Apr 26, 2021

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo COVID-19 Press Conference Transcript April 26

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo COVID-19 Press Conference Transcript April 26
RevBlogTranscriptsAndrew Cuomo TranscriptsNew York Gov. Andrew Cuomo COVID-19 Press Conference Transcript April 26

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo held a press conference on April 26, 2021 to provide updates on COVID-19. Read the transcript of his briefing with coronavirus and vaccine updates for New York here.

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Governor Andrew Cuomo : (00:00)
… we’ve made between upstate farms and people who need food during the COVID crisis has been fantastic. So it’s a pleasure to be with him, I want to thank him for his great job. I want to thank [inaudible 00:00:13] Troy whopping for his management of this fair, but also management of the fair during COVID where he is now just not been managing the fair, but also facilitating a mass vaccination site, which is not in the normal definition of a fair director, but he has stepped up and really done an amazing job. We have Assemblyman Bill Magnarelli, who’s been a long-term, great representative for this area, and I want to thank him. Assemblyman Al Stirpe, I want to thank him very much. They just did a state budget, I think it’s probably one of the most formidable budgets that we have done ever. It invests in New York, it rebuilds post COVID, fixes much of the pain that was done during COVID and also opens up a new chapter for the future of New York.

Governor Andrew Cuomo : (01:17)
So I want to thank Assemblyman Magnarelli, and Assemblyman Stirpe, for that. I want to thank the vendors who were here with us on the State Fair, I’m going to have an announcement on that in a moment. Let me just give you a quick update on the COVID numbers, because this is all interconnected, the State Fair, businesses opening and the COVID positivity and the vaccination progress for COVID. The statewide average on COVID yesterday was 2.39%. 41 New Yorkers passed away yesterday from COVID, they’re in our thoughts and prayers. Those two facts work together, 2.39 is a great progress on reducing the positivity rate of COVID, but the fact that 41 New Yorker’s passed away, also makes the point that we’re not out of the woods and people are still dying, so take it seriously.

Governor Andrew Cuomo : (02:24)
We had 3,100 New Yorkers hospitalized for COVID yesterday. That is the lowest number since November 26th, which means we’re back to where we were before Thanksgiving, before the holidays, which is good news. 729 COVID patients in intensive care, that’s the lowest number since November 30th. 454 intubated, that’s the lowest number since December 4th. So great progress on the positivity numbers. Statewide, we see a variance in the positivity. That shows you the nature of COVID, what is controlling the spread of COVID? We are, community by community. And you see a variance across the state, depending on how that community behaves and how seriously they take COVID. The range in New York, it goes from Western New York at 3.5% positivity, next is Finger Lakes, 2.7, Mid Hudson, 2.4, Long Island, 2.2, New York City, 2.2, Capital Region, 1.6, Mohawk Valley 1.4, North Country, 1.3, Central New York, 1.2. Congratulations, that’s great progress. Central New Yorkers, second only for the lowest positivity to the Southern Tier, which is at 0.8. Statewide, that seven day average is 2.1%, that’s the lowest level since November 8th.

Governor Andrew Cuomo : (04:11)
So the positivity is going down, vaccination rate is going up and that’s what we want to see. We have done now 14.5 million shots for New Yorkers, which has been great, great progress. 345,000 shots at the State Fair, let’s give the whole team at the State Fair and the National Guard a round of applause.

Governor Andrew Cuomo : (04:48)
On the State Fair, as the State Fair, to change an old saying, the fair must go on. The State Fair is special, it’s special to all New Yorkers. It’s a great institution. It’s the oldest fair in the United States, it’s the third largest fair in the United States. We’ve invested a lot of money in the fair. For many years, the State Fair was, let’s say, stagnant, and it was not developed to its full capacity. State Fairs, like any other business, any other enterprise, any other attraction, you have to update it. You have to invest in it. It has to grow. It has to evolve. And for a long period, the State Fair in New York stagnated. We changed that several years ago, we’ve done over $120 million investment, and let’s give Commissioner Ball and Troy a big round of applause for their good work.

Governor Andrew Cuomo : (05:51)
We have people from 28 states that visit the fair, people from over six countries. We have had record attendance at the State Fair over the past few years, showing that the investment and the growth in the fair has worked, it’s attracted more people, so we should be proud of that. And this year, the fair is going to go on. We’re going to understand the reality that we’re dealing with, but the fair will go on for the full 18 days, that’s August 20th to September 6th. We’re going to make some modifications in the planning, but we want the vendors, we want the public to know, and we want them to know now, that we are going to have our State Fair. A lot of planning goes into a place to have the State Fair, so we want the vendors to know now to plan to be here.

Governor Andrew Cuomo : (06:52)
We’re going to organize it a little differently. We’re going to have the fair set up in four areas, so we have a better sense of what the capacity is and what the crowd size is. We want to keep the crowd size at about 50%, so we’ll have four separate areas. Food and beverage, amusement, rides, concerts and the agricultural exhibit, and that will give us the ability to control the number of people who are coming and going. As I mentioned, it’ll be at 50% capacity is the current plan. The concert area will operate pursuant to the concert protocol.

Governor Andrew Cuomo : (07:39)
But we’re talking about operational rules that are starting August 20th, okay? That is months away from where we are today. If you would have ask me four months ago, would we have made as much progress as we made? I would have been dubious. So these are general operating principles, they will be revised between now and August. And if things keep going the way they’re going, they will be revised up, more capacity, more flexibility. If we keep that COVID positivity going down, we keep the vaccination rate going up, you’re going to see more and more economic activity and you’ll see that here at the State Fair also.

Governor Andrew Cuomo : (08:35)
So these are estimated guidelines to operate, but I believe they’re going to be adjusted up by the time we get closer to the actual fair date. So the main message is, the fair will be open, mark it on your calendar, start the plan to buy tickets and vendors start to get ready. And then as we get closer to the date, as I mentioned, we’ll have more specifics. But to give you an idea of how well the situation is going here in New York, we’re going to continue to increase the reopening, this is been conducted on the facts since we began. If you tell me what the positivity rate is doing, you tell me what the vaccination rate is doing, then I can tell you what the rate of reopening is. And as our positivity is coming down and our vaccination is going up, you’re going to see more reopening.

Governor Andrew Cuomo : (09:43)
Today, we’re announcing that outdoor stadiums can go from 20 to 33%, so we’ll increase the capacity in stadiums. Offices can go from 50 to 75% occupancy. Casinos can go from 25 to 50% occupancy.

Governor Andrew Cuomo : (10:02)
… those can go from 25 to 50% occupancy. And gyms and fitness clubs, 33 to 50% occupancy. And that is outside of New York City. So the arrows are all pointed in the right direction. We just have to keep the arrows pointed in the right direction. And that is a function of what we do. As helacious as this has been, as complicated as COVID is, with variants of interest, and this one and that one. It’s still simple in the final analysis. It is a virus and we know how a virus spreads because we’ve lived with them all our lives. If you take precautions within the family, when somebody gets a virus, you can make sure that other people don’t get the virus. I look at New York as an extended family. It’s the family of New York. We get vaccinated, we behave smartly, we will control the spread of the virus, which is just what we’re doing.

Governor Andrew Cuomo : (11:15)
This is personal great news for all of us on the state side. We’ve worked on the State Fair for many years, a lot of creativity, a lot of effort, a lot of growth, a lot of positive. So the sun is shining, it’s even going to be warmer in August, we believe. We don’t want to say anything definitively in the current times.

Governor Andrew Cuomo : (11:43)
But it’s excited, that the fair will go on. And as I mentioned, these are preliminary operating guidelines. I believe it’s only going to get better. With that, let me turn it over to Commissioner Richard Ball, who as I mentioned has done a great, great job. And then, you’ll hear from Assemblyman Bill Magnarelli, and then I’ll come back and we’ll take some questions. Thank you very much, Commissioner Ball.

Commissioner Richard Ball: (12:06)
Well, good morning. It’s great to be back at my home away from home, in Syracuse, at the fairgrounds here. Thank you, Governor, appreciate the introduction.

Commissioner Richard Ball: (12:29)
First of all, I’d like to take a moment and acknowledge some of our partners that are here with us today, standing behind me. They’ll wave to you as I call out their names. But it’s great to have Grazi Zazzara here, owner of Villa Pizze Fritte here, a familiar place on the fairgrounds. Matt McDowell, operator of the State Fair beer garden is here. [Waheed Alca 00:12:51], operator of the Rainbow Milk Bar and the Baked Potato Booth, also is here. Dan Giamartino, owner of Tully’s Good Times and the CopperTop Tavern is here. Trudy Lombard, State Fair dairy goat superintendent, is here as well. Paul and Karen Glenister, the operators of the Beef Barn are here. And Eileen Jensen, executive director of the New York Animal Ag Coalition, they operate the birthing center on the State Fair.

Commissioner Richard Ball: (13:19)
So it’s great to have so many partners here today, and all of you as well. I have to stop and just say, thank you, Governor, for your extraordinary leadership during this past year. And we all know that it has been a brutal year, but the people of New York, they fought valiantly. We fought hard to defeat this virus. And now, we’re on the cusp of actually doing that. I want to thank Troy Waffner for his dedication and his professionalism here. Troy, you and your team epitomize the very best in public service. I often say Troy is my right arm. He’s really my right arm and my left arm here. And thank you to Assembly Member Magnarelli and [Sturpy 00:14:03] for being here. And to our county executive for the leadership and frankly, the strong partnerships that we have.

Commissioner Richard Ball: (14:10)
But now, with today’s announcement, we have a very tangible result of the efforts that all of us in New York, the people of New York State, the governor, and that’s the return of the Great New York State Fair in person. It may look a little bit different than it did in 2019, but make no mistake, we’re back. And we all know that we’ve invested a lot in the State Fair. We’ve prioritized some investments here over the last several years to make sure that we do remain one of the leading fairs in the country.

Commissioner Richard Ball: (14:45)
Two years ago, the governor announced projects that would increase the future visitor access to the fair, including work on the Orange Lot Phase 2, which is now completed. And also investment in the idea of a green fair plan, with the goal of making the State Fair energy self-sufficient by 2023. We look forward to showing you those results and talking with you about that when you get back here in August. The fair plays such a vital role for all of us in connecting the dots and inspiring our children, our grandchildren, about the joys and the importance of agriculture.

Commissioner Richard Ball: (15:26)
As you know, agriculture was not canceled, was not postponed this past year. New York farmers showed their central role in New York’s economy and to our food supply chain. And I’m excited that in just a couple of months now, we’ll be able to connect those dots again, welcoming customers back to the New York State Fair. I expect this year, the fair will have a very special spirit about it. We can look forward to the sights, the sounds, the smells and the taste, once again of the New York Fair. Governor, thank you for your vision. Thank you for your leadership. Thank you for your commitment. Thank you for your enthusiasm. Thank you all. And now, it’s my pleasure to welcome my friend and your assemblyman, Assembly Member, Bill Magnarelli.

Assemblyman Bill Magnarelli: (16:25)
Okay. Well, thank you governor for being here today. It’s always an honor to have you in Syracuse and in the 129th Assembly District. And thank you to my colleagues in government for standing with us.

Assemblyman Bill Magnarelli: (16:39)
The past year has been incredibly painful for everyone. I grew up here in Syracuse. So one thing that hit close to home was canceling in-person attendance at the State Fair. The Great New York State Fair is the nation’s first and oldest state fair, and the largest state fair in the east. Not only is it a major economic boom to our region, but it’s also a major part of our community and our identity. We went from record attendance of over 1.3 million people here for the State Fair in 2019, to zero in 2020. It was painful, but that’s what we had to do to keep everyone safe during the pandemic. In that time, the New York State Fair never stopped its programming. There was drive-through fair food. There were fair at home contests. And of course, the famous annual butter sculpture. Still, nothing beats being able to visit the fairgrounds in person.

Assemblyman Bill Magnarelli: (17:51)
With the vaccine, we can finally see a light at the end of the tunnel. Thanks to the governor, we have had a state sponsored mass vaccination site here at the State Fair Expo Center, who would have thought when we built that, that’s what it would turn into. I encourage everyone to get the vaccine .under the governor’s leadership, we have also passed the budget, hardest budget we’ve ever done. But in every step of the process, we were thinking forward, not backwards. We’re not just looking for a return to normalcy. We’re going to build back better and work towards a bolder, brighter vision of the fair and for New York State.

Assemblyman Bill Magnarelli: (18:37)
The governor and legislature invested in projects to increase future visitors access to the fair has already been talked to by the commissioner, by including Orange Lot Phase 2 project completed September of last year. Also, the state has invested in the green fair plan, resulting in the fair expecting to be 100% powered by renewable energy by 2023, an incredible goal.

Assemblyman Bill Magnarelli: (19:10)
A few years ago, the governor led a transformation of the fairgrounds, investing over $100 million to create a facility that could host events throughout the year, that would draw people to the area. Since that time, we have seen record fair attendance. It mirrors investments to restore the iconic Hotel Syracuse and the Syracuse airport, creating a modern link to the nation. The state’s investment in Onondaga Lake, which now boasts both regattas, and the Onondaga Lake Amphitheater enhance the overall economic ecosystem of the region built around travel and tourism. The impact of the fairgrounds has been magnified. This strategy has been paying massive dividends. These are good examples of the governor and the…

Assemblyman Bill Magnarelli: (20:03)
Dividends. These are good examples of the Governor and the Legislature working together effectively, and the progress that we make when we work together for the people of the state of New York.

Assemblyman Bill Magnarelli: (20:12)
So, again, thank you, Governor, for your leadership and bringing Onondaga County to greater heights, and your support throughout the course of the pandemic, and for your vision of building back a better New York. Thank you.

Governor Andrew Cuomo : (20:30)
[inaudible 00:20:30]. Thank you for being here. Thank you. Thank you. Good to see you. [inaudible 00:20:42]. Thank you, Chris. Thanks.

Chris: (20:33)
Thank you.

Governor Andrew Cuomo : (20:47)
[inaudible 00:20:47]. Thank you very much.

Speaker 3: (20:53)
Thank you.

Governor Andrew Cuomo : (20:53)
Thanks. [inaudible 00:20:53] come in.

Governor Andrew Cuomo : (20:59)
The Assemblyman, Assemblyman Magnarelli, raises a good point. COVID has put so much on hold all across the state, but also community by community. We have made tremendous investments in Syracuse and Onondaga, and they are synergistic, right? Onondaga Lake, the Syracuse Airport, Hotel Syracuse, the state fair, they all work together. They’re separate investments, but they have a combined energy.

Governor Andrew Cuomo : (21:38)
And that’s another reason why it’s important to get this fare back up and running. It’s a tremendous magnet. Over $100 million in economic activity comes from operating the fair. And we’re talking about the fair, [inaudible 00:21:53] fair. Don’t forget, we have the Syracuse Nationals which are going to be here. I’ll be back. That’s July, right?

Assemblyman Bill Magnarelli: (22:03)
Third week in July.

Governor Andrew Cuomo : (22:04)
Third week in July. So COVID was truly devastating on many, many levels, but getting past COVID is also exciting. And the spring is here, and the renewal and the rebirth, and we have to get on with the task of making it a reality, which is just what we’re doing. Let’s take some questions.

Speaker 1: (22:29)
Governor, on the issue of sexual harassment, a number of women have obviously accused you of acts, including groping, including overt sexual harassment of employees. You have pled for people to take an investigation into account, but you were in those rooms, you know the truth. So can you tell the people of the state of New York yes or no, did you do the things you were accused of?

Governor Andrew Cuomo : (22:52)
No. No. And that’s what I said when people suggested… Yeah, to put it very simply, no.

Speaker 1: (23:01)
To all of [inaudible 00:23:02]?

Governor Andrew Cuomo : (23:02)

Speaker 1: (23:03)
The groping, the sexual harassment-

Governor Andrew Cuomo : (23:04)
That’s right.

Speaker 1: (23:04)
You’re denying all of that?

Governor Andrew Cuomo : (23:05)
That’s right. Yes.

Speaker 1: (23:07)
If Tish James’ report comes back and finds the contrary, considering that you’ve said zero tolerance for sexual harassment in this state, will you discipline yourself or consider resigning?

Governor Andrew Cuomo : (23:17)
Yeah, the report can’t say anything different because I didn’t do anything wrong.

Speaker 2: (23:21)
Governor, The New York Times put out a story a couple of weeks ago where they interviewed 80 people either close to you or have worked with you and, and they detailed accounts that you had said things like anti-trans slurs and also something to the effect of saying that Jews lived in effing tree houses. Did you say those things, and if not, why-

Governor Andrew Cuomo : (23:38)
I said any such things and I told The Times that I never said any such thing. They printed slurs and slander, and you’d have to ask them why they did that.

Speaker 2: (23:52)
Why would people say those things, that you had said them, if [crosstalk 00:23:54]

Governor Andrew Cuomo : (23:55)
People say a lot of things. People say a lot of things in politics. Why do people say things? Who knows. People are venial. People want attention. People are angry. People are jealous. Who knows why people spread rumors.

Speaker 4: (24:11)
Governor, today at the New York State Fair, there are hundreds of open vaccine appointments. There are thousands open at the Javits Center. Why not make some of these vaccine appointments walk-in, especially at these two super large venues?

Governor Andrew Cuomo : (24:29)
That is a very good question. And as you know, we have been gaging the opening of the vaccination centers to more and more people. We just opened it to 60 plus on Friday. Today’s Monday. On Friday, it went to 60 plus. A priority is getting older people vaccinated, and we wanted to make that point, right? Older people are more susceptible to problems from COVID. So we wanted to stress 60 plus, you’re a priority, you should receive. We opened it first two walk-ins.

Governor Andrew Cuomo : (25:13)
But you are right. What you’re seeing is increasing vacancies in mass vaccination sites. There’s a curve to this. We always had a population that said they were hesitant and they were going to be hesitant. Even that varies across the state and across the nation, but estimate that at 15, 20, 25, maybe as high as 30% of the population is hesitant. So what you see in the beginning is those people who are willing to take the vaccine, they came in and they’re taking it. And that’s why the number of vaccinations is going up. At one point, you’re going to start to hit that hesitant population.

Governor Andrew Cuomo : (25:59)
Now, we have such capacity in this state because we worked very hard to develop capacity. I don’t think we are at the hesitant population yet, but you see a slowing< there is no doubt, in the number of people who are coming in for vaccinations.

Governor Andrew Cuomo : (26:17)
So we’ll be doing two things. We’ll be adjusting the walk-in factor, making it easier for people to walk in, you don’t have to wait for an appointment, and we have to get information to that hesitant population. People have to make a decision on the facts. This is not political. This is not cultural. This is medical science.

Speaker 4: (26:47)
If people today wanted to come to the state fair without an appointment, could they drive up here today and get an appointment and get a shot?

Governor Andrew Cuomo : (26:55)
Well, you could get an appointment. It’s not a walk-in, but if there are appointments available like there are here, you can call and you can get an appointment, you can come in. So it’s not technically walk-in because you have to make an appointment first, but the appointments are available.

Speaker 1: (27:11)
Governor, on the issue of your book, you say that people in your staff volunteered to work on this book. Can you provide any documentation of that volunteering, such as opt-in letters or permission from council?

Governor Andrew Cuomo : (27:24)
The people volunteered to work on the book.

Speaker 1: (27:29)
Is there any documentation of that at all?

Governor Andrew Cuomo : (27:33)
Well, the inverse is also true. Do you know anyone who says that they had to work on the book who didn’t volunteer? Next question.

Speaker 1: (27:41)
But, sir, I don’t think that’s a satisfactory answer. If you’re saying that your explanation is that-

Governor Andrew Cuomo : (27:46)
Everyone who worked on the book volunteered.

Speaker 1: (27:48)
But there’s no documentation on that?

Governor Andrew Cuomo : (27:50)
I didn’t have them sign a volunteer form, if that’s what you’re asking.

Speaker 1: (27:53)
Is there any email traffic saying that they’re volunteering?

Governor Andrew Cuomo : (27:56)
Well, the inverse is true. Do you know anyone who worked on the book who says they didn’t volunteer?

Speaker 1: (28:01)
But, sir, it was a $4 million book deal for you, so-

Governor Andrew Cuomo : (28:04)
Yeah, do you know anyone who says they didn’t volunteer?

Speaker 1: (28:06)
But it’s a question-

Governor Andrew Cuomo : (28:07)
All right.

Speaker 1: (28:07)
It’s a question of state law.

Governor Andrew Cuomo : (28:09)
No, it’s not.

Speaker 1: (28:10)
It is.

Governor Andrew Cuomo : (28:10)
The question is did they volunteer, and I’m saying, yes, they volunteered.

Speaker 5: (28:14)
What’s the status of the investigation into the state’s handling of nursing homes throughout this pandemic and what have you handed over to the Department of Justice?

Governor Andrew Cuomo : (28:23)
They are doing a thorough review of the nursing homes situation. The nursing homes, what that is going to come down to in my opinion is the politics of COVID. And it was always a political debate. Frankly, it started between myself and President Trump about who was responsible for COVID.

Governor Andrew Cuomo : (28:51)
I believe the federal government was slow on COVID. I believe President Trump did not quickly or adequately address COVID. I think the state was left on its own during COVID. It became a very big issue in the presidential election last year.

Governor Andrew Cuomo : (29:14)
The federal government argued the opposite. They said it was the states who were at fault, said the Democratic governors were at fault, and questioned New York’s operation, Michigan’s operations, New Jersey’s operations, all Democratic states. The federal government then started in investigation on Democratic states, just Democratic states on nursing homes.

Governor Andrew Cuomo : (29:43)
So it became highly politicized. And who was to “blame”, it became a blame game during the campaign. And the political blame game, the federal government then actually turned into an investigation.

Speaker 5: (29:59)
[inaudible 00:29:59] the fact that the under-counted deaths that the Attorney General has released-

Reporter 1: (30:03)
… that the under counted deaths that the Attorney General had released in her report. Do you still believe that that is not the case? That everything was reported?

Governor Andrew Cuomo : (30:11)
The number of deaths in nursing homes, first, it is inconsistent all across the country. Different states counted it differently. State of Connecticut just did a report on the number of deaths in nursing homes. An outside report. Basically, what they said is different states counted it differently. And in the middle of COVID, the number was shifting dramatically. And the definition of a quote unquote nursing home death was shifting dramatically. Some states counted probable nursing home deaths. Probable as determined by a nursing home staff once they sent a person to a hospital. So there was a lot of gray.

Governor Andrew Cuomo : (31:03)
And most importantly, our concern was that the number was accurate. The number was always going to be what the number was, but making sure the number was accurate is what was important. Nursing homes were ground zero for COVID. We all knew that. That was true all across the country. And everybody knows we did everything we could in New York to keep people in nursing homes and every other facility safe. New Yorkers were heroes. And every life that could be saved, we did everything we could to save it. The number and the blame game and the finger pointing, that is just more of the ugly politics of the time. Let’s take one more.

Reporter 2: (31:48)
Governor, you invited female aides over to your mansion. Twenty-something year olds. One of them being, of course, you interacted with Charlotte Bennett. Do you regret inviting these female aides over, often to help you with technology, your phone, especially after the multiple allegations of sexual harassment against you?

Governor Andrew Cuomo : (32:03)
No. No. I have many women who were working in state government. I’m very proud that we probably have more women in senior positions than ever before. And I think that is a good thing. And I think we should encourage people to hire more women in state government, in private practice, in private businesses, and bring them to the highest levels. Thank you very much. You have the last one. [crosstalk 00:32:33]

Reporter 3: (32:34)
Will there be vaccines required to enter? Will people have to-

Governor Andrew Cuomo : (32:38)

Reporter 3: (32:39)
No? And for vendors who pay money, how will the economics work if they’re only guaranteed half of the customer base?

Governor Andrew Cuomo : (32:49)
You want to speak to this [inaudible 00:32:50]?

Speaker 6: (32:52)
Certainly, as we started planning this out, we recognized that there is an issue with that. So our current plan is if we’re at a 50% capacity, then we’ll charge the vendors 50% of their usual rate to make it fair for everybody.

Reporter 3: (33:05)
And Governor, in terms of the curfew, what data backs up closing a bar at midnight as opposed to two in the morning?

Governor Andrew Cuomo : (33:11)
Well, there is no doubt that if you asked the national experts, they will say that is a source of spread, and one of the more significant sources of spread. We’ve changed the curfew. I am very aggressive. I want to reopen everything tomorrow, right? That’s what I would want to do. Get people back to work, get people out of their homes, get everything back to normal tomorrow. The balance is that COVID positivity rate, rate of vaccination, and 41 people died yesterday. Right?

Governor Andrew Cuomo : (33:47)
When people say, “We’re past this. It’s over,” then you have to say to them, “41 people died.” 41 people died. You can’t just dismiss that. We’re not past it. We’re getting past it, but we’re getting past it because we’re smart and we’re doing smart things and you’re wearing a mask and we’re social distancing and people are getting vaccines and we have to address the hesitancy problem. That’s why we’re making progress. But to say, “Forget all that, just act like it’s over,” that’s how it comes back-

Reporter 3: (34:26)
But ten to midnight is less of a source of spread than midnight to two?

Governor Andrew Cuomo : (34:31)
Yes. Yes. Look, the more we can open, we are. Right?

Reporter 3: (34:38)
Governor, the issue-

Governor Andrew Cuomo : (34:39)
Let someone else ask a question. One more question. Sir? Sir. Excuse me, Bernadette, you had a number of questions. Let me get someone who didn’t have a question.

Reporter 4: (34:47)
You’re expanding capacity at outdoor stadiums, but not indoor stadiums like the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, where graduation of our SU students is just about a month away. Do you expect there might be an expansion of capacity in indoor stadiums so in a month, when there is that graduation, there might be more guests than are allowed at the moment?

Governor Andrew Cuomo : (35:05)
We changed the indoor stadium rules recently. And look, if we keep … just changed the additional rules. More reopening today. If we keep the progress, if we keep being smart, you will see a continual reopening. I have a graphic I do on the PowerPoints. Nobody likes the graphic. I think maybe Commissioner Boyle likes it. It’s a valve and a number of gauges and a plumbing system. Gauges determined COVID positivity, vaccine rate, number of deaths. When the gauges go down, open the economic valve. And that’s what we have been doing. But we’ve been doing it because the metrics have been coming down. So we have to stay smart, keep being responsible, keep our civic duty, and we’ll keep reopening. I’m going to go to work. Thank you guys. Thank you very much.

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