Jun 29, 2020
NY Governor Andrew Cuomo June 29 Press Conference Transcript
Governor of New York Andrew Cuomo held a press briefing on June 29. Cuomo said he may slow NYC Phase 3 reopening, indoor dining may be delayed, and NY malls can’t open without air conditioning systems that filter the coronavirus. Read the full news briefing speech transcript with all updates here.
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Andrew Cuomo: (00:01)
Good morning. Pleasure to be here. Beautiful New York City, beautiful day. Let me introduce to the people who are here. From my far right, Kevin Bruen is the first deputy superintendent of the New York State Police. To my immediate right, Melissa DeRosa secretary to the governor. To my left, Dr. Howard Zucker, health commissioner for the state of New York. To his left, Colonel [Tripodo 00:00:24] from the New York State Police.
Andrew Cuomo: (00:27)
Thank you for being here. I hope everybody had their coffee this morning, because it is time to wake up, America. The White House has been in denial on coronavirus from the get go, and the federal response has just been wrong. That’s not a political statement. If you look at the facts, that’s exactly what it says. You have coronavirus increasing in 32 states across the nation. The rate of increase is only getting worse, and a number of excuses have been made for this over the past weeks, to further the denial.
Andrew Cuomo: (01:10)
First, they said, “Well, it’s because they’re doing more testing, and that’s why the number of infections are going up.” Not true, because the number of hospitalizations are also going up. People don’t go into a hospital unless they’re sick. That is a fact, or because they think they’re sick. So it’s not a question of the numbers going up in the testing, it’s the number of hospitalizations that are going up.
Andrew Cuomo: (01:40)
So you know that the virus is increasing, and this has been getting worse, it’s not getting better. And you look at where the United States is now, globally Europe that got hit first before us. We didn’t know it, but the virus went from China to Europe, came to New York from Europe. That’s why we had that big spike, but America now trails Europe in the recovery from coronavirus. The White House has been saying, “Reopen fast, because that’s good for the economy, and we have to get the economy going.” Yes, we have to get the economy going, but reopening fast was not good for the economy.
Andrew Cuomo: (02:29)
What has been happening is when that virus spikes, the market goes down, not up. This was not a smart policy to rush reopening. It did not help the economy. It’s the exact opposite. The volatility, the instability, the concern about the path of this nation has roiled the markets. And, at the same time, from a public health point of view, the number of deaths is increasing. IHME, the model that the White House follows, just increased by 10,000 their death prediction, number of people who will die. Why? Because they’re extrapolating out from the increase in infections, and the increase in hospitalizations.
Andrew Cuomo: (03:25)
The White House has been saying, “Well, it’s up to the states, it’s up to the states, but the president didn’t really leave it up to the states. The president has been pressuring states to reopen quickly. Liberate your state, liberate New York, demonstrations that I’ve been dealing with all across the state, pressuring governors to reopen. The denial by the federal government of the severity of this virus was followed by the federal government’s abandonment of responsibility. If you don’t believe it’s a problem, you don’t try to find a solution, and that’s what happened with the federal government and coronavirus. They never believed it was a problem, so they didn’t believe they needed to solve it.
Andrew Cuomo: (04:21)
The key barometer in all of this has been testing. Everybody said that from day one. Every federal official, every state official. Get the testing up, get the testing ready. How many testing sites across America has the federal government set up and operated? 41. Well, is that a lot or a little? Well, for comparison, you know how many sites we have in the state of New York? 750. Federal government has put up 41 sites, FEMA and HHS, that they operate. How can that be? Because from day one, they told you they didn’t believe it was a problem. They started day one, it’s like the flu. If it’s not a problem, you don’t try to solve it, and they didn’t try to solve it. And as a matter of fact, they have been advocating from day one, reopen the economy, reopen the economy, and now we see the results. It just plain hasn’t worked, and it has been a failure.
Andrew Cuomo: (05:35)
Will Rogers. “When you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.” Not a New York quote, but it’s right. Where are we in New York? We’ve been smart. We didn’t do this politically. We followed the facts. We followed the data, and it works. We have the lowest level of hospitalizations since this nightmare began. 853, amen. We have the lowest three day average death total. We’re down to seven … I’m sorry, eight deaths yesterday. We remember the eight in our thoughts and prayers, and we don’t want to lose anyone in this state, but you look at where we are compared to where we have been. You remember at one time we had 800 deaths per day. Today we have eight.
Andrew Cuomo: (06:34)
We do more testing than any state in the United States. We did 46,000 tests yesterday, on a Sunday, and the infection rate was 0.8. When you are below 0.1, that’s our goal, and 0.8 is lower than it was some points last week. You look at all the different regions, the numbers have been good all across the regions, regions that are opening, going through phased re-openings. The numbers are all constant. You look at New York City. Within New York City we studied the boroughs, because there’s a wide variance in the infection rate. It tends to be worse in the outer boroughs, but you can follow that day by day, and that’s good.
Andrew Cuomo: (07:22)
We have a very elaborate tracing system, so that when we find a positive case, we trace it back. That has been working very well, because we have found traced back to clusters of cases, Westchester County graduation, where there was a young man who apparently came up from Florida and attended a graduation that generated 13 cases. There’s an aluminum factory in Montgomery. 500 employees, 74 positives. Washington County, a slate quarry. 12 cases that we traced back. As we go, Apple factory, 82 cases.
Andrew Cuomo: (08:04)
This is actually good news. It means the system works. You find the positive, you trace it back. You find the common denominator, and that’s how you stop the spread. You look at our curve compared to the rest of the country, you see the rest of the country is going up and we’re going down. As we continue to test, we continue to trace. We have the data, we’re continuing on our reopening plan.
Andrew Cuomo: (08:33)
Phase four is ready for Western New York tomorrow, so we’re excited about that. In New York City, we have complications that we are studying now. New York City is currently in phase two, phase three would begin on Monday, but there are issues that we have to think through. One is, there’s a lack of compliance with social distancing in New York City. You can see it in pictures. You can see it if you walk down the street. You can see the crowds in front of bars. You can see the crowds on street corners. It is undeniable.
Andrew Cuomo: (09:14)
That is partially the responsibility of citizens not to do it. It’s also the responsibility of the local governments to enforce compliance. We ask everyone to comply, but we ask the local governments to enforce the compliance. And I’ve said from the very outset of this, to all the county executives, all the mayors across the state, “Look, the state is more than doing its part. The responsibility for the local governments, help with testing, help with tracing, but do the local compliance of the socially distance and mask wearing.” That is a complication in New York City.
Andrew Cuomo: (10:06)
The other complication is the spread across the nation is also problematic for us. We are not a separate country, New York. Some people think we are, but we’re really not. And we’re not an island, right? People from the other states travel to New York, and New York is a hub. If other States have a high infection rate, probability is they’re going to wind up increasing the spread and the infection in New York. We learned that the hard way. Why did New York have that big spike when we started? Why was New York so different from every other state? Because, the virus came from Europe. When the federal government was telling us the virus was in China, it had left China, it went to Europe. We had three million people come in from flights from Europe, January, February, March. That’s where the virus came from in New York. Likewise, we’re bringing the rate down. Other States, it’s going up. People get on planes in the other states, fly through New York, fly to New York. Probability is they’re going to bring the infection.
Andrew Cuomo: (11:34)
One of the issues we’re working on in New York City, indoor dining has shown that it has been problematic, that a virus spreads in closed, indoor areas that have air conditioned systems. So we know that indoor dining has been problematic. Outdoor dining has worked very well all across the state, New York City included. The state’s going to be reviewing the data and consulting with stakeholders in New York City.
Andrew Cuomo: (12:14)
I started speaking with restaurant owners, business owners about the risk reward on indoor dining. We’ve been speaking with a controller, Scott Stringer, who raises a lot of good points about the risk of indoor dining. The speaker, Corey Johnson, the same thing, The mayor, the same thing. So I’m talking to business owners about it. We’re going through the data, but this is a real issue. Our re-openings have worked very well. We’re not going backwards, we’re going forwards. A lot of these other states actually have had to go backwards. They started to reopen, and they had to stop, but we want to study this issue, primarily New York City on …
Andrew Cuomo: (13:03)
I want to study this issue primarily New York City on indoor dining and we’ll have a final decision by Wednesday so people who operate those types of businesses will know what we’re doing. But the increasing viral spread across the nation is also a problem, especially in New York City. New York is where most of the flights come. New York City is where most of the travelers come. We have offered help to any state that is experiencing a spike. We have personnel who know this better than anyone in the United States. We learned it the hard way. We have equipment. We have testing capacity. Any state that needs help, we stand ready. I will never forget how good this country was to New York when we needed help. And the door swings both ways in life. Relationships work both ways. When I asked for help, we had 30,000 people from across the country, healthcare professionals, who volunteered to come to New York at our peak.
Andrew Cuomo: (14:05)
I mean, that was an amazing sign of generosity. So we don’t forget, as New Yorkers, and we’ll be there for other people. A few additional announcements. The Video Music Awards are going to be held Sunday, August 30th at Barkley Center. There are air filtration devices, air filters that can actually help with the COVID virus. And NASA has studied these. There are HEPA filters, which are high efficiency particulate air filters that can actually filter out the COVID virus. COVID virus is 0.1 microns. There are HEPA filters that can filter out 0.01. Any malls that we’ll open in New York, large malls, we will make it mandatory that they have air filtration systems that can filter out the COVID virus. For many of these systems, it depends on what filter you install, called the Merv rating of the filter, but they have different filters that filter out different size particles. And they have filters that can actually filter out and catch the COVID virus. For large mall re-openings, which we haven’t done yet, but we’re going to make this mandatory. I would recommend and the state recommends, for all businesses and offices, they explore the potential for their air conditioning, air filtration system, adding a filter that can filter out the COVID virus. We have been looking at this issue because you look around the country and you’re seeing malls, you’re seeing air conditioning systems, indoor spaces that have been problematic. And we think this offers promise.
Andrew Cuomo: (16:15)
Also, I’m a Queens boy, and I want to remind New Yorkers that fireworks are dangerous and fireworks are illegal. Fireworks are illegal. Some nights in New York City it sounds like the wild West with all the fireworks going off. I’ve never heard it like this before. They’re disturbing. They bother people and they are dangerous. And children, people, get hurt every year. It is illegal. You can’t do it. It is illegal. And the police department needs to enforce the law, but the state police are going to start a fireworks enforcement detail. We’re going to try to prevent the fireworks from coming into the state in the first place, before they get distributed. And I want to thank the state police. And the first deputy is here and the colonel is here.
Andrew Cuomo: (17:21)
The primary supplier for New York state is the state of Pennsylvania. Not the state itself, but fireworks companies within the state of Pennsylvania. We’re going to be focusing on that route for the transmission of the fireworks. We’ll also be helping local governments deal with this issue, but I need the local governments in this state to take it seriously. I know there’s a lot going on a lot of levels, but this is illegal and it’s dangerous so we have to stop it. And to the President, because if we’re going to turn this around in this nation, it’s going to take the White House. And to the President, I say today, if you want to help stop COVID-19, then they should start telling the people of this country the truth. And this truth starts with how large a problem this is and how real a threat COVID is. It’s the leadership to stand up and tell the American people, look at the increase across the country. Look at what’s happening to this country vis-a-vis other countries. Look how it’s hurt the economy. It is a real threat.
Andrew Cuomo: (18:42)
And to start simply, the President can do two things. First, sign an executive order, directing everyone to wear a mask. How we’re at this point as a nation and we still haven’t done the simple, easy, minimal step of saying, you must wear a mask when you are in public. And the president doesn’t have to pass a piece of legislation. Doesn’t have to call the Congress. Just sign an executive order saying, wear a mask. We did it two months ago in this state. The other states are just starting to do it now. States that were recalcitrant. Governors who said, “We don’t need to do this. Masks don’t work.” All the political nonsense we heard. Now they’re doing a 180 and you have the same states now wearing masks. Let the president have the same sense and do that as an executive order. And then let the President lead by example and let the President put a mask on it because we know it works. We’ve proven that it works in the state of New York and the President can still be New York tough and New York smart and united and disciplined and loving.
Andrew Cuomo: (20:08)
I want to show you one other thing that makes the point. This, does it come down or does it go up? This, do we know what this is? This is the mountain. What is the tallest mountain in the state of New York? Mount Marcy. This is the mountain that New Yorkers climbed. You know I keep showing the curve? This is the curve, factually proportionate. We started on day one and the numbers kept going straight up for 42 days. 42 days New Yorkers dealt with that increase. Why did we have this spike? How did we get to day one? Because the virus came from Europe and nobody told us it was coming from Europe because the federal government didn’t know. We dealt with it. We paid the price and we dealt with that spike and we climbed right up the mountain.
Andrew Cuomo: (21:41)
We got smart, New Yorkers stepped up. We wore masks. We socially distanced. We closed down and we stopped the curve. We plateaued. You look at the projections. They all projected that this spike would continue killing tens of thousands more people. New Yorkers came together and they turned the curve. And then we plateaued on day 42 and then we had to reduce the infection rate and that decline went from day 42 to day 111. This was the trajectory of COVID in our state. We don’t want to climb this mountain again. We don’t want to climb this mountain again. And that’s why the phased re-opening, staying smart, staying disciplined. And that’s why this spread across the country.
Andrew Cuomo: (22:57)
That if that spread comes to New York, we could have to do this all over again. That’s why we put in place quarantines. That’s why we’re offering help to all the other states. That’s why we’re saying the President has to step up because doing this once in life is enough. We don’t need to climb another mountain. One mountain was enough. We don’t want to climb a mountain range. One mountain is enough. We don’t want to do it again.
Has there been any concrete data on how many out of state visitors are already subject to quarantine or how many have perhaps even declined per your executive order?
Andrew Cuomo: (23:47)
Let’s just remember how the quarantine works. It does not name a state. Any state. I has nothing to do with politics has nothing to do with I like Minnesota, I don’t like California. It’s an equation. It’s a set of numbers. If your infection rate is above X, then when you come here, please quarantine. Just because we don’t want the infection to spread and you don’t want the infection to spread. I do not have numbers for you Zack. We just put it in place. But as soon as we get numbers, I can get them to you.
Speaker 1: (24:25)
Governor, the outbreak in [inaudible 00:11:26]. What’s your level of concern about that outbreak? The school district there says they followed all the protocols and had them in place. The superintendent put out a message to the community saying, “Unfortunately at the event and despite police presence, numerous individuals failed to follow our protocol.” So what is the takeaway from this experience?
Andrew Cuomo: (24:46)
Look, there are certain facts that are undeniable. A mask only works if you wear it. It only works if you wear it. Socially distancing only works if you do it. And then there are two ends of the equation. I’ve asked New Yorkers numerous times to comply. And by the way, the compliance rate has been fantastic. It has been fantastic. You look around Manhattan, you go to any city in this state, I will bet you it’s 95% of the people are wearing masks. And just think how extraordinary that is. No state is doing what New York is doing. California just went to masks as mandatory mask wearing a couple of weeks ago. Literally. I think it was even last week. We were doing this two months ago and this is a different kind of behavior, it was…
Andrew Cuomo: (26:03)
Two months ago, and this is a different kind of behavior. It was never done before. I laid out the facts to new Yorkers and they did it. God bless them. God bless them. And they’ve saved lives. But 95%, it’s the 5% who don’t do it because for whatever reason. Social distancing, except the 5% who don’t do it. Local governments need to do the enforcement. They need to do the compliance. I talked to my ears all day long and I make this point. Well, compliance is difficult. Why? Well, because people don’t want like to wear masks and then we have to tell them to do it and they don’t want to do it. I understand enforcement of compliance is difficult, but it’s the law.
Andrew Cuomo: (26:57)
And look, I said, blame me. It’s my law. I’m guilty. Let the police go up to someone and say, “I’m sorry, you have to wear your mask. It’s not the mayor. Governor Cuomo says you have to wear the mask.” Blame me, but they have to enforce the compliance, because it only takes one. All these clusters. It was one person, one to 13, one to 80. one To 70. New Rochelle, [inaudible 00:27:36] in Westchester. We learned this lesson in Westchester. It was one person in New Rochelle. We had the first hotspot in the United States. One person led to hundreds of cases, one person. So 95% is great. Yeah, but one person in that 5% can infect dozens. That’s why the local governments have to be diligent on the enforcement. No worries.
Speaker 2: (28:15)
Is that something you’re thinking about in long term, definitely until this vaccine, or something maybe not allowed in phase three, but maybe allowed in phase four?
Andrew Cuomo: (28:25)
It depends on the combination of factors. And again, nobody has been here before. So literally this nation, this state you’re figuring it out as you go. My MO has been get all the information you can. Study the other states, see what’s happening and then make a decision. It’s not just the indoor dining alone. It’s indoor dining in New York city where you already have issues with high congregations. You already have issues of people clearly violating social distancing. And you now have an added factor of viral spread all across the nation and a high likelihood that those people will come to New York City.
Andrew Cuomo: (29:22)
It’s that combination of facts that is precarious. And we don’t have a decision. I want to take today, tomorrow talk to everyone. We’ll announce a decision on Wednesday. But all of these decisions are just for that period of time. Anyone who says, “Well, what’s it going to look like in two weeks? What’s it going to look like in three weeks?” I wouldn’t believe any of those answers. You have to look at what is the viral spread across the country? What’s the viral spread in New York City. We trace it every day. But it would be all of these are short term measures.
Speaker 2: (30:07)
In terms of the New York City budget, the state budget allows the state government to borrow billions of dollars in case of an emergency. It allows the FDA to borrow billions of dollars in case of an emergency. What’s the difference between allowing New York city and the FDA or the state government to borrow billions of dollars just for emergency?
Andrew Cuomo: (30:25)
Well, you have a couple of issues. First, any municipality in the state that runs into financial trouble, who pays if a municipality gets into trouble? The cities are created by the state, right? They’re created by state law. If a city or a county runs into financial trouble, the state steps in. New York City went virtually bankrupt in the 70s. The state had to step in. Yonkers, a city in Westchester was virtually bankrupt. The state had to step in. Nassau County was virtually bankrupt. The state had to step in. Erie County where … Buffalo’s in Erie County, was virtually bankrupt. The state had to step in. So whatever you allow the municipality to do, the state is ultimately going to be financially responsible. So you allow a locality to borrow. If that is imprudent, then it’s going to be a state liability. So the state borrowing it’s our responsibility and we would pay.
Andrew Cuomo: (31:50)
A city borrowing it’s a state responsibility ultimately, if it goes bad. What all these localities have to figure out, what we’re trying to figure out is, I want to borrow X. Well, how do you pay it back and when do you pay it back? And what do you think the revenues are going to be next year? And what do you think the revenues are going to be the year after? How fast do you think business activity is going to increase? How fast do you think businesses are going to be back at full capacity and residents are going to be back at full capacity? So it’s a very complicated economic equation. And then you have the big question of what is the federal government going to do and how much are they going to provide? Do you want to make a point?
Speaker 3: (32:48)
Yeah, if I could just add the debt that the state allowed ourselves to take out during the budget was short term debt. So when the federal government moved the tax filing date from April to July, it deferred billions and billions of dollars for New York. And so we took this out as a way to get through to July because as a result, we had to move the state tax state. So this was a short term situation for New York state. And we’ve committed to paying it back by the end of the fiscal year. So this is not talking about longterm. So we’re talking apples and oranges. And on the MTA, the MTA wasn’t given carte blanche to do borrowing. They were given the ability to issue debt. However, it has to be approved by the New York state budget director and by the MTA board. And they have not issued any debt to date. So there was a backstop and there’s fiscal watchdogs who are going to make sure that anything that they do, that it’s being done fiscally responsibly. So they’re not similar situations.
Speaker 4: (33:40)
Governor around day 42 you talked about why we were so dependent on PPEs coming from Asia and China and you charged the let’s take care of it home. Does that discern the [inaudible 00:33:50] also coming from Asia? Have you had any conversations with any of your fellow governors along the way [inaudible 00:33:57] about seeing what we can do to address this with proper authority?
Andrew Cuomo: (33:59)
Yeah. We have had conversations but we didn’t form a regional coalition yet on the drugs. It is you’re right. It is an issue. We have done state purchasing. We have municipalities within this state where we do cooperative purchasing for the entire state, but you’re right. It’s a national problem where it’s not just PPE, gowns, masks, et cetera. It’s also the availability of pharmaceutical drugs and it’s something we’re looking at.
Speaker 2: (34:31)
More of the city’s economy is reopening every day. There are more and more workers who are worried that 24/7 subway service won’t come back ever to make that commute. Some people are still being stranded at night. Will you guarantee that full 24/7 subway service will come back?
Andrew Cuomo: (34:45)
Yeah. We always said that when we were stopping the subway service for several hours in the middle of the night, right? When you say 24/7, it sounds like it’s not a seven day system. It operates seven days. It’s closed from like 1:00 AM to 5:00 AM. Do you remember the hours?
Speaker 3: (35:09)
Yeah it’s 1:00 AM to 5:00 AM.
Andrew Cuomo: (35:10)
One to five. So yeah, it’s closed in the middle of the night so they can disinfect trains. And as soon as we get past this and you don’t have to disinfect the train, then we’ll be in a different place. Also, remember, we’re good at always seeing the downside and there’s been a lot of downside lately. If I said to a New Yorker we’ve been arguing about cleaning the trains for decades and the trains have been dirty for decades, right? Then it became a level of how dirty. If I told you that we were going to get to a point where we were going to disinfect the subway car, now to disinfect the subway car means every newspaper, every coffee cup, everything has to be out of that train. You can’t have a napkin in that train. Homeless people have to be off the train. If I had told you that 10 months ago, you would have said impossible. It is impossible to do that in New York City. In my 62 years, I’ve never seen that, ever. And that’s what we’re now doing. Well the disinfect range, you have to close a couple of hours a night, yeah.
Speaker 2: (36:33)
Will they come back?
Andrew Cuomo: (36:34)
Yes, yes. If you don’t have to disinfect the train every night, then yes.
Speaker 5: (36:38)
Governor, do you think that it’s a possibility you would actually delay phase three for New York City? And you mentioned the complications being the enforcement in New York City of large gatherings. Are you saying that Mayor de Blasio isn’t doing enough? What should the NYPD and Mayor de Blasio be doing? There has been some controversy about how the NYPD was enforcing wearing a mask, not social distancing, et cetera. And then if you could also talk about the mountain behind you, how it was made?
Andrew Cuomo: (37:09)
I made it, I carved it myself. I’m a sculptor. Did you know? Yes. It’s in the Italian.
Speaker 5: (37:16)
I know you’re an artist.
Andrew Cuomo: (37:16)
Yes. I am an artist. I’ve taken my artistic skills where before I would just do drawings and some light painting. Now I’ve increased that to sculpting. I did it in my garage. It’s made up of a blend of paper mache, cement, styrofoam, clay and plaster. It’s my own family recipe. My grandfather used to sculpt with it. None of that is true by the way. But it is … it sounded good didn’t it? Tell the truth. I almost had you for a second. I had you with that Italian sculpting thing. It’s made out of styrofoam, but it is proportionate to the increase and to the climb. That is proportionate. And I wanted to show look, first of all, I wanted to show New Yorkers what we did, what they did, what they did.
Andrew Cuomo: (38:20)
I did nothing. I wanted them to see what they did and remember what we went through and remember why we don’t want to go back there again. And that is how I saw it through this whole thing. I would show you guys a curve every day, right? It was a curve and we would talk about a curve, flatten the curve. It felt to me like we were climbing a mountain and you couldn’t even see the top of the mountain because the top of the mountain was in clouds. And nobody could tell you where the top was. So it’s climbing up a mountain.
Andrew Cuomo: (39:03)
You where the top was. So it’s climbing up a mountain, every day is hard, every day is a steep incline, 40 deaths, 50 deaths, 10,000 cases. Every day is a difficult hellish day. Well how high is this mountain? How high do we have to climb? Nobody knows. The mountain is as high as you make it. What does that mean? The mountain goes up until you flatten the curve because you’re designing the mountain by your actions. I mean just think about how bizarre this was. So we climb up 42 days, we’re able to flatten the curve, we hit a plateau, and now we’re coming down the other side. How long is the descent? Nobody knows. It depends how New Yorkers react and how New Yorkers respond.
Andrew Cuomo: (40:06)
See every line on that chart? That was a day, that was a day that was a number of hospitalizations, a number of deaths, every day. What we did today determined the number tomorrow and we had to go through this not knowing where it ended. 400 people died today. Well what’s going to happen tomorrow? We don’t know. We’ll have to see. When does it stop? We don’t know. We have to see. New Yorkers climbed that mountain and they flattened that curve. The early projections from all the models, we had 18,000 people in hospitals. You know what the early models said? 120,000 people in hospitals. That’s what the early models said. 120, 130, 140, 160. Well how far can we get that down? Nobody knows. Depends on how you act. We went from 120,000 projected hospitalizations, 18,000. God bless the people of New York. I will never forget what they did. Literally saved tens of thousands of lives. Remember what we did and we don’t want to go back there. We don’t want to go back there.
Speaker 6: (41:58)
So would you delay potentially Phase III in New York and what should the NYPD and Bill DeBlasio be doing to enforce no mass gatherings, wear your mask, et cetera.
Andrew Cuomo: (42:08)
Yeah. I don’t want to … We have been on schedule with the entire phased re-openings and the other regions are all ahead of New York in terms of reopening and we’ve done the re-openings, we’ve followed the data, and the data is all still down. The infection rate is down all across the state. We’re going to enter Phase III. The indoor dining piece is just one component of that and that’s something that we want to study, but we are on track for Phase III. This indoor dining piece, I do want to make sure we study. Again, in light of everything else. If it was just indoor dining, we’ve done a lot of work on the air filtration system with the … The filters can actually I think make a significant difference but if it was just indoor dining it would be one thing, but it’s indoor dining and you have the congregation problem and you have the viral spread across the nation which I think is really problematic for us.
Andrew Cuomo: (43:24)
We are a state that is a hub. It’s more of a problem for New York than probably any state in the United States, and that’s why I implore the president to get into the game. First as an American citizen, I want to protect those other citizens and give them the support they gave us. Second, for the economy, if we don’t get this under control, the economy is going to get worse and third on a parochial level, they will come here. It is a matter of time, but they will come here. The virus came in through our airports once before. It will come through again.
Speaker 2: (44:12)
Governor, given some of the places that are being hotspots, a huge level of spread, a lot of those urban, a lot of them are rural but does it make you re-evaluate at all your initial assessment that density is the main driver of New York City’s big outbreak?
Andrew Cuomo: (44:26)
Well we never said anything was a main driver. The main driver in New York City in retrospect, now that we have the facts, Dr. Fauci said this, CDC had said this, the main driver was the virus came from Europe and it was the greatest miss by the federal government of all time. China virus, China virus, China virus, China travel ban. Forget the China travel ban. It was in Europe, and they literally have traced our strain of the virus back to Europe. January, February, March. Three million people come through our airports from Europe. Then you have the density and the public transportation and everything else but more than anything we just didn’t know, nobody said screen people coming from Europe. Nobody said to the people of New York, “Watch when you go have a meeting with people in Europe. Watch if you have guests who are coming from Europe.” It was just a total miss by the federal government. That was the main point. I gave you the seven deaths today, eight deaths is a three-day average, right? Let’s take one more. I’m sorry, did I answer your question?
Speaker 2: (45:54)
Andrew Cuomo: (45:55)
Suburban-rural tends more to come, you see that more in clusters. You see that in the Westchester cluster, you saw that in the New Rochelle cluster, you see that in Montgomery County now, you see that in Oswego where when you have a flareup, you can normally trace it back to a cluster, but it just shows you how dangerous one person can be. I’m sorry.
Speaker 7: (46:24)
Yeah, just to piggyback off of what the other reporter asked you, I was curious if you’re any more open to allowing the city [inaudible 00:46:30] funds for operating expenses now that the mayor has said he wants the Financial Control Broad [inaudible 00:46:36] loans.
Andrew Cuomo: (46:38)
Yeah. The whole thing is what is the loan, how do you pay it back, and what is fiscally responsible. Borrowing in and of itself is not a great thing but it’s not a bad thing. The question is how much, how do you repay it, what do you think is going to happen with the economy.
Andrew Cuomo: (47:07)
There’s a big question mark on how fast the New York City economy comes back. There’s a big question mark on how fast the national economy comes back. With this virus spread worse than Europe in this country, that is a serious question. How fast does the national economy come back, then how fast does the New York City economy come back and we have the same question all across the state. How fast does the Nassau economy come back? How fast does the Buffalo economy come back? And what do you think the revenues are going to be? And what I’m focused on, what can we do to actually stimulate the economy coming back faster. Because if you just wait for the economy to come back, it’s going to be a long few months before businesses really ramp up, before people really feel comfortable going to places of density, going to a Broadway show, going to a packed restaurant, going to a packed bar, going to a convention at the Javits Center or in a big hotel ballroom. So that is a very large question mark and you have to know that answer before you have any reasonable judgment of what you’re going to be able to pay. Okay? Thank you all very much?
Andrew Cuomo: (48:51)
Yeah. I’ll check on the exact date for you. We don’t want to do it again. Zach, Luis.
Andrew Cuomo: (49:00)
I’m going to put this in the lobby of the New York Times. I thought it was a suitable location. Actually I bring it with me wherever I go. It’s styrofoam. I can carry it. I’ll see you guys.