Apr 17, 2020
Andrew Cuomo New York COVID-19 Briefing Transcript April 17: “Don’t Pass the Buck without Passing Bucks”
Governor Andrew Cuomo held his daily coronavirus briefing on April 17. He called out Donald Trump on federal funding. Cuomo told the president “don’t pass the buck without passing bucks” in regards to federal aid and “thank you for doing your job” after Trump tweeted that he never heard the governor “say thanks.” Read the full transcript here.
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Gov. Andrew Cuomo: (05:08)
Good morning. Happy Friday. Weekend is almost here. Whatever that means. I’m not sure when someone figures it out I’m sure they’ll tell me. Let’s talk about where we are today in terms of the data. Total hospitalizations ticked down. Again, that is good news just to tick, but we’ll take it. It’s better than going up. Again, this is one day, but it is flattening, reducing slightly depending on your point of view. This is sort of a test that you’re an optimist or are you a pessimist. Pessimistic would say we’re basically flat. Optimists would say, I think we’re starting to trend down, so it’s a personality test. Net change in total hospitalizations is undeniably on the decline. The three day average, which is more accurate than any one day number also says the same thing. The ICU admissions is down. That’s not that telling to me because as I said, the entire hospital is now basically an ICU ward. But the number of intubations is down and that is very good news because intubations 80% of the time wind up in a person not recovering. So that’s really good news. The reality and the counter narrative, counter fact, number of new cases that walked in the door, COVID cases walked in the door of a hospital is still about 2,000 per day and that is still very high. So that yes, fewer people in the hospital, fewer people being intubated, but still 2,000 people walking in the door and if you notice it’s hovered about the same rate for several weeks, it peaked, but 2,000 that’s a very high number.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo: (07:15)
Number of deaths unfortunately refuses to come down dramatically. 630 that is still breathtaking in its pain and grief and tragedy and basically flat. Again, like many of the other numbers, just in terms of overall context where are we, where are we going? Everybody wants to ask that question every day and I understand that. We have to get to tomorrow. What is the final conclusion of this ugly chapter? I still believe it’s when we have a vaccine. When people know that this virus is totally controlled, that’s 12 to 18 months. Hopefully, it can be sooner. Maybe there’s a medical treatment in between. We hope. We pray. A lot of medical companies, are working very hard on it right here in this state, all across the country. That would totally change the trajectory. People who were looking for a quick fix, a quick answer, it would be a medical treatment.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo: (08:25)
That would be the quick fix and that’s when of a vaccine. That would be a quick fix. In the meantime, it’s going to be an incremental process between today and tomorrow. As much as people don’t want to hear that, that’s the truth. You’re not going to hear any day soon it’s over. The nightmare ends and we wake up. It’s going to be incremental and we have to be smart as we do this. Do no harm control the rate of infection, as we go through this. We also have a lot of work to do operationally in terms of the healthcare system and now testing, which I’ll talk about in a minute. The testing, tracing is the guideposts through this, right? As we’re working our way over the next several months, the testing, which is informing us as to who can go back to work, helping us isolate people. It’s about testing and testing is a totally new challenge. Nobody has done this and what we need to do on testing.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo: (09:36)
And then phasing the ramp up of the economy to the new normal as we do this. Again, in terms of perspective, I think of it this way, our whole response thus far basically has been a response to a crisis, right? And as the numbers start to come down and as people start to take a deep breath and people start to feel we can control the beast, which we can, and they take comfort in the fact that we can control the beast, which I do. I was afraid this thing was uncontrollable and that despite everything we did, the numbers were going to continue to go through the roof. And by the way, nobody could tell you otherwise, but we proved we can control the beast. We can reduce the rate of infection. We did that by our response to the crisis credit to all New Yorkers, all Americans, they flatten the curve.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo: (10:32)
Nobody else, no government agency, no public health expert. People’s actions flatten the curve. We responded to the crisis that’s sorts of all in this first response. First phase, bring down that infection rate. The infection rate was one person infected 1.4 other people. That’s when an epidemic breaks out. That’s fire through dry grass, right? That’s what we talked about yesterday. We have the infection rate down to 0.9, one person infects 0.9 other people. I’ve never met a 0.9 person, but the infection rate is less than one to one that then sees the outbreak starting to subside. The numbers starting to come down, which is what we’re seeing in the numbers. So we did that. This is all in our response to the crisis and let’s say it’s from minute one to where we are today. This is all been crisis response. Bring down the infection rate we did that. Bring up the hospital system to this projection level, which would have been impossible, but ramp up that hospital system so when you have all these new infected people, you can handle it.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo: (11:55)
You don’t overwhelm the public health system. You don’t have people dying in hallways. Which is what we saw in Italy on TV, right? That’s all phase one. That’s critical response. Hurry up, get it done every day is vital. Drastic measures taken quickly in a coordinated way. That’s phase one. We’re still in that phase because you still have 2,000 people coming in the door every day. So don’t get cocky, don’t get arrogant. We’re in control. No, you’re not in crisis because you can control the beast, but you’re only controlling the beast because of what you’re doing. That’s where we are. We’re starting to transition to another place. What’s the other place? It’s going to be the second half of this situation, which is an pausing, right? The situation we’re in now is unsustainable. People can’t stay in their homes for this length of time. They can’t stay out of work.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo: (12:59)
You can’t keep the economy closed forever. You just can’t. Society can’t handle it personally or economically. So now we’re moving into another phase, which is this reopening phase. How do you plan the reopening? Nobody’s ever done this before and how do you plan a reopening of an economy and at the same time be cognizant of the public health crisis that you are still in, right? We have the infection rate down to 0.9, one person is infecting 0.9%, less than a person. Okay. The epidemic outbreak percentage is 1.2, one person infecting 1.2. You only have between 0.9 and 1.2 is a margin of error. We have to reopen. We have to reopen. We have to reopen. Yeah. You only have a very slim margin to operate on. You open too fast, you bring people out too fast. You’ll get to 1.2 in three days and we’ll be right back to where we started, so that’s the, I want to get out of my house versus a public health balance that we’re talking about.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo: (14:22)
How do you measure this? How do you calibrate it? You have to develop a testing capacity that does not now exist and then you test people on a higher volume than ever before. You then trace them to find other positives and then you isolate them. In the meantime, we have to stabilize the state’s finances because we have a terrible economic deficit, we’re spending money every day that we’ve never dreamed of spending. We’re asking all these hospitals to do things, all these local governments to do things. We’re paying and we’re paying when we’re in a position where we don’t have any money, which is also an unsustainable position in life. You can’t keep writing checks if you have no balance in your account. It doesn’t work longterm. One point they come and they knock on the door. I don’t know who knocks on the door when you’re a state government, but somebody is going to come knock on the door, so that’s where we are overall. The next frontier is going to be testing. We don’t have a testing system that can do this volume or that can be ramped up to do this volume. We don’t have a public health testing system by the way. It’s de minimus. If you look at what our government departments of health have, it’s a relatively de minimus capacity. Well, what’s our private sector testing capacity? That’s relatively de minimus also, think about what we’re talking about. We’re talking about labs that normally operate to do blood testing. If you need a marriage license, you have to give up. If you have your child is sick, they send them for a strep test. The doctor says, go take a blood test for allergies, you go. When you go to a lab to have blood drawn. That’s basically the system we’re talking about. That system does not do large scale COVID testing. This COVID testing first in and of itself is a very complicated new test. It’s not as simple as drawing blood and getting it tested. This test in and of itself is complicated and expensive and you don’t have the network that does that. It does not exist. This is where we were with the hospitals.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo: (16:55)
We came up with what we call surgeon flux. What happened with the hospitals when this started, we started seeing these much higher numbers that would overwhelm a hospital system. Well, how do we ramp up the hospital system? You don’t really have a public hospital system. Downstate New York, you have about 100 hospitals. You only have about 15 of those 100 are public hospitals. The rest are all private hospitals, voluntary hospitals, but there are private hospitals. We had to get those private hospitals to work with government in a coordinated way. Never happened before. Extraordinarily difficult. We did it, but it was a phenomenal undertaking. You now have 300 laboratories in hospitals across the state that do virology testing. How do we get 300 private labs and hospitals to become one system statewide to do testing for COVID and how do we get them all coordinated? This is something that has never been done before and is going to be a tremendous undertaking. Also, to further complicate it what they will tell you now, because we’ve been having the conversations. The labs, if they can get the test, which they have to purchase from private sector companies.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo: (18:33)
The tests require certain chemical reagents to operate. So you take a sample and then you mix it with other chemicals. They can’t get the chemicals that they need to mix to do the test. Well who has the chemicals? No one has the chemicals because everybody has been overrun with demand and the chemicals come out of where? China. Where everything has come from over the past 40 days. Everything goes back to China and China is now in a position where they’re being asked globally for these reagent chemicals and that is a piece of the equation that I can’t figure out. That’s why the federal government has to be part of this approach and part of this answer. I can do what I can do on the state side and I will. I’m going to issue an executive order that says the Department of Health will be coordinating those private sector labs, which are private sector companies, but they are licensed by the state of New York.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo: (19:42)
They’re permitted by the state of New York and we need them to step up and work together. But the federal government cannot wipe their hands of this and say, “Oh, the states are responsible for testing.” We cannot do it. We cannot do it without federal help. I’m willing to do what I can do and more, but I’m telling you I don’t do China relations. I don’t do international supply chain and that’s where the federal government can help. Also remember the federal government at the same time is developing testing capacity. So we wind up in this bizarre situation that we were in last time, 50 States all competing for these precious resources. In this case it’s testing and then the federal government comes in and says to those companies, I want to buy the tests also. This is mayhem. We need a coordinated approach between the federal government and the states.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo: (20:45)
Second thing that is of a meeting concern is we have to stabilize the finances of the state. The federal government has passed three bills to address this crisis. Of those three bills, the state governments have gotten precisely zero, zilch, nada in unrestricted aid. The state should this, the state should this, the state should this. Yes. Well, what support have you given the states? None. I mean, how can that even be, how is it even plausible as a strategy? It doesn’t work. We need financial resources to stabilize the states because when you starve the state governments… I still eat, Dr. Zucker’s still eats. But we can’t fund schools, we can’t fund hospitals, we can’t fund small business, we can’t fund all these extraordinary efforts that we’re undertaking. It makes no sense. We need to support the states because the states are the ones who are doing this. Reopening is up to the states, right? That’s the federal decree. It’s up to the governors. The governors will decide. The states have to decide…
Gov. Andrew Cuomo: (22:03)
-to the governors, the governors will decide, the states have to decide. Everyone is in a different position and it’s up to the states, which I agree. It also happens to be the constitution. But put that aside. I also think it’s the right approach.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo: (22:13)
Okay, it’s up to the states, but then don’t ask the states, don’t give them this massive undertaking that has never been done before and then not give them any resources to do it. That’s not how this is going to work. The expression don’t pass the buck without passing the bucks, A.J. Parkinson. Mark remembers him. Don’t ask the states to do this. It’s up to the governors, up to the governors, up to the governors. Okay. Is there any funding? So I can do these things that you want us to do? No. That is passing the buck without passing the bucks. Passing the buck, which is the opposite of the buck stops here. The buck doesn’t stop here. I’m passing the buck and I’m not passing the bucks. I’m not giving the financial assistance to actually perform the responsibility.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo: (23:19)
So last point is we go from today to tomorrow, but we talk about the new normal. This also has to be an opportunity where after this horrendous period that we have gone through on every level, after the exorbitant cost of this, the personal pain of this, the death of this, this has to be one of those moments in time when we look back where we say society transformed. It was a learning and growth and transformational period where growth and evolution was accelerated. Yes, society took a terrible blow, but it became a moment of reflection where all sorts of new reforms and innovations happen.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo: (24:21)
That’s what we have to do with this period when they look back at it. So our goal is not let’s get up and turn the machine back on and keep going the way we were. No. How do you make the changes now that you’ve been talking about in some cases for years, by the way, but you never had the political will to do it? Or it was too hard, or it was too difficult. We talk about environmental changes that we’re going to make, but we never really do it. We talk about issues of income inequality, but we never really get there. We talk about changes to our public transit system, but it’s too hard, it’s too controversial. All right, well now you have an opportunity in this window to really make changes and reforms and improve things in a way you haven’t. And by the way, if you went through this and you went through this pain and aggravation and suffering and you didn’t learn, well, then shame on us. Then shame on us. Because there are so many lessons to learn and then you’ve come back better than you were. 9/11, New York took a terrible beating. This nation took a terrible beating. We learned from it. We grew, we’re better. 9/11 transformed the country. If I told you before 9/11 you were going to take off your shoes when you went to an airport before you could get on an airplane and they were going to go through every bag and every, you would say, “I’m never doing that.” 9/11 said, this is a different world. Look at all the security measures we now have post 9/11 that we would have never envisioned.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo: (26:05)
We went through Hurricane Sandy. We didn’t build back what was. You build back better than before. You take that moment. You learn that lesson and you improve society. We have to do that here, and we have to do it affirmatively. It doesn’t just happen. You have to say, we paused, New York paused. You paused, you reflect, you learn, you grow and you move forward.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo: (26:34)
Look at what we learned about the public health system. You know what we learned about the public health system? There is no public health system capacity. Hospitals had the number of beds they needed to operate. Well, what in case of an emergency? There was no emergency capacity in hospitals. Nobody had beds left empty. Oh, that wing is in case there’s an emergency. Then we would use that wing. It didn’t exist. Why not? Well, that’s not what we did. So how do you improve the public health system? How do you improve the emergency response? Well, we never had to deal with a pandemic before.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo: (27:18)
By the way, what is a pandemic? Okay, well now we did. And now let’s learn and how will we going to be ready for the next situation like this because there will be another. I don’t know what it is. I don’t know when it is. I don’t know if this virus comes back in a second wave, but there will be something, and we have to be ready and better for it.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo: (27:43)
And not just what you learned, but what have we been talking about doing that we should be doing that this is now an opportunity to do? We’ve been talking about re-imagining the workforce and workplace. Does everybody actually have to drive in to the office every day? Or did we learn that there are ways to telecommute and work from home where it’s actually more efficient, it’s actually more effective?
Gov. Andrew Cuomo: (28:11)
What are we doing about our transit system and how do we make it safer? Not just the way we’ve been talking about, but also from a public health point of view. And how will we now smarter about public interactions? I can’t tell you how many doctors now have come to me and said, ” I said for years we shouldn’t be shaking hands. That is just a total way to transmit germs and viruses, et cetera.” So how do we take this moment, since we are paused anyway and actually come back smarter?
Gov. Andrew Cuomo: (28:45)
I also believe it’ll work. It’s a moment of personal reflection. We’ve been in a different circumstance, we’ve been in a different circumstance vis-a-vis our family. What have we learned during this heartbreak and during this crisis? I’ve spent a lot of time with my kids, 22, 25, twins, two 25s. My interactions with my kids had gotten so superficial over these past few years. Everyone’s busy, busy, busy. So what do you need? Everything good. You need anything from me? When do I see you? I miss you. That was the same conversation over and over and over. Now I’ve got time to sit with them and really have in depth conversations that I hadn’t had in a long time.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo: (29:46)
And I’ll tell you, one of the things I learned is I was missing a lot. They’re not four, five, six, seven, 10 years old anymore. They’re grown up and they have complex lives and complex feelings and complex situations, and you don’t understand that or get to appreciate that when all you say is, “How’s everything? Anything you need? When do I see you again?” “Well, I was busy,” is my defense to myself. I was busy, I was busy. Yeah. Except that’s not an excuse, and take a deeper reflection on what’s important in life and you can’t have a real quality relationship with your child or another human being unless you take the time to get below that surface and really understand the person and really take the time to talk through what’s going on.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo: (30:49)
People don’t work that way. They don’t open up in a four minute conversation. So now I wind up in a situation where I have a couple of hours to talk to one of my daughters, and there’s a whole person and life and nuance that’s going on that frankly I had been oblivious to. I’m not going to let that happen again. I haven’t been able to see my mother. She’s a little older, and I see a lot of people, I’m exposed to a lot of people. I don’t want to go see my mother because she’s in a vulnerable population and I’m out and about a lot. So it would be careless to go see her now, but I think about all the times I have said to her, she lives in Manhattan. She said, “Can you come over for a cup of coffee today?” How many times I’ve said “Yes, I’ll come over for a cup of coffee,” and then called back and said, “I can’t do it today. Next time. Next time. Next time. Next time.” Why? “Well, because something came up. I was busy. I didn’t have the time.”
Gov. Andrew Cuomo: (32:04)
Wrong, wrong. That was more important than anything else. Sometimes you don’t miss something until it’s been taken away. And it made me rethink what was important and what I had been missing and I’d been missing a lot. Because all this, we’re all busy. We’re all busy. We’re all busy. What does it mean at the end of the day? What what were you really busy with and did it matter?
Gov. Andrew Cuomo: (32:34)
So I know that I’ve learned a lot on a personal level. But we may be more physically distant for the foreseeable future. The key is to be more connected, more connected individually, more connected as a society, more connected as a community. And that’s what we’re going to do. Questions?
Governor, you’re asking for… you seem to be…
Gov. Andrew Cuomo: (32:57)
Let’s do a New York pause moment and let’s take this situation and reflect on it and find a better way. Here’s my suggestion. Rather than everybody’s shouting, I will call on every person and ask a question and then we’ll go on. So we don’t have to yell at each other. Jesse.
Governor, you’re talking about additional federal funding presumably to kind of help reopen and restart the economy. Do you have any idea what that number is? Are we talking tens of billions of dollars, hundreds of billions of dollars? What would you like to see come from Washington?
Gov. Andrew Cuomo: (33:38)
Well, we know what we proposed. National Governors Association, which represents governors all across this country. All the governors are part of the National Governors Association. Democratic and Republican. National Governors Association chairman is Chairman Larry Hogan, Republican chairman. I’m the vice chairman. I’m a Democrat. We have publicly requested $500 billion for states. We’ve publicly done that. So that’s the number. That’s public put out in a press release, and that’s what it is
What about for New York specifically though?
Gov. Andrew Cuomo: (34:14)
We didn’t get into the allocation, but the allocation should be proportionate to the need. This allocation $500 billion for the states. Well, how do you allocate it among the states? Allocate it proportionate to need. You know Where the COVID cases are. You can look at a map. You see the cases. You know that because you see when the president talks about reopening different states or in different places. Yes, different states have radically different situations when it comes to number of cases. So allocate the funding where the problem exists. You’re trying to solve the COVID problem, allocate the funding to where the COVID problem exists.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo: (35:06)
In past the bills where they’ve done healthcare funding for “COVID” you’ve seen the numbers. Some states got about $200,000 for every COVID case. New York got about $12,000 for every COVID case. How do you justify that? Well, because it’s the Senate. They wanted to give every state money. So every Senator had something to go home and do a press release about. Yeah, I know, but if this state didn’t have any COVID cases, how much did you give that state of taxpayer’s money just so that Senator could go home and do a press release. Give me a break. You can do a press release with… You don’t need billions of dollars to do press releases.
Very quickly to follow up. The president said yesterday that some states would start to go into phase one almost immediately. How far away do you think New York is from something like phase one or even phase two?
Gov. Andrew Cuomo: (36:08)
Phase one. Phase two. What he’s saying is depending on where that state is… what the president is saying is it’s up to the states, it’s up to the governors. The governors who have states that have fewer cases can reopen faster. Yeah, that has nothing to do with the president or federal policy or anything. All he’s saying is it’s up to the states and you’ll see states that have less of a problem opening sooner. That is undeniable and totally logical. So it depends on that state, where it is. And it depends on the numbers and the governors rely on numbers and it has nothing to do with the federal government.
Governor, [crosstalk 00:36:58] hospital system. We said that we’ve-
Gov. Andrew Cuomo: (37:02)
When do we reopen? We are at now 0.9 on the infection rate. 1.2 is the tipping scale where the numbers start to go up again. So your margin of error right now is between 0.9 and 1.2. You have many states where the infection rate is diminimous. We’re 0.9. We’re right up to that line of possible outbreak. So the states that will open first by the data will have much lower infection rates than we do. We were over the line. We were in outbreak territory. We’ve gotten that down to 0.9. But your margin of error is between 0.9 and 1.2. And what the experts will tell you is 0.9-1.2, you are right on the line. It’s not that precise a science. Jim,
We’ve now got hospital rate that seems to be stabilizing and ticking down. A few questions. Are you therefore stopping some of the things you’ve done to increase capacity like the field hospitals on the island? And then is there any thought, particularly in upstate areas of reopening hospitals and facilities to elective procedures? There are reports that workers are being laid off. And then finally, I know we had to reduce PPE standards. We had to waive a bunch of requirements to increase this capacity. Will any of that be now rolled back and is there any concern that reducing these standards, particularly PPE may have hastened infection or caused problems among healthcare workers? We know there’s lots of infections there.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo: (38:42)
The CDC reduced the PPE guidelines. Not to do alphabet soup, but it was the CDC that had federal guidelines on the personal protective equipment. And they have different guidelines apparently when you’re in a crisis than normally they went through crisis guidelines. And that’s what many of the nurses especially are complaining about.
[inaudible 00:39:09] who actually sets the policy, I believe.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo: (39:12)
I don’t know.
Speaker 1: (39:13)
He said the policy, we use the CDC guidelines on these issues, whether that use of masks, PPE equipment to gowns we continue to use. But the issue is when can a healthcare worker go back to working with a mask?
So are we thinking about changing any of this and do you have any concern that this may have caused higher infection rates?
Speaker 1: (39:33)
I don’t feel that it causes higher infection rates at all. Healthcare workers have worked extremely hard to protect themselves and to make sure there isn’t any further spreading.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo: (39:42)
So on the hospitals?
Gov. Andrew Cuomo: (39:48)
First, You take all these numbers with a grain of salt. Caution is you could have a surge, you could have a second wave. Look at Wuhan. Look at China, look at Italy, went up, went down, went back up, be careful. But are we at a point where we are now immediately in danger of exceeding the hospital capacity we developed? No. That’s why we’re in a position to give away ventilators or lend ventilators to New Jersey, other states, etc. So I don’t believe we are in a place today where we are at risk of going over capacity. Go ahead, yes.
[crosstalk 00:40:31] I’m Ann by the way.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo: (40:31)
I want to talk to you about the rate of infection. Have you calculated the rate of infection for upstate New York, specifically without including downstate?
Gov. Andrew Cuomo: (40:42)
We have not done those calibrations yet. This is all… The rate of infection analysis is very difficult and there are a number of premises that they’re making in the calculation. So we don’t have discrete rates of infection yet, no.
It would appear that we have lower rates in upstate New York, and as you know our area has made strides in the economy in the past few years. This has been devastating. We’ve already seen some small businesses go under. Is it important to find out what that rate of infection is to try and get parts of upstate open that are not seeing those numbers?
Gov. Andrew Cuomo: (41:28)
It’s important to get the economy open wherever you can, as soon as you can, whenever you can. People had a nice break and they were in their homes. I think everybody is well past “I had a nice break.” I want to get back to work. I have to get out of the house. I love my family, but I have to now get out of the house, and I need a paycheck and I need it yesterday. So everyone is in that same position.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo: (41:55)
At the same time, people will say, “I don’t want to go out and get sick and die.” So that’s death is bad. And even though staying at home and not getting a paycheck is bad, it’s not as bad as death. That’s the Yin and the Yang here. So as soon as we can and lower infection rate places, lower death rate places are in a better position than places with a higher death rate, higher infection rate. So yes, calibrating those differences is important and balancing the economic need and the personal need with the public health need and death, that calibration is everything.
When do you think you’ll start to make that separation is what I’m asking?
Gov. Andrew Cuomo: (42:53)
I think you’ll see it clearer. We’re right on the line now across the board. You’ll see clusters in upstate also, you’ll see nursing home issues in upstate. One of the reasons they keep asking about nursing homes. Nursing homes are the vulnerable point. They’re the vulnerable population in the vulnerable setting, a nursing home. And we’ve seen that across upstate. So it’s not just about, yes, everybody wants the economy running, but everybody wants to be safe at the same time and that’s what we’re working through.
Speaker 2: (43:27)
Governor, the state just released a list of facilities, of nursing homes that have outbreaks. We’re seeing some numbers of about to 55 deaths out of just one nursing home and at least 21 facilities on this list have over 20 residents. My first question is, why has it taken so long to inform the public about this happening in their communities? Why has the public not known about all of these numerous outbreaks?
Gov. Andrew Cuomo: (44:00)
I think they have. We’ve been talking about nursing homes every day for the past-
Gov. Andrew Cuomo: (44:03)
I think they have. We’ve been talking about nursing homes every day for the past 30 days. The first outbreak was in Seattle, Washington, which was a nursing home. That’s how this country was introduced to it. We’ve said 157 times, the most vulnerable population are seniors. The most vulnerable place are nursing homes. Special precautions for nursing homes. I think we’ve been talking about it all along.
Speaker 3: (44:36)
Are you going to start loosening the number of health nursing home inspection workers are you going to look at mass testing?
Gov. Andrew Cuomo: (44:37)
It’s not an inspection issue. We’ve taken radical measures, visa via a nursing home. No visitors. I mean just think about how harsh a policy that is. No visitors in a nursing home. These are people who live for visitors. No visitors, staff testing, different cleanliness procedures, more equipment. But the virus is nothing to be underestimated and the virus is very good at killing and the virus is very good at killing older people and people with compromised immune system. That’s why the virus seeks out nursing homes.
Speaker 3: (45:24)
Yes, but it seems like even with the screening protocols, we now know that many people can be asymptomatic, so even if they didn’t have the temperature, they still could’ve been carriers of the disease. Is there a need for mass testing at nursing homes in order to get a better picture?
Gov. Andrew Cuomo: (45:39)
Yes. Yes, that’s what we’ve been saying also. Right? We want to test frontline workers, test healthcare workers. But then you need tests, and that’s why we’ve been talking about testing and the need to ramp up testing and how difficult it is for testing.
Speaker 3: (45:57)
What about transfers? [crosstalk 00:01:59].
The point is, there’s clearly a problem here.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo: (46:00)
Excuse me a second. Excuse me a second, Jimmy, someone’s asking a question.
Speaker 3: (46:05)
There’s at least one nursing home we know of where the residents have been transferred to another facility, the negative residents have been transferred. Is that something the state recommends or is doing anywhere else or [crosstalk 00:46:19]
Gov. Andrew Cuomo: (46:18)
I don’t know. Do you know about transfers, Jim?
Part of our COVID-19 task force, which is balancing load for hospitals, has also been working on the nursing home piece as well. There have been cases where some of the residents of one nursing home have transferred either to a hospital or to another program. That’s something we balance across the systems, particularly in downstate New York where this has been more prevalent in a number of cases.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo: (46:44)
The ideal would be if you had an on-the-spot test. A person before they walk into a nursing home, you do a saliva test, positive/negative, get the results in 15 minutes. If they test positive, they don’t walk into the nursing home. Test all the staff. Test everybody who walks into that building. Test all the residents. That’s the ideal. You don’t have that test and you don’t have that volume of testing capacity, and that’s what we’re dealing with.
Speaker 3: (47:13)
Are we going to get the rest of the nursing homes, because this is only a small sampling? For example, Steuben County is not on this list.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo: (47:16)
You have the answer, Jim?
Like we said before, personal privacy was a key concern. These are all nursing homes with cases with a greater than five number. Anything with fewer than five deaths were not included in this initial round.
Speaker 3: (47:28)
I know of facilities in Steuben County that have more than five.
This data is reported directly from the nursing homes themselves. If there’s any exclusion that should be included, it’s from the nursing homes themselves. We’ll circle back, as we do every day, on getting updated reporting data from those nurses.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo: (47:45)
We only know what they tell us. Right? Sir?
Speaker 4: (47:48)
I wanted to ask, in terms of the nursing homes, what about releasing the data for positive numbers that, maybe not fatalities, but the numbers at those nursing homes that have tested positive for COVID? Can we get some of those details?
Speaker 4: (48:02)
The other question I had is, what about family members who want to get information about their loved ones that are having trouble? Maybe they get stonewalled on information from the actual nursing home? Is there anything that the state can do to enforce or to make the nursing homes handover information that loved ones are needing?
Gov. Andrew Cuomo: (48:20)
Yeah. You’re saying people called the nursing home for information on someone in their nursing home and the nursing home won’t give them information on their loved one?
Speaker 4: (48:30)
Yeah. We’ve seen one [inaudible 00:48:29].
Gov. Andrew Cuomo: (48:30)
Yeah, I don’t know that that’s even legal.
Speaker 5: (48:32)
DOH had put out guidance saying that nursing homes should inform family members when there are positives either in the nursing home in general or specifically their family member. What we found through the critical reporting that’s been going on through this process is that’s being ignored. We’re doing an executive order that says that they are mandated to do it and there will be penalties if they don’t.
Speaker 4: (48:50)
What would the penalty be?
Speaker 5: (48:50)
Gov. Andrew Cuomo: (48:50)
The update on driving, going back to being essential, does this-
Gov. Andrew Cuomo: (49:04)
Mr. [Mohecka 00:49:04], who’s in charge of reviewing drivings?
Speaker 6: (49:07)
Yes, ESD is still reviewing that. We didn’t get an actual request. Last time you asked the question, there had not been a formal request into ESD. There is now a formal request in there. They’re still evaluating it right now. This was a few days ago or last week, so we’re still reviewing it.
There’s one other question. The last I checked, New York state’s is the ninth largest economy in the world and trade offices were established in key cities to develop important relationships around the world to attract business to New York state. I know China, you’ve had, I guess Beijing or some other city. Is that helping you in terms of getting, because it’s been maybe two decades that we’ve had these trade offices [crosstalk 00:49:56].
Gov. Andrew Cuomo: (49:55)
Yeah, it’s a good question. We do have people who represent the state in China for trade point of view. We’ve been using them to help us try to figure out the supply chain issue, which is just, you want to talk about lessons learned?
Gov. Andrew Cuomo: (50:10)
We need masks. They’re made in China. We need gowns. They’re made in China. We need face shields. They’re made in China. We need ventilators. They’re made in China. Okay, we’re past that phase. Now we’re on this new phase. We need testing agents. They’re made in China. It’s just, how? How? These are all like national security issues when you’re in this situation, but we do have people who work for the state in China who help us with trade relations. They were helpful here, but in truth, this is so much beyond that level.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo: (50:46)
You have the federal government going to China to buy supplies. You have Illinois, California, New York, Italy, South Korea, everybody going to China and it was well beyond the capacity of our reps.
Speaker 7: (51:03)
Farmers right now are really struggling across the state and they are looking to the federal government for assistance, but there’s also state lawmakers that have introduced a couple of bills that on the state level things can happen. Have you thought about doing things like the 60-hour work week, for example, for farm employees, or any other changes to help farmers on the state level?
Gov. Andrew Cuomo: (51:20)
We’re looking at all of that. Again, many of those bills require state funding, and we don’t have it. To the extent of bill doesn’t require funding but can be a part of the reopening plan, we’re looking at all of that. I’m open to all of that.
Speaker 7: (51:36)
Many upstate county executives are looking for the state to reopen the golf courses and also Mayor Bill de Blasio saying that beaches and pools should be shut for the rest of the season, do you think this is too soon to say?
Gov. Andrew Cuomo: (51:49)
Yeah. Look, I’ve talked to a number of upstate officials. Yeah, everyone has their own ideas. I get it. I respect it. We have 700 school districts. We have 699 opinions on when to open schools and close schools. The school district officials feel that their opinion matters most, and I understand that. We have upstate county executives who want to open beaches, want to open parks, et cetera.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo: (52:26)
These decisions are all interconnected, right? This is the conversation I have with them. You open your schools as one district, well then what does it do to the next door district? If we don’t coordinate this, it’s going to make a situation worse for everyone.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo: (52:49)
Same thing with beaches. You open your beaches, but I don’t open my beaches. My people are all going to go to your beach. Right? We’re two counties, let’s say. What you do with your beaches affects me. One of us does something and the other one doesn’t, now we have a problem. It can be beaches, it can be parks, it can be hiking trails, it can be schools, it can be any of these things.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo: (53:18)
The first place we started here was in an emergency a governor issues executive orders that say we have to coordinate as a state in an emergency more so than ever before. That’s the concept of an emergency declaration. Why does the president get more power in an emergency declaration? Because it’s an emergency. We have an emergency.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo: (53:49)
What you want to do with your park? Normally, yeah, it’s up to you. But in an emergency what you do with your park can affect what everybody else does with their park, because you have all sorts of people dying to get out of the house. I find out your parks are open, you’re going to have people coming from across the state to your park. Now maybe you want that or maybe you don’t want that. But I get a lot of calls from people in the Adirondacks. They don’t want a lot of people coming from downstate to the Adirondacks and flooding their community right now. What one does affects everyone. Schools, opening businesses, parks, beaches, all these decisions need to be coordinated on a statewide basis.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo: (54:46)
Local governments, I get their concern. We all have to cooperate. Yes, we’ll make decisions, we’ll make them collectively, but they have to be uniform on a state level because there’s then actually a higher level. I then have to turn around and coordinate with New Jersey and Connecticut and Massachusetts and Delaware and what are we all doing and how does it work together. What I do on my beaches in New York makes a difference to New Jersey, makes a difference to Connecticut.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo: (55:26)
They just called today. We have an issue. We have different policies on marinas. People from New York are going to other states because other states have their marinas open and we don’t have our marinas open. We’re then flooding their marinas with our people. Sounds like a silly small issue, but these things are all interconnected. They want to know, even on like marina openings, we should have the same policy. Otherwise, people want to get out of their house. It’s now summer. They want to go boating. Well, you can’t do it in New York. They all go to Connecticut. Connecticut then says, “Well, this doesn’t help us. We don’t want all these New Yorkers coming up here to do boating.” They have to be coordinated.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo: (56:25)
I understand it’s inconvenient, but every decision has an impact on everybody else. I’m not crazy about having to coordinate every decision with New Jersey and Connecticut, et cetera, because it’s always easier to make your own decisions and everybody can be on their own. That’s not where we are. No one can make a decision without the state signing off. I don’t make decisions without talking to my partners in New Jersey, Connecticut, and the rest of the alliance. That is the best way for government to operate right now. “Well, it’s a pain in the neck.” Yeah, I get it. I get it. “Well, I like the old way where I do whatever I want in my county.” Yeah, I know. I understand that. We all want to get back to the old way, but we’re not at the old way right now. Excuse me, one second. I’m going to come right back, Bernadette. I didn’t miss you. Yes?
Speaker 8: (57:35)
Oh, so my question is, we’re hearing from family members with loved ones inside nursing homes that they hear two very different but very important messages. One is to keep COVID out of nursing homes with, secondly, the March 25th directive from the Department of Public Health stating that no nursing home can deny reentry or admission to a nursing home based on testing positive for COVID-19 or a suspected case of COVID-19. Why not, they’re asking, send them to alternate locations where they can get better together or insist on negative testing results?
Gov. Andrew Cuomo: (58:11)
Yeah. Doctor or Jim, did you want [inaudible 00:58:12]?
Speaker 9: (58:13)
I would start by first mentioning, many of those individuals who have gone to the hospital because they were ill and then they left to go back to their nursing home, which is, as we’ve said before, which is their home, so that’s the first thing. You want to bring them back to that area. Testing for someone who’s had coronavirus obviously is something which would be down the road a little bit to do as well. But we have been looking at all the possible ways to make sure that those in the nursing home are protected, both the health care workers and surely the individuals who are most at risk.
Speaker 8: (58:49)
But they’re so concerned because they’re so afraid for their family members because they’re older and frail and they just think maybe another place is better.
Speaker 8: (58:55)
Also, second question, I hope you’ll answer both. The tracker, the COVID tracker on the website, the last update for the number of nursing home fatalities in the state of New York was 2,477. The date that it said it was most recently updated was April 14th. When might we expect …
Speaker 9: (59:12)
On the second, Jim, you have the data on that, right?
The April 15th date, it will be up today. There was some reporting issues from the nursing homes for the 16th because we’re lagged a day. We’ll try to get that all up in the next day or so.
Speaker 8: (59:25)
Gov. Andrew Cuomo: (59:25)
Yeah. We’ve gotten some reports from certain hospitals, downstate specifically, Manhattan and Queens, about overwhelmed ICU beds and just staff. They’re just completely overwhelmed. Wondering if you guys are going to be focusing more on these high-needs hospitals and then also maybe utilizing more the Javits Center and USNS Comfort?
I also wanted to get your response. It looks like the president is also watching this press conference. He tweeted 13 minutes ago, quote: “Governor Cuomo should spend more time doing and less time complaining. Get out there and get the job done. Stop talking. We built you thousands of hospital beds that you didn’t need or use, gave large numbers of ventilators that you should have had and helped you with testing that you should be doing.” It goes on a little bit more. Wondering if you could respond to that and then also the question about the overwhelmed ICU?
Gov. Andrew Cuomo: (01:00:20)
Good. Good. Let’s respond to the president.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo: (01:00:25)
First of all, if he’s sitting home watching TV, maybe he should get up and go to work, right? Second, let’s keep a motion and politics out of this and personal ego, if we can, because this is about the people and it’s about our job. Let’s try to focus on that.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo: (01:00:46)
I have said repeatedly that when we were fighting for the additional capacity for a hospital system that the president moved very quickly. I applauded him for it. He brought the Army Corps of Engineers. He brought them up to build the Javits Center capacity, 2,500 beds. He’s wrong that it hasn’t been used, about 800 people have gone through Javits. To dismiss 800 people is disrespectful. But we didn’t use 2,500 beds because we didn’t reach the capacity. When he says, “Well, we built it, we didn’t need it.” It sounds like a suggestion is, well, it was a request by the state that wasn’t valid. If he didn’t really believe 2,500 beds was necessary, I don’t believe the federal government would’ve helped build 2,500 beds. The number came from a projection from him. Him. See, he should read the reports he issues.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo: (01:02:01)
The White House Coronavirus Task force had enormous, projected in the millions of people. The CDC, which is the president, projected in the millions of people. The projections were high. They were the president’s projections. For him to say to anyone, “Well you relied on projections and the projections were wrong,” they’re your projections, Mr. President. Were we foolish for relying on your projections, Mr. President? CDC, Coronavirus White House Task Force, that’s you. White House. That’s you. We relied on your projections. Okay, shouldn’t have relied on your projections. Actually, I think the President has a better argument, which is, yes, we built 2,500 beds because the projections said it could get that bad and because we work together, we flattened the curve and we didn’t hit the projection, which is actually what happened. But don’t suggest that anyone made a mistake relying on your projections or on Cornell, Columbia, McKinsey, et cetera.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo: (01:03:32)
Second, I have said a number of times, I don’t know what am I supposed to do? Send a bouquet of flowers. They were very helpful on Javits. They were very helpful on sending the US Navy Ship Comfort. They were very helpful in intervening with China and getting PPE equipment out of China. They were very helpful in helping us find ventilators. I said, “Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.”
Gov. Andrew Cuomo: (01:04:05)
Now, going forward, we’re still in the midst of it. The president doesn’t want to help on testing. I said the one issue we need help with it is testing. He said 11 times, “I don’t want to get involved in testing. It’s too complicated. It’s too hard.” I know it’s too complicated and it’s too hard. That’s why we need you to help. I can’t do an international supply chain. He wants to say, “Well, I did enough.” Yeah, none of us have done enough. We haven’t, because it’s not over.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo: (01:04:42)
Yes, thank you for the Javits. Thank you for the US Navy Ship Comfort. But it’s not over. We have a lot more to do. No one can take the posture, “Well, just say thank you for what I’ve done and I’m now out. I’m not doing anything else. I’ve done my part.”
Gov. Andrew Cuomo: (01:05:03)
What if I said to the people of my state, “Okay, I’m done. By the way, I saved hundreds of thousands of lives. I flattened the curve. I created more hospital beds than anyone ever imagined. I coordinated the entire state. I’m done. I’m done. I’m going home. I’m going to go see my mother. I’m going to go spend time with my kids. I’m going to go out fishing in Connecticut because their marinas are open. That’s it. I’m done.” What if I said that? That’s what he’s saying. “I’m done. I don’t want to help on testing. Testing is too hard.”
Gov. Andrew Cuomo: (01:05:37)
Then the only thing he’s doing, let’s be honest, “Well, it’s up to the states to do reopen. By the way, it was always up to the states. What are you going to grant me what the Constitution gave me before you were born? It’s called the 10th Amendment. I didn’t need the President of the United States to tell me that I’m governor. I didn’t need the President of the United States to tell me the powers of a state. People did that-
Gov. Andrew Cuomo: (01:06:03)
The powers of a state. People did that. Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison. They are the ones who gave me the power and I don’t need the President of the United States to read the constitution for me. Maybe he should have read the constitution before he said he had the power to open the states. Where he did a very graceful 180 and many people allowed him to do the graceful 180. But so he now says it’s up to the governors which he said repeatedly now, yesterday, version of yesterday. And now it’s up to the governors to reopen. Okay, I’m going to reopen. I get it. And you don’t want to help on testing, which is a national problem and replicates the same chaos that you created with medical supplies because FEMA wasn’t ready. By the way, I needed a stockpile. Where was your stockpile? 10,000 ventilators for the nation?
Gov. Andrew Cuomo: (01:07:04)
That was your stockpile? Were your projections, the federal projections, said they would need double the hospital capacity of this nation. Think about that. The CDC says double the hospital capacity of the nation. The minimum projection was 2.4 million hospital beds. You know how many hospital beds we have in this nation? 900,000. His projection says 2.4 million hospital beds. The whole hospital system is only 900 and his stockpile has 10,000 ventilators. You were ready with your stockpile, didn’t you read your own CDC projection? Didn’t you read your own Coronavirus protection?
Gov. Andrew Cuomo: (01:08:06)
So, thank you again Mr. President for the Javits. Thank you for the US Navy ship Comfort, which by the way, it’s just doing your job as president. It’s not really thank you like you wrote a check yourself, but thank you for that. We’re not out of the woods. We have to go forward. We need help on testing and we need funding. It’s up to the governors. It’s up to the states. Well then, provide the funding. No, they only want to pass a bill that funds their Small Business Fund called PPE. Their Small Business Program. We need to fund the Small Business Program. But, you’re going to say after just saying this monumental task is up to the individual governors and the individual states, I’m providing no help, no assistance, no financial money. I understand that small businesses need the funding. By the way, I know that airlines need a bailout, but not the states. Why don’t you show as much consideration to states as you did to your big businesses and to your airlines? Right?
Speaker 10: (01:09:35)
Did you guys speak yesterday or this morning after he announced the May 1st?
Gov. Andrew Cuomo: (01:09:39)
Speaker 10: (01:09:39)
No, you haven’t talked at all?
Gov. Andrew Cuomo: (01:09:41)
After he announced the May what?
Speaker 10: (01:09:42)
After he announced the May 1st reopening of-?
Gov. Andrew Cuomo: (01:09:46)
No, he didn’t announce anything. He said it’s up to the states. That’s what he said. And if you say it’s up to the states and you just hold up a big microphone that can listen to all the governors, you’ll hear some governors say, I can start to reopen right away because some governors are in places where they don’t have a serious problem. They never did. By the way, some states never even closed down. So, if you’re in a state that has a de minimis issue, yeah, then you can open up faster. You can open up tomorrow or you can start opening up tomorrow. He’s doing nothing. He said it’s up to the states. It’s up to the governors, which is what it always was because it’s always been the governor’s power.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo: (01:10:35)
And then he says, this is a 50 piece puzzle. Oh no, no. That’s called the map of the United States. It’s not a puzzle. And those lines are called states and those states have constitutional power. Remember the way this whole thing starts? The colonies create the federal government, not the other way around. So, introduction to constitutional theory and policy. The states have the power to open. The states are opening on their own timelines. We’re trying to coordinate with our neighboring states. Western States are coordinating. Middle States are coordinating. All he’s doing is walking in front of the parade, but he has nothing to do with the timing of the parade, right? The governors are going to open when they think they should open. All I’m saying is there’s two things they need help from. They need help from the federal government. Two things. Help on testing, because states can’t do that and I don’t want to redo the mayhem of the PPE debacle.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo: (01:11:50)
Second point, we need funding to do it. And the way you love talking about how you funded everything, big businesses are all getting bailed out, airlines are getting bailed out, bail out, bail out, bail out, all the taxpayer’s money, state governments, which are the only ones who are doing this whole reopening, they’re going to need funding, right? And we’ll show gratitude. How many times do you want me to say thank you? But I’m saying thank you for doing your job. This was your role as president, okay? So that’s the honest statement of fact, without politics, I’m not running for anything, I have no agenda but delivering for the people of this state and without ego. You want me to say thank you. Thank you for doing your job in helping build Javits and sending the US Navy Ship Comfort. Thank you for participating in a modicum of federal responsibility in a national crisis. Which you know is a national crisis because he declared a federal emergency. So, thank you for having the federal government participate in a federal emergency.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo: (01:13:21)
And thank you for help building Javits, 2,500 beds pursuant to your projection, your projection. And if you don’t agree with your projection, fire the head of the CDC, fire the White House Coronavirus Taskforce people because they did the projections. In case he forgot or didn’t read his CDC report. Just to be precise, March 13th, March 13th. So we’re well into it. CDC says 160 to 214 million Americans infected. That’s over half the population, CDC. 2.4 million to 21 million Americans hospitalized. 2.4 million bottom number, 21 million Americans hospitalized. March 13th, the CDC. 2.4, okay? Let’s say they’re a low number 2.4 to 21 which is a hell of a differential, right?
Gov. Andrew Cuomo: (01:14:52)
Either 2.4 or ten times 2.4. Thank you for that great projection. But anyway, let’s take their minimum number 2.4. How many hospital beds do you have? 900. Call it a million. So it’s two and a half times what your capacity is, right? We’re the state of New York, we have a 50,000 bed capacity. By their projections, what do we need? 150,000 beds. By the way, what did McKinsey say that we needed? 140,000 beds. They got it from the CDC. As it says on the screen. They got it from the CDC
Gov. Andrew Cuomo: (01:15:45)
That’s why we built 2,500 beds at Javits. Because we listened to you, Mr. President. And if we were foolish for listening to you, then shame on us. But, read your own report next time before you criticize it.
Speaker 11: (01:16:04)
Point on state spending, you mentioned at some point someone’s going to come knocking. Does that mean at some point the state might have to cut off state spending and what would that even look like?
Gov. Andrew Cuomo: (01:16:14)
So, right now we’re looking at our cash numbers. Our priorities are making payrolls, making sure we’re funding Medicaid, making sure we’re funding the pandemic. We have the resources to do that, but we’re putting in place cash spending controls to make sure that we can do that especially because of the delays in the tax filing dates. So because that moved from April 15th to July 15th, number of people that filed by April 15th was 7 million when we usually get about 10 million who would file. That’s about 30, it’s 30% off. Those that file, they’re probably getting refunds.
So the ones that didn’t file are most of that revenue. So we anticipate all of that revenue is going to move to July. We’ll be off about 10 billion in cash flow, so we’re going to put in place spending controls actively right now to make sure that we can continue on a cash basis. We will have to make reductions. As the governor has said multiple times, we have a revenue shortfall, even after the cash flow decline of between 10 and $15 billion. We’ll put out a financial plan that reflects that and then we’ll have to make reductions in the event that there is not federal revenue. New York City put out their budget yesterday. They were projecting a revenue shortfall of $7 billion, right? Again, ours looks like it could be up to double that number and in the absence of additional federal revenue, when we will have to make those reductions. And that’s consistent with what other large States are are seeing. [crosstalk 01:17:50]
Gov. Andrew Cuomo: (01:17:50)
Excuse me a second. Excuse me a second. Jimmy, you asked the question, right? We said we’re going to let people have the chance. Gareth, do me a favor. Can you put up the White House Coronavirus projection just so the president can read what he said? Who didn’t? Where were we [inaudible 01:18:06] Josefa?
Speaker 12: (01:18:06)
[inaudible 01:18:06] are pulling their loved ones out of these facilities because conditions have gotten so bad. Is it advisable to do that at this point and what more could the state do TO make sure that this situation doesn’t get worse?
Gov. Andrew Cuomo: (01:18:20)
Dr. Zucker: (01:18:21)
So we’re doing three different things there. We’re working on the issues of making sure that they have the necessary equipment. All the PPEs when they ask, we provided to them. We are also increasing on the issue of testing and we are also increasing staffing. And I think that’s the three most important things and if there’s any questions, we address that. We also have something called Covideo, which is an actually a virtual way to go through the nursing homes and to look to make sure that all the necessary things are being done, the proper ways of doing hand washing is happening, the proper ways of putting a gown on taking off a gown is happening. Whatever we need to do to help those individuals in the nursing home.
Speaker 12: (01:19:01)
Where is that equipment and stock coming from if we have shortages of PPE in hospitals already?
Dr. Zucker: (01:19:05)
We have staff, we have, obviously there are volunteers that we have worked with as well in the big pool of volunteers. But we’re working with each individual nursing home to address that. [crosstalk 01:19:16].
Gov. Andrew Cuomo: (01:19:17)
Could you finish Josefa?
Speaker 12: (01:19:21)
Well, where’s the PPE, the extra PPE coming from?
Dr. Zucker: (01:19:22)
Well, we contact them if there’s need for PPE. Look, we have stockpiles, we have supplies that we have and obviously masks and other equipment as well.
Speaker 13: (01:19:35)
Is that all information coming off of April 10th directive? Is there a newer one than that? To the nursing homes?
Dr. Zucker: (01:19:39)
There’s the April 10th directive.
Speaker 13: (01:19:44)
Is that the latest one?
Dr. Zucker: (01:19:44)
That’s the latest one, yeah.
Speaker 13: (01:19:44)
Gov. Andrew Cuomo: (01:19:44)
This is, excuse me one second. This is the, you saw the CDC projections. This is the federal government’s, White House, Coronavirus taskforce, January, February, March 31st of the projections. 1.5 to 2.2 million deaths without mitigation. 100 to 240, best case scenario. That’s the president’s projections. So Mr. President, if you want to point fingers, which I think is a mistake, you’re in the middle of the game, it’s only half time. Don’t be a Monday morning quarterback at halftime. Never works out well. And if you want to point fingers, we built more beds than we needed. Our only mistake was then believing your numbers and believing your projections. If that was a mistake, then I’m guilty. But, I thought New York State, relying on what you said would have been a safe assumption. I won’t make that mistake again. And it was your CDC and your White House Coronavirus taskforce that made those projections.
Speaker 13: (01:21:02)
Gov. Andrew Cuomo: (01:21:02)
Who didn’t a question? Sir
Speaker 14: (01:21:04)
Governor, you stated earlier that it’s undeniable that certain states have fewer cases than others and therefore it’s logical to reopen some states earlier. [inaudible 01:21:13] an answer. Is it possible, is it likely to consider reopening up certain parts of upstate New York before New York City?
Gov. Andrew Cuomo: (01:21:24)
That, my friend is a good question. I think it’s logical to think a reopening plan would take into consideration the differential in infection rates and overall hospitalization rate. It is a metaphor for the nation, right? Certain states now have a much different problem than other states. If you have less of a problem, you can reopen faster. That’s essentially true. And if you are in one state and parts of the state are in a different situation than other parts of the state, why can’t those parts of the state open sooner? I think they can. How much sooner? When? How do you do it? How do you phase it in? How do you do it in a way that doesn’t complicate or compete with the other parts of the state that aren’t doing it? Now you start to get granular and it starts to get tricky and that’s where we have to work through.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo: (01:22:26)
But the overall premise, I agree. And then you watch that infection rate and you do have parts of the state that are in a fundamentally different situation than downstate. Now, even those counties that are in a different situation because remember a county, if you’re looking for a region to open, because a county sometimes is hard. But if you’re looking for a region, you don’t really have regions in this state that have been immune because nobody’s immune.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo: (01:22:59)
So you’ll see pockets in almost every region. You talk about Western New York or Central New York and Mohawk Valley, you’ll see pockets in every region. You can find a county that is in a different situation. But what we have to think through is even if you started, if you did that, if you said, okay, that county starts to open up, what happens to all that pent-up demand from the rest of the state of people who are dying to get out of their house? And would you create inadvertently a problem for that place where you’d see all sorts of people descending there? Because that’s now opened, right? The first barbershop to open, there’s going to be a line going out the door. The first hair salon to open, right? The first, we were literally on the phone with my colleagues Marina to open, it’s going to.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo: (01:23:55)
So, that has to be thought through and that has to be coordinated. And we are on the cusp, we have to start to deal with these issues. But we’re just coming out of, we’re still in the midst of a public health crisis and just because the numbers are flattening, let’s not take our eye off the ball. Can you put up the Navarro memo just for kicks, just to make sure? CDC Coronavirus Task Force and Mr. Peter Navarro’s memo to the president, which the president said he never read. Peter Navarro says, 100 millions of Americans could be infected, as many as one to two million souls could be lost. So, whose projections were wrong? Head of the CDC, Peter Navarro and head of the White House Corona Task Force, fire them all. That’s what I say. Fire them. You know that show where the president did, you’re fired? If he wants to fire someone for projections, retake his TV career, those are the three documented.
Speaker 15: (01:25:17)
Fire the CDC? How would that work?
Gov. Andrew Cuomo: (01:25:17)
If he wants to blame someone for the projections, blame the CDC, Peter Navarro and whoever’s on the Coronavirus Task Force because it’s their projections. [crosstalk 01:25:29] Peter Navarro you can fire.
Speaker 16: (01:25:31)
Can you explain a little bit why this got under your skin today? You obviously are not pleased with what the president said.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo: (01:25:37)
No, no. It’s what when he said.
Speaker 16: (01:25:39)
But why this particular criticism? You guys have traded barbs in the past.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo: (01:25:43)
Well, this is an important moment. He’s saying he doesn’t want to provide funding to the states and he doesn’t want to help on testing and I can tell you the states can’t do it otherwise. And if this testing doesn’t work, that’s a serious problem. I don’t care about his politics but, if we don’t have federal help on testing, that’s a real problem. And I’m not going to go through the chaos that was created last time on PPE. Where people who were genuine heroes couldn’t get PPE because there was a lack of coordination and because everything was made in China. We’re looking at that situation with testing again. I can tell you that. I know enough to know that. Who didn’t ask a question? You have the last one.
Speaker 17: (01:26:34)
What types of businesses do you see being able to open their doors first when we do start to reopen? Restaurants? Would it be hair salons? Maybe limiting the capacity? What specific types of business?
Gov. Andrew Cuomo: (01:26:47)
Yeah. We’re not there yet. That’s what we have to work through. Where, what and when. Where, what and when. Thank you guys.I’m going to work. [crosstalk 01:26:57] I’ll see you tomorrow.