Oct 18, 2020

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo Press Conference Transcript October 18

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo Press Conference Transcript October 18
RevBlogTranscriptsAndrew Cuomo TranscriptsNew York Gov. Andrew Cuomo Press Conference Transcript October 18

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s October 18 press conference. He addressed COVID fatigue and vaccine distribution. Read the transcript of his briefing with coronavirus updates for New York here.

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Governor Andrew Cuomo: (00:14)
Happy Sunday. Today’s day 232, but who’s counting? I am. What’s next? What’s next? We’ve been at this COVID situation a long time. People want to know what’s next? Where do we go? Well, we come into the fall and then we come into the winter. In the fall, as predicted, if people listen to science, virus is going to become more aggressive. People going indoors, schools are opening, colleges are opening, less people are outside side. We have that issue, and then we have the “COVID fatigue” issue. COVID fatigue is, we’re doing this a long time, I thought it was a short term situation, it’s going on and on and on, and I’m getting tired of it, and I’m tired of wearing the mask, I’m tired of putting my life on hold.

Governor Andrew Cuomo: (01:10)
COVID fatigue can lead to less discipline, less compliance, bad time for that to happen when the virus is increasing, but we are ready for the fall. We announced our micro-cluster strategy, which is smarter, more sophisticated, more data-driven. It targets neighborhoods as opposed to regions. It’s not about the downstate region, upstate region, north country region. Pinpoint an actual neighborhood. Get to that cluster faster. And it’s less disruptive. It’s not all of Western New York, all of New York City. It’s this part of Brooklyn. It’s this part of Queens, this part of the Southern tier. So it’s not only better in terms of fighting the virus, it’s also easier on people because the restrictions are in a smaller area and you’re not disrupting the larger population.

Governor Andrew Cuomo: (02:18)
After the fall, and I believe these micro-clusters, you will see continue through the fall and they’ll change. You’ll have little pop-ups of viral spread where you have to move fast, jump on top of that viral spread cluster, that micro-cluster, and they’ll change over time as we work through the fall. Then we come to the winter and hopefully the last chapter of COVID is this winter. Knock formica. And last chapter of COVID this winter, we’ll introduce the VAP. Do we know what VAP means? No. Okay.

Governor Andrew Cuomo: (03:04)
So we go to the semi-official post-COVID-19 dictionary because there are new words and terms that have been used post-COVID that didn’t exist, or words that existed pre-COVID, but have a different meaning post-COVID. So we have a semi-official post-COVID-19 dictionary, and you can go to this dictionary and look up post-COVID terms. Blursday, when all the days of the week start to blur together. So you just become Blursday, you don’t have a Wednesday, you don’t have a Thursday.

Governor Andrew Cuomo: (03:34)
COVID-15, the weight gained by stress, boredom, eating during the pandemic can be COVID 15, there’s also COVID-20, there’s a COVID-25, but we’re looking, herd immunity. Two types of herd immunity. You have to be careful when people say herd immunity, one type is when people herd immunity, H-E-R-D, when enough people are immune from the virus that the community becomes immune. There’s H-E-A-R-D, heard immunity. When someone mistakenly believes they’re immune because someone told them that they’re immune. I heard that I’m immune. Two different immunities. But the surge and flux VAP.

Governor Andrew Cuomo: (04:20)
VAP is the Vaccine Administration Program, a strategy to ensure that distribution and administration of a safe and effective COVID- 19 vaccine to all New Yorkers. That’s the VAP. This semi-official dictionary is still in compilation. If you have any suggestions, we are taking them as we’re putting together the full dictionary.

Governor Andrew Cuomo: (04:44)
The Vaccine Administration Program, we have a draft of a plan that we are circulating today, and we’ve sent to the federal government, that starts the administration planning process for a vaccine. As you know, we believe there’s going to be questions about the safety of the vaccine. So we put together a special New York task force team of experts. I’m going to ask them to review any vaccine before I recommend it to the people of this state. I think that will get people added surety in the vaccine, but we are coming up with a plan on many presumptions. We don’t really know how many doses we’re going to get. We don’t know what vaccine we’re going to get. We don’t know when we’re going to get it. So this is all preliminary, but we would prioritize the vaccinations. The prioritization would be based on risk, and essential workers would have a priority, and people at risk would be prioritized.

Governor Andrew Cuomo: (05:54)
And we’d set up a matrix by that regards, and there’d be several phases to the administration of the actual doses. We’re working with our health care partners all across the state. This is going to be a massive undertaking. Hospitals, urgent care facilities, primary care facilities, pharmacies, local Department of Healths, mobile units, mass vaccination sites. The state will have a statewide vaccination plan. We will do it in concert with the federal government. Federal government is in charge of producing the actual vaccines and distributing the vaccines. So the state’s position is we have to wait for the federal government to provide us the vaccines. What is the schedule, how many, et cetera.

Governor Andrew Cuomo: (06:54)
On the state side, within the state, we will have one statewide vaccination plan and the local governments will participate through the state. So it’s federal to the state. We have to work that out. Local governments will participate through the state. We have 62 counties. We’re not going to come up with 62 county plans. We have 1,527 cities in New York State. We’re not going to have 1,527 different city plans. There’ll be one statewide plan, and the key is going to be working that out with the federal government. But, big but, B-U-T: states cannot do this on their own, period. This is a massive undertaking. This is a larger operational undertaking, I would argue, than anything we have done during COVID to date. This is a more complicated undertaking and task. And we need the federal government to be a competent partner with this state, and with every state. Think about it. 20 million people in this state. Most of the vaccinations they’re talking about now require two vaccinations, two dosages. Depending on which one, 21 to 28 days in between. You would have to organize an effort to vaccinate everyone once, record when they were vaccinated with what vaccine, bring them back 21 to 28 days later to get that same vaccine. There will be several vaccines that are available.

Governor Andrew Cuomo: (08:55)
The storage of the vaccine would have to be at -80 degrees. There’s a question about how many refrigeration units are even capable of doing that. There’s going to be trust issues about the vaccination, and there’s going to be conspiracy theories, and they’re going to be rumors, and there’s not a lot of trust, let’s be honest, in the federal health organizations right now. And before people let you put a needle in their arm and inject something, they’re going to be serious questions. And then people are going to want to know, “Well, there are several vaccines available, is one better than the other? Should I wait for the next one? Is this really the best one?” In context, what does it mean to do 40 million doses? Testing has been the main operational nightmare for state’s government since COVID started. There’ve been a number of operational nightmares, but the single largest has been testing.

Governor Andrew Cuomo: (10:05)
We have mobilized the entire state, county governments, city governments, town governments, hospitals, pharmacies. We do more testing than anyone else in the country. How many tests have we done from the time COVID started? With all of it, we’ve done 12.9 million tests. 12.9 million tests. Great. More than any state pro rata. 40 million vaccines. The test for COVID is the nasal swab, and it goes to the laboratory and the laboratory tells you the results.

Governor Andrew Cuomo: (10:49)
A vaccine is more intrusive. Roll up your sleeve, I’m going to give you a needle. Everything we’ve done, seven months it took us to do 12 million tests. How long is it going to take to do 40 million vaccinations or 20 million vaccinations? So it gives you a scale of how daunting this task is.

Governor Andrew Cuomo: (11:18)
The National Governor’s Association sent a letter to the President of the United States. I am the Chairman this year of the National Governors Association. Last year, I was the Vice-Chairman. We asked to meet with the President to discuss how this is supposed to work between the federal government and the states. Today, the NGA is releasing a letter, which is a compilation of questions from governors all across the country. Democratic governors, Republican governors, 36 questions from the governors sent to the White House. Basically, how does this-

Governor Andrew Cuomo: (12:03)
… to the White House, basically, how does this work? We understand the concept, but how does it work? Some of the questions, how will the vaccine be allocated to states? What formula is used? In other words, are you going to allocate it by infection rate? Are you going to allocate it by number of cases of COVID? Are you going to allocate it by population? Who determines how many each state gets? What’s the basis that you’re using? Is there a national strategy on the prioritization? In other words, is the federal government going to say, “I think nursing homes should get it first. I think nurses should get it first. I think doctors should get it first. I think anybody over 70 should get at first?” Is the federal government going to do that prioritization? Can they tell us if they’re going to condition the release of vaccines, right? The vaccines are controlled by the federal government. Are they going to turn around and say, “Well, we won’t give you the vaccines, New York State, California, unless you do X, Y, Z.” Right? And can we know that now? Is there multi-state coordination? On our own, during COVID, we coordinated with the Northeastern States, New Jersey, Connecticut, et cetera. Is there a multi-state coordination piece here or is everybody on their own? Am I responsible for all of New York and there’s no connection to New Jersey, there’s no connection to Connecticut, there’s no connection to Pennsylvania?

Governor Andrew Cuomo: (13:51)
And who is going to pay to do this? New York State is already $50 billion in debt between state and local governments and they have not passed legislation on the state and local relief. If the state has a deficit and the local governments have a deficit, we can’t fund essential workers. That’s who gets cut when you cut state and local governments. Now you’re going to want us to undertake this vaccination program, which frankly requires more essential workers, not less.

Governor Andrew Cuomo: (14:34)
They’re talking about a vaccine possibly in December. You know, we’re here in October. This is just a few weeks to plan this massive undertaking. Let’s learn the lessons from the past seven months. Otherwise, we’re going to relive the nightmares that we have lived through, right? Let’s not repeat the mistakes of March, April, May. “China virus, China virus, China virus.” No, it was a European virus. It came from Europe.

Governor Andrew Cuomo: (15:17)
“Well, the only people who can spread it are symptomatic people, it’s when they sneeze, when they cough.” No wrong, it was asymptomatic people and we weren’t told that. So we never screened asymptomatic people and that’s how the spread continued because we thought it was only people with symptoms because we were told that.

Governor Andrew Cuomo: (15:46)
“Well, you need to wear masks,” but we couldn’t find masks, and we couldn’t find PPE. You had states competing with other states to buy masks and gowns from around the world. “Well, we have to test.” “Okay, but there are no test kits and there were no supplies and there were no Q-tips and there were no ventilators and there were no reagents.” We can’t go through that same confusion again.

Governor Andrew Cuomo: (16:18)
It’s not a question of knowing what to do, it’s a question of knowing how to do it. We know what we need to do. We need to control the virus. We need to take more tests. Now we need to do vaccines. We know what we need to do. How do you do it? How do you deal with it? The devil is in the details. How wow do you administer 40 million vaccines in the state of New York? That’s the trick.

Governor Andrew Cuomo: (16:54)
Every body agrees with the concept, “Yes, vaccinate everyone.” Got it. How? How? And that’s the art form of government, by the way. That’s what separates words from action and rhetoric from results and talk from competence. How do you do it? And that’s what we have to focus on now. That’s what the governors are saying to the federal government. Why? Because the way the federal government has structured it, the States are in charge of the doing, right?

Governor Andrew Cuomo: (17:36)
This president got to the COVID situation. He said, “It’s up to the governors, up to the States.” I don’t even know how that works, by the way. It’s a nationwide problem, 50 States have it, but it’s not a federal response. The federal response is, “It’s up to you. Take charge governor, but I’m right behind you. Go get them. Go get them tiger.” Yeah, thank you very much.

Governor Andrew Cuomo: (18:07)
So again, I’m sure, what the federal government is talking about is will approve the vaccines, will appropriate the vaccines, we then deliver them to the state, you figure out how to do it. Who pays? Insurance companies? What happens for the uninsured people? How do I keep dosages cold, minus 80 degrees? Well, those are details. No, that’s the difference between life and death in a situation like this, and that’s where we have to get.

Governor Andrew Cuomo: (18:47)
Today’s numbers, positivity in red zone 3.19, statewide positivity without the over sample of red zones, one, statewide positivity with the red zones over-sample 1. 08, total tests 128, number of past new Yorkers, seven, they’re in our thoughts and prayers, 913 hospitalizations, which is down 16 ICU intubations. This is the red zone and the infection rates over the past week, you can see, by and large, we’ve made progress. Brooklyn, we started at 6.6, yesterday, we were 4. 9. Queens, 2.9 to 1.8, Rockland 12, nine, four, two. Again, these a weekend numbers, I take them all with a grain of salt, 12 to two sounds like almost incredible progress. So we’ll see what it is tomorrow. Orange, 24, 12, four.

Governor Andrew Cuomo: (19:55)
So anyway, the numbers are all moving in the right direction. That’s what the data shows. You know, this is not rocket science. It’s a virus. When you reduce congregate activity and people wear masks and people’s social distance and you enforce it, you stop the spread of the virus. That’s how it works. That’s how it’s always worked. You just have to do it. We’re going to watch the micro cluster data. We can adjust what is in that cluster. We can make it a little bigger. We can make it a little smaller. We can relax some regulations. We can increase regulations. We’ll do that all based on the data.

Governor Andrew Cuomo: (20:32)
Overall, we’ve been talking about the clusters, the clusters, the clusters, but statewide, we were at a 1.08, which is great. Great. When you look at the past two weeks, we have been remarkably flat. If anything, the numbers have been trending good. So that is great. Why? Because we’re so aggressive on the micro clusters. That’s why, because we’re so aggressive at every time you see the virus pop up, we run and hit it down. It’s like whack-a-mole, pop up in the Southern tier, run, bloop, pop up in Brooklyn. So it’s exhausting, but it’s also effective.

Governor Andrew Cuomo: (21:24)
Skiing? We talked about the winter. Once we start talking about the winter, skiing comes up. Ski resorts will be allowed to open 50% indoor capacity beginning November 6th. You have to socially distance when you ski. If you ski New York this year, not only do you have what I think is the best skiing in the United States of America, I know people talk about Aspen, Colorado, Wyoming. No, no, no.

Governor Andrew Cuomo: (21:58)
There are significant ski professionals who will say skiing in New York is better than skiing anywhere in the country. They happen to be personal friends of mine, but they will say that. But there’s an added benefit, if you ski in New York, not only do you have the best skiing in the United States, but you don’t have to quarantine when you come back, right? Go ski in one of these other states, then you have to quarantine for 14 days, ski for two, quarantine for 14.

Governor Andrew Cuomo: (22:37)
Last point is, I know COVID fatigue. I feel COVID fatigue. We all do, but we can do this. We can manage the virus. We’ve learned a lot and you know we can do this because we are doing it. We had the worst problem on the globe at one time. We are now managing the virus. Put our progress in context, New York is at 1.8. Other states would die to be as low as we are.

Governor Andrew Cuomo: (23:21)
Wisconsin’s at 24%. Florida is at 12%. Pennsylvania is at 9%. You know, the 1% is incredibly low, not even taking into consideration where we started, right? So we’re doing great. We know how to do this. I know we’re tired. I get it. But you can’t stop fighting until the battle is over. The battle is not over. So we just have to stay the course and we have to stay the course together. But it’s working. Questions?

Speaker 1: (23:57)
[inaudible 00:23:59]. Is a scenario where you would have refrigeration or …

Speaker 2: (24:03)
Is a scenario where you would have refrigeration or freezers set up at a Javits Center, at a Madison Square Garden or Barclays, and then you have lines of people, are you looking at it on that level if you get enough doses to do it that way, with military help, for example? How do you see it?

Governor Andrew Cuomo: (24:18)
Here’s the issue. We will do whatever we have to do. That’s who we are. That’s what we’ve always been. And we will do it. As soon as I figure out what they want us to do or what the task will require, we will do it. If we have to set up at schools, at gyms, at Javits Center, if we have to use the National Guard, whatever we have to do, we will do. My issue is, what do we have to do, federal government, and what are you going to do? And what do you expect the states to do? How many … Before I could get to your questions, or we could answer your issues, which are the right questions, are we going to get one million doses at a time? Are we going to get five million doses at a time? Do they all come in one week? Do they come over several weeks? Do we have to find the refrigeration equipment. Do you provide the refrigeration equipment? You need the answer to all these questions before you can come up with a real plan, and we don’t have enough of the answers.

Governor Andrew Cuomo: (25:34)
That’s why the governors, who, again, they were first charged with responsibility in COVID for management. Let’s be honest. It all was up to the governors. And they think, how do I have to now … What do I have to now do to do this? How do I accomplish the task? And the questions that the governors are asking the White House are the questions they need answered before I can come up with that plan. I have total confidence that we can do whatever we need to do, and I believe, New York arrogance, that we can do it faster, better than anyone else, or at least we’ll try to. But I don’t know enough to tell you I know how to specifically plan. And that’s what the questions to the White House are about.

Speaker 2: (26:29)
To follow- up, because remember when you had to buy PPE and you got the other states together to create a more viable marketplace-

Governor Andrew Cuomo: (26:38)
That is exactly right.

Speaker 2: (26:39)
… you’d have to do that again, possibly, if you don’t get these answers? Something like that?

Governor Andrew Cuomo: (26:43)
Well, would there be an advantage to a multi-state collaborative, which is one of the questions to the president. How does this refrigeration work? Does everybody have to create their own facility, or can we just have one massive facility? These are the kinds of, they sound detailed and tedious, but all of this was about the details. Testing. Do you close a school? Do you open a school? Can you target on the block level? It’s always about the details. It’s always about the details. And government normally is not good at details.

Speaker 3: (27:27)
Governor, one thing we do know is that President Trump will be in office at least until January 20th. What confidence do you have that you’ll get the kind of guidance you say you need?

Governor Andrew Cuomo: (27:42)
Look, am I confident about the competence of this federal administration or the substance of this federal administration? No. I mean, I think I’ve made that abundantly clear, but you do the best you can in every situation. I think what the NGA is doing, and the governors as a collective are doing, is right and smart. We’re learning the lessons from the first chapter. Answer the questions before we begin this journey. Let’s all be clear about what we’re talking about and what we have to accomplish and who does what and where is the handoff and how is it going to work? And then we’ll see. I hope the White House learns from the first chapter. I haven’t seen any evidence that they fundamentally changed their disposition. This is a president who still won’t say, “Wear a mask,” after every scientific expert tells him to tell people to wear a mask. This is a president who was a super spreader himself at the White House at the Rose Garden event. So, no, I don’t have a high level of confidence, but we do the best with what we can.

Speaker 4: (29:05)
When do you expect to hear something with regards to this, and what’s the next step if they don’t answer those 36 questions?

Governor Andrew Cuomo: (29:13)
We have a draft plan that we’re working on, but as we said, the draft plan is all based on very sketchy information. So I’m sure once we get the questions answered, then we can come up with a real plan. The governors have posed the questions directly to the White House. This did not happen in the first chapter of COVID. It was an iterative process in the first chapter. It was just sort of evolving. Here, the governors have framed the issue very tightly because the governors now know it’s going to turn to them. They know how this story works because they’ve gone through it. It’s not going to be that the federal government says, “Don’t worry. We’re going to administer it.” The chance of that happening is zero. [foreign language 00:06:09].

Governor Andrew Cuomo: (30:10)
The federal government is going to wind up saying, “It’s up to you, the states.” We learned that lesson. So the governors are saying, “Before you get to the shift of responsibility, we need to know, have these questions answered.” And again, the National Governors Association, not a political organization. There are Democratic governors, there are Republican governors, and these questions are not political questions. They are questions that anyone would ask. A high school student who was posed with this challenge, design a program to administer vaccines, would ask the same questions.

Speaker 5: (30:54)
On a different topic. You talk about first chapter, and part of that first chapter, we had COVID deaths in nursing homes. So right now we have a demonstration in Cobble Hill where they would like more transparency, they say. They would like an apology and assurances that in the future, in a second wave, it would be different. Any reaction to that?

Governor Andrew Cuomo: (31:20)
If they want assurance … Well, people died all across this country and in this state. People died in nursing homes because the virus preys on the old and the weak. We know that. The virus was introduced in this country, in the state of Washington in a nursing home. Everyone, I believe, did everything they could to save lives, and New Yorkers were heroic, specifically in nursing homes. We still have the most aggressive safety program in nursing homes in the country. We test every nursing home worker once a week. What happened in nursing homes was the virus got into nursing homes from staff who had the infection and at a time when nobody knew it, before we had any testing capacity. And frankly, back when this country was saying, “You have to be symptomatic.” So nursing home workers who were not symptomatic, they went to work.

Governor Andrew Cuomo: (32:51)
The only ones who we advised not to go to work were symptomatic because that’s what the federal government said. It’s you’re sneezing, you’re coughing, et cetera. If you’re not sneezing, if you’re not coughing, if you’re not symptomatic, they told us you couldn’t spread. That’s how it got into the nursing homes. Also it may have gotten into nursing homes early on by family visitation on the same theory. The nation was told only symptomatic people can spread it. So family members who were not symptomatic went to nursing homes to visit. That was before we knew better. Then weeks later we learned, no, no, asymptomatic can spread, et cetera. Then we develop more testing later on, so then we can actually test nursing home workers, et cetera.

Governor Andrew Cuomo: (33:49)
But can anybody say, would we be better prepared for a second wave? Yes, all across the board, we’ve learned a lot. But can anyone say if another virus that targets the weak and the seniors, that you can keep them 100% safe? Nobody can say that. And if they say that to you, they’re lying. Unless you took a nursing home and put it in a hermetically sealed bubble, no staff going in and out, no delivery people, no plumbers, no electricians, no supplies coming in. You can’t stop the virus from spreading once it’s in the American home. Once it got inside these borders, you cannot hermetically seal any area. Even with our most aggressive program in the country, test every worker once a week. Nobody else does that. Yeah, you could be tested once a week. You could still get the virus in between those two tests and you could still bring it in. There is no perfect system. But would we do everything we could to protect every life? Yes. You want to add anything, Melissa, on this?

Melissa DeRosa: (35:25)
No. I would just add to that, on the governor’s point, we’re struggling right now with a nursing home in Steuben County. We’ve had outbreaks with a nursing home up in the north country. There was a nursing home death in Westchester over the weekend. So even all these months later, even with the mandated testing once a week of all the staff, even with the 14 day you have to have no cases in a nursing home for 14 days visitation, and obviously there’s a lot of family that are upset or frustrated with that policy because they miss their loved ones, and understandably so. Even with everything we’ve learned, it still remains an enormous challenge and one that we take very, very seriously. And then you look around the country as of this-

Melissa DeRosa: (36:03)
… and one that we take very, very seriously. Then you look around the country as of this morning, 6,455 deaths in nursing homes in Florida. You look in New Jersey, over 7,200 nursing home deaths. You look in Massachusetts, it’s over 6,300 nursing home deaths. This is not a unique New York challenge, but we have taken the lessons that we learned in the spring while we were struggling to ramp up and applied them to the fall, to do everything we can to protect our most vulnerable.

Governor Andrew Cuomo: (36:27)
It was a political argument when advanced by this federal administration, advanced by political operatives at health and human services, because early on COVID was primarily in Democratic states when it started. Early on their response was, “This is a Democratic state problem. It’s a Democratic governor problem because the democratic governors are in charge and, by the way, look at how many people are dying in nursing homes.” They started that, which I think was it was cruel and mean because people who lost a person in a nursing home now have to hear, “Well, maybe their life could have been saved if government did something different.” The administration stopped saying that, you know why? Because now the other states, Republican states, red states are seeing the numbers go up. Today, they’re losing a disproportionate number in nursing homes. Today. Not seven months ago. Today. After seven months, they’re still losing a disproportionate number of nursing homes. So the administration stopped saying that. Right?

Governor Andrew Cuomo: (37:53)
Melissa’s point, go look at the numbers in Florida. How are you losing so many people in the nursing homes? They’re going to surpass us certainly seven months later, after you learned all the lessons. Now you have the tests. Now you know that people, asymptomatic spread is possible. You have all this information now. And, by the way, you have all these drugs that you didn’t have back then. The mortality rate, I believe, I haven’t looked at the numbers, there are more drugs to deal with this virus than they were seven months ago. We didn’t have the Regeneron therapeutics. How is it still happening that you’re losing people disproportionately in nursing homes all across the country? They won’t raise the political argument anymore because the truth is you’ll never solve that problem totally. They are old people with compromised immune systems and they are most vulnerable to the virus.

Speaker 6: (38:57)
Governor, the Borough Park activists are planning a protest against you and your policies tomorrow because of the cancellation of this large wedding. What is your response to that? Do you plan to have law enforcement there if there’s a large crowd?

Governor Andrew Cuomo: (39:12)
Yeah. Look, I understand. I understand their point. They had planned a large wedding and everybody was excited for the large wedding, and then the government says, ” You can’t have this large wedding.” How terrible. We were all excited about the large wedding. I get it.

Governor Andrew Cuomo: (39:38)
On the wedding itself, you can’t have a wedding now with 1000s of people. There is no safe way to do that. We know that. We know that a party with 100 people has generated issues, a bar with 75 people has generated issues. Right? You’re going to have a wedding with 1000s of people? But I understand that they wanted to have a wedding with 1000s of people. Yeah, I understand that. I understand there were college graduates who didn’t get to graduate college this year. My daughter, among them. I understand there are people who lost loved ones in nursing homes. I understand there are people who lost loved ones in a hospital bed and couldn’t even go see them while they were in the hospital. There’s been a lot of personal loss and a lot of personal sacrifice.

Governor Andrew Cuomo: (40:55)
I understand we’re tired, COVID fatigue, we’re tired of the sacrifice, but that is something we do as a community, and as a collective, and as a social responsibility to one another; that is the only way we stop the virus. The only way we stop the virus is by a collective. If one person in the collective wants to have a wedding with 1000s of people, that’s going to endanger you and you and you and you and you. We say we have to have some rules for the collective, and we’ll all sacrifice a little bit.

Speaker 6: (41:40)
Well, what about the protest? That they did a large protest with 1000s of people?

Governor Andrew Cuomo: (41:42)
They have protested. A day without a protest? I’m trying to think, when was the last day I’ve had without a protest? A day without a protest is like a day without sunshine.

Governor Andrew Cuomo: (41:56)
Look, people are unhappy about the rules. I get it. There are many people who are unhappy. I’m unhappy. I think we’re all unhappy.

Governor Andrew Cuomo: (42:15)
On the issues to be concerned about: I can’t go to work. I closed my business. I can’t go see a loved one in the hospital. My child hasn’t gone to school and I’m afraid is going to fall behind. I haven’t been able to see my mother and my father because they’re elderly and I’m afraid to see them. I really wanted to have a wedding with 1000 people. On this scale, I think, “I really wanted to have a big wedding,” isn’t at the top of the concerns. I couldn’t go to church. I couldn’t go to synagogue. I couldn’t go to work. I couldn’t go to the hospital to see my loved one. My child can’t go to school. I think those protests, I get 100%. I also get, “I wanted to have a big wedding.” I get it. My suggestion: Have a small wedding this year, next year have a big wedding. Invite me. I’d come.

Governor Andrew Cuomo: (43:25)
Thank you very much, guys.

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