what you were trying to correct. You were trying to correct the devastation of the virus, well then correct the devastation of the virus. Not everything has to be an opportunity for pork barrel. You look at where the money actually went. Theoretically the bill distributed funding to states for corrective action and expenses on handling the virus. Kaiser Health, which is a very notable organization, said that Nebraska Montana, for example, Minnesota, are getting approximately $ 300,000 per COVID-19, case New York state gets approximately $12,000 how can that be? It can be because in the Senate it became a game of political pork, and I want my share as opposed to where is the need genuinely.
Andrew Cuomo: (11:22)
And New York is vital to this American economy. It’s not just about New York. Our economy is vital to this country. You want New York’s economy up and running, not just for the good of New York, but for the good of the nation. So, that was the purpose of the legislation. It missed the mark. I hope they do it next time. A simple, easy way to help New York is right the wrong that the federal government did when it passed the SALT tax, State and Local Tax deductability. That was just the political maneuver-
Andrew Cuomo: (12:03)
[inaudible 00:00:12:00]. That was just the political maneuver in the first place. You’re trying to help places that are suffering from the virus, repeal the SALT tax, which should have never been done as I said in the first place. We are going to work with our neighboring states because this is the tri-state area. It’s a regional economy. I’m going to speaking with Governor Murphy and Governor Lamont later today on coming up with a re-opening plan that is a public health plan, safeguards public health, but also starts to move us towards economic activation. We’ll also do an executive order today, which directs employers to provide essential workers with a cloth or surgical face mask to their employees when they are interacting with the public, and they should provide those masks cost-free. New Jersey did a similar order and I think Governor Murphy was right and I want to do that here in the state of New York.
Andrew Cuomo: (13:16)
We have to also expand testing. One of the ways we want to do that is by executive order. We’re going to expand the number of people who are eligible to do the antibody test. We have state regulations that say who can actually do the antibody test. There are two tests. One is a diagnostic test, one is the antibody test. The antibody test tells you if the person had the virus and got over the virus. That would be a prime person who could go back to work because they theoretically have an immunity to the virus for a period of time. They’re not sure what the period of time is. There aren’t a tremendously large number of people with the antibodies, which is good news because we kept down the infection rate, but that is an important test and we have to get that test to scale and this executive order will help do that.
Andrew Cuomo: (14:07)
Happy Easter for all those who are celebrating. Happy Spring for those who aren’t celebrating. Spring is my favorite season. What Spring says to all of us is it’s a time of rebirth that no matter how cold the winter, no matter how barren the landscape got, the earth comes back to life. And it was flat and it was barren and it was closed down and then it comes back to life. And for me this Spring especially, we have been closed down, we have locked the doors, we’ve isolated, we’ve hunkered down, we’ve closed down in a way we’ve never closed down before. We want to talk about a cold winter where the earth becomes barren. This has been a cold period from a societal point of view. And we’ve closed down in a way we’ve never closed down, but we will come back to life and we will have a rebirth. And that’s what Spring is all about. And the rebirth is primarily about our people and about our spirit. Let’s say the spirit lives.
Andrew Cuomo: (15:29)
There’ve been a couple of moments through this that will stay with me for all time. And a couple of moments that were really dark periods. Looking at that number of deaths is a dark period. The phone calls with families are dark periods. The fear of the worst case scenario of those numbers going through the roof and overwhelming the hospital capacity was a dark period. Fears of seeing what happened in Italy and how their healthcare system got overwhelmed and it could happen here, that was dark. A number of conversations with people who lost their father, their spouse, their brother, their sister out of the blue. But there’s also been some moments that just was so inspirational to me that just showed such a positive spirit. It’s when things are at their worst is when you will see the good, the bad, and the ugly, right?
Andrew Cuomo: (16:43)
When people are under pressure, you see like, their true essence will come out. And some people will break your heart. People who you expected to react differently will just break your heart and disappoint you. But then other people who you expected nothing from, will show you a strength and a resilience that just is an inspiration. We were going through a period where we were afraid of the hospital capacity peaking, and we needed equipment. We were focused on ventilators because ventilators for this disease, it’s a respiratory disease. You need ventilators. Nobody ever anticipated this kind of situation. So we’re in a mad rush for ventilators and we’re shipping ventilators all over the state, and I’m asking hospitals to cooperate with each other and lend each other equipment, including ventilators.
Andrew Cuomo: (17:45)
And some hospitals were great, and some hospitals were less great, which you expect. But then out of the blue, a phone call came where a nursing home in upstate New York said, “We understand Downstate may need ventilators. We want to let them borrow 35 ventilators.” Unsolicited. They just called and offered the 35 ventilators. And we went and we picked up the ventilators and we brought them Downstate. But I remember when they came in and they told me, a nursing home in Upstate, a nursing home is one of the most vulnerable places in this entire situation, right? Elderly populations and in a confined area of a nursing home. And here a nursing home comes forward and says, “We want to lend you 35 ventilators to bring Downstate.”
Andrew Cuomo: (18:53)
I tell you for me when I heard that news with all this bad, with all this negative, something inside me said, “You know what? We’re going to be okay. We’re going to find our way through this.” Because there is an inherent goodness in people that will surprise you and they will rise to the occasion. And at the end of the day, good will win against bad. I believe that. And love will conquer all. So I went, we brought the 35 ventilators back to Pathways, which is a nursing and rehabilitation center. I went by there this morning when they were returning the 35 ventilators just to say thank you. Thank you on behalf of all the people of the state. Thank you for their generosity. Thank you on behalf of Downstate New York. We’re in a position now where we’re not going to need the ventilators. We’re going to be okay equipment-wise unless things change dramatically.
Andrew Cuomo: (20:02)
But thank you on behalf of the people of the state as governor of the state of New York. And thank you for myself because the people from Pathways who are watching this broadcast, I couldn’t go inside. So I didn’t really get a chance to talk to them. But I wanted to say thank you for me, from me. Because they brought me inspiration, and hope, and energy at a time when I personally really needed it. And that call and that generosity and that love buoyed my spirit and my feelings and was such a lift for me. And I remember I went and I talked to the team. I said, “Can you believe how beautiful a gesture this is?” So I wanted to say thank you. As governor and for me, myself and I, Andrew Cuomo, thank you to the people of Pathways. Questions.
Speaker 1: (21:12)
Are there any updates on New York city’s schools? Have you had any discussions with mayor de Blasio about the path moving forward on that issue?
Andrew Cuomo: (21:19)
Yeah. We are where we are. We are where we were. The schools, first, we have to have a coordinated approach on the reactivation, if you will. Schools, businesses, workforce, transportation, it all has to be coordinated. Number two, it all has to be coordinated regionally. We closed everything down in a coordinated fashion and we did it regionally. We did it with New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, that Tri-state area. That partnership is very important for our individual states and our collective states. And we did it with Nassau, Suffolk, Westchester, the whole Downstate region together in the Tri-state with the Tri-state partners. And that’s how we will go forward together.
Andrew Cuomo: (22:20)
So we’ll have a coordinated plan. We’ll have a regional plan. Hopefully we can get on the same page with New Jersey and Connecticut. We’re going to try. That is the optimum situation. I don’t know if we can achieve it. States are a little different demographically, a little different places, but the optimum that we’re still trying is a wholly coordinated approach. Part of that process, not only will I be working with Governor Murphy and Governor Lamont, New Jersey and Connecticut respectively, I’ll also work with Suffolk County, and Nassau County, and Westchester County, and New York City, but we will do it in a coordinated regional approach.
Speaker 2: (23:10)
Just to extrapolate from that, are you suggesting that New York city schools could reopen this year?
Andrew Cuomo: (23:15)
All the schools are closed. All the schools in the Downstate and Upstate area are closed. They will remain closed. We’re not going to open any school until it is safe from a public health point of view. We won’t open schools one minute sooner than they should be opened, but we won’t open schools one minute later than they should be opened either. And that has to work in a coordinated plan with businesses. Am I, as I sit here, prepared to say what we’ll be doing in June? No. I do not know what we will be doing in June. Nobody knows what we will be doing in June. As I said, I talked to the best experts around-
Andrew Cuomo: (24:03)
As I said, I talked to the best experts around the globe on this. And the smartest ones all start by saying, “I don’t know. We have to watch and see and follow the science, follow the data and see what happens.” So I’m not prepared to say what we will do in June. Whatever plan we come up with will be driven by data and science. It will be coordinated to do all those functions at once because you can’t do one without the others. If you say the schools are closed through June, you’re effectively saying businesses are closed through June. Because you can’t restart the economy fully without restarting schools. Schools are also, provide not just education, but they’re also in many ways childcare for people who can then go to work. So coordinate all of that, do it regionally and June is a long way from now. We go day to day to watch those numbers and we’ll work with Jersey and Connecticut and our local governments in each state to come up with a coordinated plan.
Speaker 3: (25:17)
Realistically, does it make sense to open schools even if it were in June just for a couple of weeks or do you think people can just kind of assume that school isn’t happening until September?
Andrew Cuomo: (25:28)
I wouldn’t assume anything because Karen, if you say schools aren’t going to open, you’re saying businesses aren’t going to open. Now is anyone prepared to sit here today and say businesses are not going to open through June. June is a long way away. I’ve said from day one, all these predictions, we’re going to open businesses in May, we’re going to do this in May or this in June. I think that’s all premature. I don’t think anybody can make an informed decision right now. And look, every informed projection by experts by the way, has not turned out correct, which is good news, right? Our policies and the social compliance actually changed all the projection models and those were only three, four weeks ago. So June is a long, long way away.
Speaker 4: (26:32)
Governor, could you please speak to, it seems like there is a lot of confusion between the conflicting messages from the Mayor and yourself over if schools could close, how do you plan on avoiding that type of public confusion when it comes to reopening the state?
Andrew Cuomo: (26:47)
Oh look, we have remained remarkably consistent. I worked hand in glove with the federal government, which is not always been the easiest relationship, right? And I worked very, very hard to make sure that relationship works. That is a prime relationship for our state’s response. I work with local governments all across the state. Sometimes it’s less coordinated than we would like, but that happens when you’re dealing with a lot of local governments. But we have to work with New Jersey, Connecticut, optimum, we come up with one plan for all three states, that would be great. If we can’t come up with the exact same plan, similar plans, because we have a tri-state workforce, right? You have people who live in Westchester who work in Connecticut. You have people who live in Connecticut who work in New York City. You have people who live in New York City who work in New Jersey.
Andrew Cuomo: (27:50)
This all works as one or it doesn’t work. Transportation works with economic development, works with housing, works with schools or it doesn’t work. You can’t have one gear spinning if the other gears aren’t spinning, that doesn’t work. You can’t have New York City work without Nassau, Suffolk, Westchester, Jersey and Connecticut. About a third of the workforce in New York City comes from outside of New York City or leaves New York City to go work in that area. So it’s got to work for the whole region or it doesn’t work.
Speaker 4: (28:33)
Certainly, but how will you respond to localities that might say, we’re going to be continuing to shut down maybe after the state would like them to be shut down. How would you respond to a locality who does that? How are you planning to manage that relationship?
Andrew Cuomo: (28:47)
Well look, I work cooperatively with all the local governments and I hope Nassau, Suffolk, New York City, Westchester, New Jersey, Connecticut, that we can all get on the same page, that’s the ideal. But at the end of the day, there’s one page, right? There’s one page and there’s one plan. Hopefully Suffolk agrees, Nassau agrees, Westchester agrees, New York City agrees. But you do the best you can to come up with mutual agreement, but at the end of the day, you have one plan and that’s the plan you have to go with, right?
Speaker 5: (29:33)
[inaudible 00:29:33] When you say there’s one plan, one page, are you talking about your own plan there, Governor?
Andrew Cuomo: (29:38)
No. Why don’t we do this again for you? I know it’s Sunday. New Jersey, Connecticut, New York. That’s the trick to come up with a one page. How do you get three states to agree on one plan and it’s hard. Coordination’s great, but it’s difficult and it requires a compromise, but it’s also the right way to do it. Look, for each of the three states, it’s easiest for each state to say, you know what, I’m going to do my own thing. I’m Connecticut, I’m Governor Lamont, I’m going to do a Connecticut plan. Why do I have to coordinate with New Jersey and New York? For me, it’s easier to say, I’m going to do one plan. I’m going to do a New York state plan. Why do I have to coordinate with Governor Murphy and Governor Lamont? They want this. They want this. We’d have to compromise, they’d have to work it out.
Andrew Cuomo: (30:38)
Yeah, it’s easier to do it alone except it’s better to do it together. And in this situation we need to do the best product that we can do for the people and that’s where I start. The best product is to come up with a plan that New Jersey, Connecticut, and New York can all execute simultaneously, which is what we’ve done to date, right? We made very difficult decisions together and we implemented them together because we were very aware of the interplay between these pieces and our regional workforce. You take an action in New Jersey that’s inconsistent with what I’m doing in New York, you put people in a very difficult position. Because they live in Jersey, they work in New York or they live in New York and they work in Jersey, you know, coordinate. If I’m out there, I say coordinate, Governor Murphy, Governor Cuomo, Governor Lamont, I know it’s a pain in the neck, but that’s what I pay you for. So ideally we all get on the same page.
Speaker 6: (31:51)
[crosstalk 00:31:51] You mentioned in your presentation about how [inaudible 00:31:56] there are 58 drive-in theaters in New York state. Is there any consideration or what are your thoughts on drive-in theater’s becoming an essential business, let’s say, because people could sit in their car, they’re not interacting, they get the movie piped in into their car, even through the radio, I believe. So is there a way that people could at least get out and see movies through drive-in-
Andrew Cuomo: (32:25)
Drive-in theaters, that is a good question. Why?
Speaker 7: (32:31)
It hasn’t been raised yet to ESD to my knowledge, [crosstalk 00:00:32:36].
Andrew Cuomo: (32:37)
There it is, I’m going to advance your argument. Why, where’s the public safety issue? It’s a drive-in theater, you’re in the car with the same people, right?
Speaker 8: (32:46)
It’s the employees, right? If you make it non-essential, the employees that have to show up to operate the theater and then the question is you’re then making those employees essential workers because they would be accepted, right? They themselves would then have to interact to operate. So that’s what it is for most of the businesses. It’s the employees that have to show up. They would have to perform the service. They essentially are putting themselves at risk as part of it. And that’s the discussion that we have each time there is an exception.
Speaker 6: (33:15)
The drive-in movie association, there is one believe it or not, wants to be considered an essential-
Andrew Cuomo: (33:21)
I’m going to argue your argument. I’m going to argue against Rob, but I’m going to argue … Empire State Development is making these decisions and they’re all tricky decisions by the way. You’re trying to balance the need here, right? But I see your point. I’m going to talk the ESD about it.
Speaker 9: (33:38)
How would you characterize your working relationship with Bill de Blasio right now?
Andrew Cuomo: (33:41)
Look, I understand the Mayor’s position. He represents New York City and the position of, I think schools should be closed. That’s not an unreasonable position. He doesn’t have to worry about Nassau, Suffolk, he doesn’t have to worry about New Jersey, he doesn’t have to worry about Connecticut, but I do.
Speaker 10: (34:01)
[crosstalk 00:34:01] Do you have any statewide approach for the homeless problem as it released and COVID-19? I ask because the Albany County executive recently said, “Hey, you can’t force homeless people into a shelter.” But simultaneously there’s a mobile government directive saying you guys have to enforce social distancing. I feel like it’s not likely that a fine for a homeless person is going to be effective.
Andrew Cuomo: (34:27)
I’ve worked with the homeless since I was in my 20s. You’re right, a fine for the homeless is not going to be effective. You can’t force a homeless person into a shelter unless there are certain… endangering their own lives or endangering others. But leaving that aside, the shelters do have to operate under those guidelines however. And whatever facility is operating by the local government has to adhere to those guidelines. Go Josefa.
Speaker 11: (34:59)
The New York City Health Department yesterday said that they’re running out of the swabs, the COVID test. Have they been in contact with you or does the state have a surplus or reserve-
Andrew Cuomo: (35:10)
Of the testing swabs? I have not heard that. Have you heard?
Speaker 12: (35:13)
We haven’t received that but we’ll check after today and see if they’ve gotten in touch with us.
Speaker 11: (35:19)
And as part of the executive order, was the state going to be issuing masks for some public sector employers?
Andrew Cuomo: (35:26)
Yes, you want to speak to that, Melissa?
Speaker 7: (35:28)
Yes. So what we’re saying is you’re an essential worker, you should be protected, you shouldn’t have to go out and put yourself in unnecessary danger and continue the spread of the virus. And so we’re putting it on the employers. So if you’re a state employee and you’re essential servant who is interacting with the public in some capacity, yes, it’s on the state to provide that mask.
Speaker 4: (35:48)
Governor, any updates on the treatments, the hydro treatments with Zithromax, has that turned any additional [crosstalk 00:35:54].
Andrew Cuomo: (35:54)
Speaker 4: (35:55)
Andrew Cuomo: (35:56)
We have done, there is probably about 2,000 patients who are being treated.
Andrew Cuomo: (36:03)
Probably about 2000 patients who are being treated with Hydroxychloroquine, I don’t know if it’s with the Zithromax or not. Through hospitals I believe there’s actually a federal trial on it. But we were supplied the drug. We left it to the hospitals and the doctors because they have to do the administration of it, but I don’t think there’s any results yet to speak of. It’s been about, I’d say a week, 10 days, something like that that patients have been getting it.
Andrew Cuomo: (36:35)
I don’t know what the period is where it would kick in, but I assume that we’ll be getting data soon, and look on the Hydroxychloroquine, two things. I, like the president, hope it works. I don’t know if it works. I’m not a doctor, but everybody hopes something works. I think it would be unnatural not to hope that it works. We’re a hundred percent pushing every kind of drug therapy, every company, every research. Brookhaven lab is open seven days a week, 24 hours a day with all sorts of research going on. We’re praying for something to work. I don’t have the data yet though.
Speaker 14: (37:25)
Last question guys.
The Federal Prison Bureau-
Andrew Cuomo: (37:30)
Sorry, excuse me one second.
You said there was some anecdotal-
Andrew Cuomo: (37:32)
About April 20th we think we’re going to have results.
You said there was some anecdotal evidence though of positive results.
Andrew Cuomo: (37:39)
Is that continuing?
Andrew Cuomo: (37:42)
It’s anecdotal. So it’s when I’m speaking to a hospital administrator, I’ll ask them or I’ll have a group on the phone, I’ll ask them and they have said they’ve seen some positive results. I don’t know what that means, Jesse, from a trial point of view. But people have said to me they’ve had positive results. I think we’re going to get actual reports on April 20th?
Speaker 15: (38:03)
Yeah, we’ll get some preliminary results back in April 20th.
The Federal Prison Bureau has-
Has NYSNA been told by supply task force that hospitals are going to be coming off the crisis PPE rationing guidelines from your office?
Andrew Cuomo: (38:15)
That’s a very specific question. Who’s been, say that-
The New York State Nurses Association has-
Andrew Cuomo: (38:24)
Been told by the supply task force that hospitals are going to be given the directive to come off the PPE rations?
Andrew Cuomo: (38:32)
Has NSYNA been told by the supply task force that they’re coming off the CDC crisis guidelines?
Speaker 15: (38:38)
So as all of you-
Andrew Cuomo: (38:39)
Speaker 15: (38:39)
As all of you have reported at various points, there’s been something of a disconnect between the hospitals and the nurses on the front lines. The hospitals repeatedly say we have what we need or when they don’t, they come to us. We make sure they get it from the stockpile or New York City provides from their stockpile. Then we hear anecdotally from NYSNA, Pat Kane, the nurses, that the people on the front lines are operating under the crisis conservation guidelines put out by the CDC, which is if you are running on a shortage and you don’t anticipate you’re necessarily going to have additional coming in you wear masks for days at a time, you wear gowns for a full shift instead of changing between patients.
Speaker 15: (39:13)
And so earlier on that was something that was very real because we had a shortage. At this point in the process we have been relieved of that shortage and we have got what we believe that we should have and the hospitals say that too. So as we hear anecdotal evidence from NYSNA on specific hospitals, what we’ve now done is gone to them and say, we want you to report to us. Are you operating under the crisis conservation guidelines or are you operating under normal guidelines? And if it’s the crisis conservation guidelines, why? Is it because you don’t have the proper supply? Do you need us to help you backfill? Where are you ordering from to solve that? Because we want to make sure that the nurses on the front line have what they need to stay safe.
Governor, the Federal Prison Bureau is identifying how-
Andrew Cuomo: (39:54)
Very impressive answer.
Andrew Cuomo: (39:56)
Governor, the Federal Prison Bureau is reporting which facilities have how many Coronavirus cases and the deaths at those facilities. Do you think the state prison system should do the same?
Andrew Cuomo: (40:08)
I think it’s a good idea. I don’t know how practical it is, but I think it’s a good idea.
Governor you spoke about the second wave on this. There’s a lot of concern in some rural areas, places like Genesee County, St. Lawrence County, that they’re beginning to see cases and uptick in places like that. What sort of efforts are you guys going to make to get out to those more remote spots where testing might not be as widespread and where cases might rise?
Andrew Cuomo: (40:30)
I think you’re going to see … We watch very carefully movement of the virus. We were watching movement towards Long Island, which has abated somewhat. We’re watching movement towards nursing homes. If you look at the number of deaths, you’ll see movement, an increase in nursing homes, which in many ways was inevitable because that’s always where the vulnerable population has been and then they’re congregated obviously in one facility. So we watch the movement geographically or demographically. We have not seen a significant uptick. We see little clusters pop up and then we jump on the clusters when they pop up, additional testing, resources, et cetera.
Andrew Cuomo: (41:20)
When we talk about that surge and flex, you know it works both ways. It was downstate. We’re now stabilized on the imminent threat to the capacity of the health care system, so we have a little breathing room in terms of capacity and equipment, and wherever we see a pop up, we jump on that immediately. I think you will see more growth in less populated places. The virus first hits in the most dense locations. Why New York City? It is one of the densest places in the country just in terms of concentration of people in a small area of space.
Andrew Cuomo: (42:13)
Los Angeles, but Los Angeles is half the population on one and a half times the geographic footprint. It’s the density in New York City. Everybody going into the transportation system, walking down a block in New York City, you can’t do that with social distances. It’s practically impossible if everything was open.
Andrew Cuomo: (42:33)
So that was the first wave, if you will. I think you’re going to see that move and there’ll be more growth in more suburban communities, rural communities, especially in what they call these super spreader situations, which we learned in New Rochelle. New Rochelle in Westchester had the highest cluster. Why? It’s in Westchester. It’s a suburban community. You don’t have that density that you have in urban areas. One person going to a gathering with 300 people. That’s why the gatherings, canceling St. Patrick’s Day, which I took a lot of grief on, was so right in retrospect. One gathering, a lot of people can get infected, and that can happen in any suburban community, any rural community. So, whenever we see it, we will be there. We will be there.
Speaker 14: (43:31)
When you talk about the Tristate area, why do you leave out Rockland and Orange County since they border New Jersey, and why only New Jersey and Connecticut. Why not, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Massachusetts, Vermont and Rhode Island.
Andrew Cuomo: (43:47)
Not that ambitious. That’s too many pieces to coordinate for me.
Andrew Cuomo: (43:52)
That’s too many pieces of the puzzle. When I talk Tristate area, what we did on the close down was the entirety of the state of New York, the entirety of the state of Connecticut, the entirety of the state of New Jersey. We are also going to work with Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania was very involved in us with a marijuana regional pact, but obviously there’s less interaction on a day to day basis with Pennsylvania than those other two states. So it will be a statewide plan for all of New York, all of New Jersey, all of Connecticut. That is the optimum. I’m not promising that. We’re going to try to get all three states on the same page.
Andrew Cuomo: (44:41)
Now, I’m sure if we do that, not every local government in Jersey, not every local government in Connecticut, not every local government in New York is going to agree with every aspect of the plan. By the way, they didn’t all agree with every aspect of the close down. I had a lot of school districts unhappy with the close down decision, but you do the best you can to come up with mutuality. But at one point you can’t make everybody happy with every decision.
Well why did you leave out Rockland and Orange?
Andrew Cuomo: (45:15)
No, Rockland and Orange are in this state.
Andrew Cuomo: (45:17)
So it’s going to be the whole state.
You should say Nassau, Suffolk, Westchester.
Andrew Cuomo: (45:21)
Well that is the-
And then you leave out, and you don’t-
Andrew Cuomo: (45:24)
Well there is more commutation from Westchester and Nassau, Suffolk just in terms of numbers. But Rockland, Orange certainly, but it’d be the entire state. It’s not just Rockland, Orange, it’s going to be upstate New York. Mid Hudson, it’s the whole thing.
There’s no problem with the way the county executives in those two counties feel towards your plan or anything like that that you’re-
Andrew Cuomo: (45:45)
Yes, but the close down plan was a statewide plan. It was every school district in the state, so every school district had an opinion. Many of them were against it. Every county executive had an opinion. Many of the county executives didn’t agree, and I’m sure there’ll be county executives that don’t agree with this plan. If everybody agreed with it, something would probably be wrong. Happy Easter to everybody.
[crosstalk 00:46:10] ten steps ahead of everyone else. God forbid what’s the plan if you contract Coronavirus? How do you think you’d lead New York state?
Andrew Cuomo: (46:17)
Can you say that? What happens if I get Coronavirus?
Yeah, what’s your plan?
Andrew Cuomo: (46:22)
My plan is to do this from home. Happy Easter.