Jun 14, 2020

NY Governor Andrew Cuomo June 14 Press Conference Transcript

Andrew Cuomo Press Conference Transcript June 14
RevBlogTranscriptsPolitical TranscriptsNY Governor Andrew Cuomo June 14 Press Conference Transcript

Governor of New York Andrew Cuomo held a press briefing on June 14. Cuomo threatened to “reverse” reopenings in certain areas due to widespread social-distancing violations. Read the full news briefing speech transcript here.

 

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Governor Andrew Cuomo: (00:02)
Hello, hello, hello. Good morning, good morning, good morning. Beautiful Sunday morning in beautiful Albany. Today’s day 106. To my right, everybody knows Robert Mujica. To my left, everybody knows Melissa DeRosa. Day 106 since the coronavirus crisis befell New York. Day 21 since Mr. Floyd’s murder. We’re handling both situations, they’re both different, they’re both complicated, they’re both critical. And then you have an intersection between the two where they actually affect each other.

Governor Andrew Cuomo: (00:40)
Let’s talk about COVID first. New York State has been following the data and on the numbers we are making really great progress. And today is another great day in terms of achievement by New Yorkers. We’re looking now at the daily testing numbers most importantly. We started reopening. We’re looking for a reaction to the reopening, that’s what we’re focused on.

Governor Andrew Cuomo: (01:06)
And you’ll see the immediate reaction to a reopening in the daily testing numbers. 50,000 tests state-wide every day, plus or minus. Watch that daily testing number. Day-to-day, New York City, 1.5, 1.7, 1.5, 1.7, 1.4 yesterday. You are looking for basic consistency. If it goes down, that’s great. If it goes up, that’s bad, you’ll see an up and down, but if you see a tick up, tick up, tick up, tick up, then start to worry. You watch the individual regions, and then you can look at your county and see where your county is within that region. New York City, for example, which we’re watching closely because it just reopened and it is a volatile situation. But you look at the Bronx, 2.1, 2.4, 1.6, 1.8, 1.4. You see the numbers of basically consistent all across the board. Staten Island, you have a tick up that can be a Saturday aberration, but we’re watching it.

Governor Andrew Cuomo: (02:22)
Total hospitalizations, lowest level since we started this horrific journey. So that is great news. 1600 hospitalizations, great news. Number of deaths, lowest number ever. 23 are in our thoughts and prayers, but as the health experts tell me, when the number gets this low, it’s basically a question of how people are recording a cause of death across the nation. And you have situations where a person dies from multiple causes. You could put down COVID, you could put down cancer, you could put down heart disease. So at one point it becomes fairly random, and we’re basically at that point. But this is really great news.

Governor Andrew Cuomo: (03:21)
This is caused a lot of New Yorkers a lot of pain. I know everyone at this table has felt that pain with them. So we breathe a deep sigh of relief today because of all the numbers we’ve been talking about, that’s the one number we can’t change. That is the one number we can’t fix, which is the number of lives lost. So personally, that is great news. We just have to keep going now and we will.

Governor Andrew Cuomo: (03:52)
We’re going to expand the timeline to enroll in our health exchange. We’re going to extend that another 30 days. That health exchange works. We have one of the highest rates of health coverage ever in this state. It is a great, great accomplishment, and we want to keep it going and get it even higher. So we’re extending the deadline. We’re also opening low-risk youth sports in phase three. Young people can engage in sports, two spectators per child. So that’s another step towards return to normalcy.

Governor Andrew Cuomo: (04:37)
Understand the facts. New York State is leading the nation’s reduction in the transmission of the virus. New York State, where we had the worst numbers on the transmission of the virus, worst numbers on the number of cases. Now has the best number in terms of reducing the rate of transmission. That is a startling turnaround that they will record in the history books. And when we get past this and we have a little perspective, they’ll look back and they’ll study how New York State did what it did. And my answer’s going to be the same because New Yorkers rose to the occasion in a way nobody could have anticipated, and nobody did. You look at all those projection models early on, go ask yourself, “What happened? Why were all those projection models wrong?” Because there was a factor they didn’t consider, which is the resilience and the strength of New Yorkers. So we’re leading the nation.

Governor Andrew Cuomo: (05:52)
At the same time, you have another fact. The virus spread is increasing dramatically in post-reopening states across the nation. So hold two facts in your hand. One, New York is doing better than any state in reducing the virus. Fact. Another fact, states post-reopening are seeing a dramatic increase. Not New York, not yet. But that is a serious caution for us. And that’s what I am focused on. You look at the rate of transmission, New York, first dot all the way on the left, lowest rate of transmission in the nation. This is an independent website that has been started by the founders of Instagram, which we’ve been following. You see the states up at the top red, those are the States that have the highest rate of transmission. The green to red is at one or more because at one, transmission rate of one, they classify as the virus is in outbreak or in epidemic. So we have the best rate.

Governor Andrew Cuomo: (07:17)
But we’re seeing all across the nation, the same warning, new lockdowns, second wave, increase. WHO is talking about it, Dr. Fauci is talking about it, the CDC is talking about it. You couldn’t have more warnings from any additional sources. They’re even talking about Italy having a rise again, and Italy had a horrific situation. So if there’s a country that should be showing caution in the reopening, it is Italy. And you see this all across the globe. You cannot ignore it. These are facts. And if you ignore the facts, it’s going to be to our peril. I promise you that. The reason we made the progress was because we followed the facts, even though it was hard.

Governor Andrew Cuomo: (08:15)
Don’t disregard the facts. 22 states are seeing increases. And these are states that don’t have some of our inherent issues. They don’t have the density, they don’t have the population. They don’t have the crowding. And they’re seeing increases. It’s much easier to reduce the viral spread in states with smaller populations. It’s much easier to reduce the viral spread in states with less density and with less crowding, where you don’t have tall apartment buildings where everybody’s getting in the same elevator, or in the same lobby, or in the same park outside. We have natural obstacles to controlling the viral spread and we’re controlling it despite that. All right, so just here are the facts.

Governor Andrew Cuomo: (09:11)
Washington State, which had the first case in a nursing home, which was devastating, they’re seeing an increase in coronavirus cases. South Carolina is seeing it. Some states, Utah and Oregon are rolling back reopening. Imagine how devastating and dramatic an action that is. Imagine how dramatic and dangerous this situation has to be for a state to say, “We’re stopping the reopening.” What makes the determination? It’s what we do. It is our behavior. Nothing more, nothing less. While all the numbers are good, those numbers can change in a week. They can change in a week. You get undisciplined, you’ll see those numbers change in a week. And once they change, you can’t change them back that quickly.

Governor Andrew Cuomo: (10:15)
Now we’re getting reports from all across the state that there are large gatherings, social distancing is being violated, people are not wearing masks. We have gotten 25,000 complaints to the state of businesses that are in violation of the reopening plan. 25,000 complaints. We have never received more complaints in a shorter period of time. 25,000. Just think about that. What’s alarming about the 25,000 is the volume, but it also shows how smart people are and how offended people are that they’re calling and complaining. This is a time in history we’ve never seen before. Think about how concerned New Yorkers are not just to see the violation, but then to care enough, to come back and write a letter or call registering the complaint. You know why? They’re afraid for themselves. They walk past the business, they see the business is violating the rules, and they’re saying, “My health is jeopardized. My health.” And that’s why they’re complaining. 25,000. Especially at bars and restaurants. Okay? This is the situation and these are the facts.

Governor Andrew Cuomo: (11:54)
Well, they’re not being ethical, they’re not being moral, they’re not being good New Yorkers. Great. They’re also violating the law. This is a question of violating the law. Not just feel guilty. You’re violating the law, all right? And this is a very serious situation. And I want to make sure everybody knows the consequences here. A bar or restaurant that is violating these rules can lose their liquor license, State Liquor Authority inspectors are out. We have a task force of state investigators who are out. You can lose your liquor license, and that is a big deal for a bar or a restaurant. We are not kidding around with this. You’re talking about jeopardizing people’s lives. It’s a legal violation. And the SLA inspectors are out there. I am telling you that. I called a couple of bars and restaurants myself-

Governor Andrew Cuomo: (13:03)
I called a couple of bars and restaurants myself where I saw pictures of the situations that were in their bars and restaurants and I said to them, “You’re playing with your license.” There is no excuse … “Well, I told people and they did it, even though I told them.” You are responsible for the people in your establishment. There is no excuse, ” Well the local legislator told me I could do this.” No one can tell you that you can violate the law. There is nobody who can tell you that. “Well my brother said as long as … ” No, I don’t care what your brother said. You violate the law, you can lose your license, and you will. We’re not kidding around about this. If you are an individual, you can’t violate the open container law. There’s an open container law. You can’t stand on the sidewalk drinking a beer, you’re violating the open container law. The social distancing mask wearing, these are legal violations. Protestors and police, the law applies to you. “Well I’m protesting,” yeah, I understand that, you can protest. The law still applies to you. Police department, your job is to enforce the law, why don’t you follow the law? It’s a very bad signal when you see police people who are not wearing a mask and not following the law. How can you enforce the law if you’re not following the law, right? So wear a mask, and also to local electeds who are in charge of the police department, it’s your responsibility to make sure your police department follows the law. To local governments, you are responsible for monitoring the compliance with the reopening plan. That is the local government’s responsibility and we’ve been very clear about this from Day One. We go to Phase One, we go to Phase Two, we go to Phase Three, the local government is responsible for compliance.

Governor Andrew Cuomo: (15:36)
Mayors, county executives, you have to do your job. I understand it’s an unpopular position to have to enforce the law. I understand nobody wants to go to a sidewalk with people drinking and say, “You people can’t drink on the sidewalk.” I understand that. I understand nobody wants to say to a bar, restaurant, ” You’re only supposed to be in an open air area and you’re not supposed to be violating social distancing.” I understand that. I understand it’s not popular. I get it. You know what’s more unpopular? If that region closes because that local government did not do their job, and that can happen. Utah, Oregon had to reverse their reopening plan. Before I reverse a statewide position, I’ll tell you what I’m going to do. I’m going to reverse it in those areas that are not in compliance with the rules, and I’m going to reverse it in those areas where those local governments did not comply with the law. That is what is going to happen here, and I am warning today, in a nice way, consequences of your actions. We have 25,000 complaints statewide. I’m not going to turn a blind eye to them. New Yorkers deserve better.

Governor Andrew Cuomo: (17:20)
Manhattan and The Hamptons are the leading areas in the state with violations. These are not hard to spot violations. People send video of these violations, you can look it up on social media. You don’t need a detective squad to go out and find it. They are rampant and there’s not enough enforcement. I am not going to allow situations to exist that we know have a high likelihood of causing an increase in the spread of the virus and if we increase the spread of the virus in Manhattan because of bars and restaurants, well then everybody in Manhattan is going to suffer and that’s not fair either.

Governor Andrew Cuomo: (18:21)
Local government, do your job. Local government, do your job. If we have to close, then people are going to hold you accountable. Bars and restaurants, do your job. Or you can have an SLA violation and possibly loss of your license. Individuals who are violating the law, you can be held liable also. We got here because people did the right thing and if we stop doing the right thing, we will see a very different trajectory and I am telling you that you look at all the other states, it’s not hard to figure out what is happening here. It’s happened in half the states of the nation. So far we have been the exception, and we’re not going to go back to that dark place because local government didn’t do its job or because some individuals exploited the situation. Besides the legal violation, because our success here was not based on what government did, our success here was based on individual action and social action. That’s why this moment was so special. It’s what 19 million people did and they did what they had to do, not because there was a legal sanction, not because I was going to knock on their door and hand them a ticket, that’s not why they stayed home. That’s not why they closed their business. They did it because it was the right thing to do.

Governor Andrew Cuomo: (20:09)
To these people who are now violating it, it’s illegal. It’s also wrong. It is just disrespectful not to wear a mask. It is disrespectful to the healthcare workers and the essential workers who sacrifice themselves for 100 days, some of whom died, and gave their life to crush this COVID virus. They gave their life. It is disrespectful not to have the courtesy, the decency to wear a mask. We all celebrate them. Demonstrations, TV ads, God bless the healthcare workers. Yeah good. Act that way. Act that way. Show a modicum of respect and wear a mask. It’s also disrespectful to the people who you could infect. “Well I’m 25. I’m a superhero. It’s not going to bother me.” First of all, you’re wrong, it could kill you, but that’s your life. It’s disrespectful to the other people who you could infect. It’s disrespectful to a parent, to a grandparent, to a cousin, to a brother, to someone who you run into on the sidewalk and you don’t even know but happens to have a compromised immune system because they’re battling cancer or because they’re battling HIV and you infect them and you wind up killing them.

Governor Andrew Cuomo: (21:56)
In some ways we’re in this great moment where society is so caring of the rights of one another, and that’s a beautiful thing, well then let’s be caring about the rights of each other and respect people’s health and respect people’s lives. We’re not asking for much. It’s basic decency of a society and again, that’s what we did so well to get here in the first place.

Governor Andrew Cuomo: (22:29)
On the issue of Mr. Floyd’s death, I am very proud of what New York has done because New York has acted. All the great activists in history will tell you, protest is a means to an end. The end is change, the end is reform. Protest is not for the sake of protest. Demonstration is not for the sake of demonstration. It is to make a point, it is to communicate, it is to get attention and then it’s to actually make change. Reverend Sharpton was right. Demonstration leads to legislation leads to reconciliation. We demonstrate because we want to make a change. New York is already in the change modality. We passed a number of laws, transparency of records 50-A, banning chokeholds, the attorney general and special prosecutor [inaudible 00:23:20], and the New York State Police reform and reinvention collaborative, which is the vehicle that is going to make institutional change in this state. We have more work to do. We are going to sign two more bills today, one that affirms the right to record police and one that has the Department of Health studying the health impacts of the COVID virus on minorities, there have been tremendous disparity as we know across the nation. Not as bad in New York but we don’t want to have any disparity in New York and we have some ZIP codes that have twice the infection rate in New York City.

Governor Andrew Cuomo: (24:01)
The New York State Police reform and reinvention collaborative is a game changer and is going to be a national model. Because it is a fundamental transformational change for every community in this state. Every community in this state gets to redesign its police department. Every community in this state gets to determine what is the appropriate public safety function in 2020. Every community in this state gets to have heard the protests, heard the demonstrations, seen the outrage last night in Atlanta again and now redesign their police department in their community. Just think about it. The policing doesn’t work and it doesn’t because as soon as you lose respect and trust between the police and the community, it’s not working and it’s not going to work because it’s a relationship and it’s about trust and respect and once you don’t have trust and respect, it doesn’t work. Okay. Reform it. What do you want to see? And get it done in nine months.

Governor Andrew Cuomo: (25:25)
Now it gets real. “I don’t like this, I don’t like this, I don’t like this. I want this, I want this, I want this.” Okay, now it’s real. Tell me specifically what you want from your police department, Buffalo. Rochester, tell me exactly what you want your police department to do. Not abstract, not conceptual, write it down on a piece of paper. Come to a table, the mayor, the council, the activists, the protestors, the public [inaudible 00:26:01], you need a real leader

Governor Andrew Cuomo: (26:03)
… public statements. You need a real leader, or a number of people to lead, and actually make this happen. “Well, I want to say what we don’t want.” Fine, you come to the meeting, and say what you don’t want, but you need leadership in the local community, and you need a real vision that is going to start to redesign the police force. Every community needs a real plan. Answer the questions. What do you want in terms of a use of force policy? What works for you Albany? What do you want in terms of a budget? “Well, I think it should be less.” Okay, how much less? What’s the right number? “Well, a billion less.” Billion less from what? Now it gets real. “We have too many police.” Okay, how many police should we have? What’s the right number? “Well, I want to demilitarize the police.”

Governor Andrew Cuomo: (27:09)
Great, what do you mean by that? What do you mean? No guns, assault weapons, tanks, armored cars? What do you mean? Write it down. “Well, bias in the police force is a problem.” Yep, how do you want to address it? Just tell us. “Diversity of the workforce.” Yes, how do you want to address it? “We need a better complaint process. We should have a faster disciplinary process. We should have more transparency.” Great, design it, design it. “We should have civilian review of the police department complaints.” Great, yes, how do you want to make it work? Government is hard, because government, you need to be specific, and you need to effectuate change. That’s the art form of government, that’s the art form of protest, and of demonstration.

Governor Andrew Cuomo: (28:20)
All the great activists also knew what they wanted. You need to know the change you want. There’s no change for the sake of change. You have to change to something. What do you want to change to? Lead the process community by community. The mayor is a natural leader for this effort. I believe in the city of Buffalo, person like Mayor Brown, who already started. We’ll come to the table, he’ll be a leader. If the mayor doesn’t want to do it, or can’t do it, city council president can do it, city council member in charge of public safety can do it. New York city Mayor DeBlasio could do it. He doesn’t want to do it, Corey Johnson, city council president could do it. Donovan Richards, public safety councilman, but somebody has to be a leader now, and come to the table, and start to redesign, because the clock is ticking. Time is wasting.

Governor Andrew Cuomo: (29:35)
Plan has to be passed by April 1. Why passed? Because it has to be law, not just a wishlist, not just, “Here this is what we’re thinking about. Here’s what we’re considering.” Government is very good about doing a report that sits on a shelf for 150 years. Come up with your plan, pass it, make it law, so people know exactly what we have. Nine months, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick. Do you hear that sound? That’s the nine months ticking. Step up to the plate. Who’s going to lead? Bring everyone else to the table, and let’s get to work, and let’s show that Mr. Floyd did not die in vain, Eric Garner did not die in vain, Abner Louima did not die in vain, Breonna Taylor did not die in vain.

Governor Andrew Cuomo: (30:42)
Change came, and change was institutionalized. That is the art form, and now is the time to do it, and we’re going to do it in this state first. No other state is talking about doing this. Why? Because, this is hard. It’s always easy to say what you can’t do, what you don’t want to do. It’s always easy to argue in vague concepts. “I don’t like this. I don’t like this. I don’t like this.” Hard is okay. Let’s redesign, let’s reform and this is what we’re going to do going forward. “Defund the police.” Okay, what does that mean? How do we do that? Community, by community, by community. There’s no right or wrong. I’m not going to tell anyone what they should do. They should do what they want to do. They should design a police force that works for them.

Governor Andrew Cuomo: (31:42)
It’s the only people it has to work for, it’s for them. We have federal laws and state laws that have minimum standards on police, but then, it’s up to the local community. Do it, and let New York be the state that made the most progress by making statewide change community by community, hearing the dialogue, hearing the protests, seeing on video the obvious injustice over, and over, and over again, and then, fixing it, fixing it. That’s who we are. We’re New York tough, smart, united disciplined [inaudible 00:00:32:29]. Questions?

Speaker 1: (32:33)
Governor Cuomo, have you since Thursday talked, or thought about over the weekend in the time from your guidance with nursing homes and visitations to group homes and adult care facilities? People are still asking if there’s a better timeframe or a better timeline on when they can visit their loved ones?

Governor Andrew Cuomo: (32:48)
Yeah, the Department of Health is doing a study as we speak. They’re going through it, they’re talking to nursing home operators, a number of infectious disease doctors, and we’re going to have an answer this week [inaudible 00:33:00] yeah.

Speaker 3: (33:01)
On the issue of this warning to Manhattan, and the Hamptons, are you suggesting that those areas, Long Island, and New York city could be taken back a step?

Governor Andrew Cuomo: (33:09)
Highest number of complaints, 25,000 statewide, highest number Manhattan, and the Hamptons. If we have a high number of violations of the policy, which is tantamount to a high likelihood of the spread of the virus, and the local governments are not monitoring, policing, doing the compliance, yes, there is a very real possibility that we would roll back the reopening in those areas. The only alternative would be to pause the entire reopening.

Speaker 3: (33:53)
[inaudible 00:33:53] you’ve spoken again and again about facts, and data, and stuff like that. Would you wait for that spike to be seen, or would that be a unilateral decision on your part?

Governor Andrew Cuomo: (34:00)
We’re watching for it now, but any doctor will tell you, any infectious disease doctor will tell you, look at the behavior, and you know what is going to happen. This is not rocket science on this extent. If you have large gatherings of people who are not socially distanced, who are not wearing masks, you will have an increased spread in the virus. It may not come for a period of time, but it will come, and once it comes, it’s too late. Now you’re back up in a spike situation, and it’s going to take you weeks of extraordinary effort to bring it down.

Governor Andrew Cuomo: (34:43)
Better than letting the spike happen is cease, stop the spread. That’s what Utah’s doing, that’s what Oregon is doing. Before you go to a statewide repose, or even a regional repose, if there was such a term, better you do a local specific way that is creating the problem, but, if you just allow the violations to continue and nobody does anything you know what’s going to happen.

Speaker 2: (35:22)
[crosstalk 00:35:22] executive who already went on the record stating that people can open as they please, and he obviously gave a little hesitation to those with state liquor licenses, and other state licenses, because they can obviously be pulled by you guys, but Steve McLaughlin has already encouraged people to open, because he’s ready to go. Have you had conversations with him specifically?

Governor Andrew Cuomo: (35:42)
Everybody knows what the law is. Look, you get all sorts of people who say all sorts of things, but they’re not legally binding. Somebody tells you, you can drive 110 miles an hour today. Go drive 110 miles an hour, and when the trooper pulls you over say, “[inaudible 00:10:06] told me I can drive 110 miles an hour.” They’ll say, “That’s very nice.” [crosstalk 00:36:11] Yes [inaudible 00:36:13].

Speaker 4: (36:13)
Governor, just to drill down on this just for a second, just to be absolutely clear. You’re saying that Long Island and New York cities [crosstalk 00:10:19].

Governor Andrew Cuomo: (36:20)
… warning, enforce the law.

Speaker 4: (36:23)
[inaudible 00:10:24].

Governor Andrew Cuomo: (36:25)
Warning, enforce the law. You have large gatherings that are in violation of the law, this will most probably lead to a spread of the virus. Do your job and enforce the law. If you do not, and this continues, we would have no choice, but to take state action, ceasing the behavior.

Speaker 5: (36:56)
[crosstalk 00:36:56] on, there’s this plan to rethink police, and how local police departments operate. Do you think those conversations, and that plan brought forward should also extend to how DA offices operate their operations, such as do you need to also be thinking how to rethink district attorney offices, how they release [inaudible 00:37:16] material to the public?

Governor Andrew Cuomo: (37:17)
Well, they could do that, but that’s not a function of city law. The reason I say community by community is, it is their law that determines their police. New York city can redesign the NYPD, New York city cannot redesign the district attorney’s offices. That’s state law. New York city cannot define judges, that’s state law. Goes federal, state, city. The city can do what’s in the city jurisdiction. Police scene, there are state laws, federal laws, but the specifics are left to the police vis-a-vis that city, because that city designs its police force. New York city determines that they have 36,000 police officers, New York city determines the staffing, the functions, the pay. That’s all done by New York city.

Governor Andrew Cuomo: (38:20)
What we’ve all decided, what society has said, frankly, from my point of view, long overdue, this police model does not work. It doesn’t work, and they’ve said that clearly, and the way they have said it ipso facto made it true, because when the community comes out and says, “I don’t trust the police.” You know what? Stop everything, because if there’s no trust, there’s no relationship, it doesn’t work. Husband and wife, “I don’t trust the other person.” That has to be fixed.

Governor Andrew Cuomo: (39:02)
That has to be fixed because it doesn’t work without that. The police can’t police a community that doesn’t trust them and doesn’t respect them. It won’t work and vice versa by the way. So New York city redesign your police department. You have nine months, all these questions that have been raised, great. Now come to the table and answer them.

Governor Andrew Cuomo: (39:35)
Let’s do one thing at a time before we bite off the whole loaf, start with the police. That has been the issue. That’s what the demonstrations are about. Let’s address that. You want to get into DA’s you want to get into judges, that’s a bigger issue. And that’s a statewide issue meaning it’s a function of state law. Let’s start with what people are demanding change. People are demanding change for the police, with the police, the way we police and let’s attend that then we can take on other things

Speaker 7: (40:13)
Governor on the topic of gatherings, New York’s I still believe is 10, gatherings of no more than 10. New Jersey relaxed that recently to 50 people indoors, 100 people outdoors. At what point do you consider relaxing New York’s gathering limit?

Governor Andrew Cuomo: (40:29)
What’s my answer going to be?

Speaker 7: (40:34)
I know what your answer’s going to be but-

Governor Andrew Cuomo: (40:35)
All right as long as we understand each other. We’re going to follow the numbers. We’re doing great right now in the transmission rate. And whenever we can increase something I do, right? We increased last week. We’re watching the transmission rate and we’re watching those numbers. And you make little changes. If you’re wrong, you’re not going to increase the transmission rate in a way you can’t fix. So little league sports two spectators, okay we can do that. Summer day camps we can do that, but you make a dramatic change quickly. Like those gatherings, that is a big change. You can say it’s only 10 to 25. Yeah it’s 10 to 25 times 50,000. Right? Because that would go all across the board. That’s a lot of people and those mass gatherings that’s the vital area of vulnerability. That was New Rochelle. Don’t forget what we learned.

Governor Andrew Cuomo: (41:45)
New Rochelle first hotspot in the United States, first cluster one guy goes to a religious ceremony. One guy, we have the number one cluster. It is fire through dry grass in that situation. So you’re going right to one of the seminal questions. Everything we do is trying to open the economic activity, reducing the density in the gatherings. You’re going right to the heart of the beast there.

Speaker 8: (42:21)
Just to play this out a little bit. What is the difference between say a high school graduation and a piece of protest where you might have thousands of people in close proximity with masks versus say a high school graduation?

Governor Andrew Cuomo: (42:35)
First of all we don’t know. We don’t know what happened at the protests we’re still waiting to find out. Now the only good news and you have a lot of people studying this protest all across the nation. The good news about the protests they happened when our infection rate was way down, right? We had a less than 1% infection rate when the protests happened. If those protests had happened when our infection rate was higher, forget it, forget it. You’d see it today in the numbers. The only saving grace was by the time they happened, the infection rate was just about as low as it is now, right? It’s been at this number for the past few weeks.

Governor Andrew Cuomo: (43:26)
So that’s the only good news that it may have happened when the infection rate was down. And that’s why it didn’t spread as much, but we don’t know what the protests will have done. We’re still waiting to see if it makes a difference in the numbers. Dan.

Speaker 9: (43:46)
The president approved a major rail project in New Jersey over the weekend, after having dinner with Bill Murphy. What do you think it’ll take him to approve some of New York’s projects like the Gateway Tunnel [inaudible 00:43:53]?

Governor Andrew Cuomo: (43:58)
Look, I think it’s great that the president that project that he approved in New Jersey is part of the Gateway Tunnel project. It’s a thoroughfare that leads to the Gateway Tunnel. And it’s great that you fix that bridge, that portal. But if you don’t do the Gateway Tunnel this is just a bridge to nowhere without the Gateway Tunnel. If you don’t fix the tunnel then where do you think you’re going? To a tunnel that’ll bring you to the bottom of the Hudson River, right? Who wants to take that bridge? Right? You go over the bridge and then you just fall. [inaudible 00:44:47] have to fall because you’re in a tunnel that is collapsing. Now, there’s one thing about a president who doesn’t advance infrastructure. This is a president who when he was running promised a multi trillion dollar infrastructure program, what have we seen?

Governor Andrew Cuomo: (45:14)
That’s one thing. He didn’t build, he didn’t advance. I can’t think of a president who has been more irresponsible in allowing dangerous situations to continue. That cross Harper tunnel, the cross Hudson tunnel Amtrak, which is a federally owned agency. The president owns Amtrak, right? Everybody’s looking for politics. He owns Amtrak, he owns it. Amtrak says the tunnels are a collapsing. Amtrak, that he owns. Amtrak says they need two new tunnels and fixing the two old tunnels to deal with the thoroughfare to the entire Northeast. Not just New York, if it was just New York I’m sure he wouldn’t care because we’re a blue state, but it’s called the Northeast United States. Amtrak says that, not me. The company he owns Amtrak says the tunnels have to be fixed. Not to fix those tunnels that you know are dangerous that’s just reckless. It’s reckless.

Governor Andrew Cuomo: (46:37)
A lot of presidents didn’t show the leadership to build new, but not to fix what is a dangerous situation as told to you by Amtrak which you own, that’s reckless in a way I can’t even describe.

Speaker 9: (47:04)
And do you [inaudible 00:47:05] state project, are cops coming?

Governor Andrew Cuomo: (47:05)
We’re still waiting to see what happens on the federal budget.

Speaker 10: (47:09)
Governor there’s a local bike organization that says that the bike path on the Mario Cuomo bridge is going to be opening tomorrow. Is that accurate? And if so, do you plan on being there for the ribbon cutting?

Governor Andrew Cuomo: (47:18)
We’ll have to see tomorrow.

Speaker 10: (47:24)
I believe it’s your father’s birthday tomorrow.

Governor Andrew Cuomo: (47:25)
It is.

Speaker 10: (47:27)
Is there a ribbon cutting tomorrow on the bike path?

Governor Andrew Cuomo: (47:29)
I have to see tomorrow. But if I were you I would get on my bike and start riding now south.

Speaker 11: (47:38)
Governor and just [inaudible 00:47:39] families on expectations for the fall for schools, universities, colleges, people are chomping at the bid and they’re worried about bills and things like that. Like am I staying over at the school? Am I going to be distance learning?

Governor Andrew Cuomo: (47:49)
Yeah, we don’t know yet. Nobody can tell you yet. Nobody can tell you what the fall looks like. They can give you guesses. Maybe this may be that, but any determination anybody would make today would be subject to change depending on what happens with the virus between now and then, right? Nobody’s going to say I’m going to open the schools no matter what the facts, no matter how bad the virus spread. 22 States are seeing an uptake already. We might have an uptake, whatever happens I’m going to open the schools. Nobody would say that. I’m going to go to work guys. Thank you. I’ll see you tomorrow, you know where.