May 29, 2020

NY Governor Andrew Cuomo May 29 Press Conference Transcript

Andrew Cuomo May 29 Press Conference Transcript
RevBlogTranscriptsPolitical TranscriptsNY Governor Andrew Cuomo May 29 Press Conference Transcript

Governor of New York Andrew Cuomo held coronavirus press briefing on Friday, May 29. Cuomo said New York City can begin reopening on June 8.

 

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Andrew Cuomo: (00:01)
Thank you, again. Thank you to Iona College President Carey for having us here today. I know it’s a busy day and a distressful day on many levels, but let’s proceed. Today is day 90 of the corona pandemic crisis. “Follow the facts. They will show you the way.” -A.J. Parkinson. That’s what we’ve been doing in New York, following the facts. The facts today in terms of the coronavirus are good. Number of hospitalizations are down. Net change in total hospitalizations is down, intubations are down, and the new cases are down to 152, which is a dramatic, dramatic drop for us. At one point… we’ll never get to zero. What is the bottom of the curve? I don’t know, but we’re close. And the number of deaths, thank the good Lord, continues to decline. It’s at its lowest level ever of 67 deaths. And we hope and we pray that that continues to be the case.

Andrew Cuomo: (01:15)
The question is on reopening and as everyone knows, we’ve been looking at the numbers, looking at the metrics in terms of different regions across the state. The overall state was hit the hardest by this virus. And we’re coming back as the smartest. We were forced to learn more and learn faster and respond quicker because we were hit by the invisible enemy, the European virus, the virus from Europe, when everyone said watch China. Well, they were wrong. The virus came to New York from Europe. We have metrics that are posted. We want all the people to know exactly what we’re doing because they are the ones who decide what happens. So communicating this information has been key from day one. We have now done even more testing. We test more than any state in the United States per capita. We test more than any country on the globe per capita. And that is helpful in a number of ways. It also gives us more and more information to make decisions. So we can now look at the number of tests we’re doing by a specific area in the state and see on a day-to-day basis, what is happening with the spread of the virus by the number of tests in that area. And you can actually see a trendline from day to day, right? This is all about opening smart, which means what? Which means you are tracking the virus. And we can now track it on a day-to-day basis to help us inform us about our decisions and how we should react.

Andrew Cuomo: (03:08)
And we have a new dashboard that actually tracks that information. And you can see remarkably clearly what is happening in terms of the spread of the virus, the severity of the new infections, new infections in the region. So everyone will know exactly what’s happening and why we’re doing it and what we’re planning to do. The reason we are so rigorous about this is because many states and countries have reopened and they made mistakes. Yes, everybody wants to open tomorrow. I wanted to open before we ever closed, but you have to be smart. And we’ve seen what has happened painfully when cities and states and countries reopened too quickly, they had to, they wound up closing again, which is the worst situation.

Andrew Cuomo: (04:02)
So be smart. We have the data, we have more data than almost any other place on the globe because of our testing. And we have had it reviewed at every level. All the local officials sign off, the regional official sign off, the best state experts. And then we go to global experts who have done this in countries around the world who frankly have more experience than we do because they’ve been through this, the crisis and the closing and the opening and the closing again. And we review all the data with them. And I want to thank them all very much for taking the time to go through the data. But these are literally the best minds that you can find on the globe and when it comes to this and they have gone through all the data.

Andrew Cuomo: (04:51)
So I feel confident that where we can rely on this data and the five regions that have been in phase one can now move to phase two because their data has been reviewed. And the experts say to us it’s safe to move forward because people have been smart and you haven’t seen the spike. So they go to phase two. Phase two is all office-based jobs, real estate services, retail reopening, barbershops, hair salons reopening, that’s all part of phase two. There’s specific guidance on how to reopen in phase two. It’s not just open the doors and everybody has a party. It’s 50% occupancy in office buildings, signage on markers, et cetera, no meetings without social distancing. Don’t share food or beverages. I mean, I see people all the time sharing food and beverages. You really don’t want to do that now.

Andrew Cuomo: (05:59)
But again, there’s specific guidance for every area. Retail stores, 50% occupancy, wear the face covering. A store owner can tell you they don’t want you to come in if you’re not wearing a face covering. Why? Because you don’t have the right to infect the store owner, you don’t have the right to infect other customers in the store and you don’t have the right to walk into a store and all the other customers run out because you don’t have a face mask. Malls are closed except stores that open to external entrances curbside. But again, very detailed guidelines.

Andrew Cuomo: (06:38)
Barbershops, hair salons are open by appointment only. The professionals in those operations have to get a test every two weeks. We recommend that the professionals get a test before they reopen. That’s not a mandate. That’s a recommendation. And we recommend to customers to ask the barber or professional in the hair salon if they had a test before you use their services. That’s a recommendation. But they have to get a test every two weeks. And if I were walking into a barbershop, I would say, I would ask the barber, “Did you get a test before you reopened? When was the last time you got a test?” And if they got a test, they’ll have a certification. They’ll have an evidence of that test. And people will wear face coverings.

Andrew Cuomo: (07:39)
But the basic rule is still it’s all about how we act. It comes down to that. How the employer acts, how the store owner acts, how the employee acts, how the individual acts, how the local government acts. Reopening in New York City is more complicated as we know. But we are on track to meet all the metrics, hospital capacity of 70%. We want 30% hospital capacity. So God forbid something goes wrong, we have the hospital beds. We want to make sure we have the stockpile of PPE. We’re not going through what we went through last time, searching the globe for ventilators and masks and gowns. I mean, we learned that lesson the hard way, this entire country did, but it’d be madness to go through that again.

Andrew Cuomo: (08:28)
We have to have the testing in place, which we do. The contact tracing is being brought up to speed. We believe all of these things can be done next week. The MTA preparations for reopening, but we think all of this can be done by next week. And we would be on track to open the week afterwards. One of the things we want to do and we have been doing is I want to focus on the hotspots. Again, follow the facts. We have the data. We can tell you by zip code where the new cases are coming from. They are in New York City, they’re outer borough, they’re more Brooklyn, they’re more the Bronx. They are lower income areas. They’re more minority areas. And we know where they are by zip code. Some of these zip codes, you have double the infection rate in those zip codes that you have citywide.

Andrew Cuomo: (09:32)
Citywide, the infection rate is about 19%, 20%. In some zip codes, it’s over 40%, the infection rate. We know where these zip codes are. Next week, let’s do a full court press on these zip codes. And we’ve been talking to our colleagues in the city, speaking to the mayor about this. Next week, hospitals, PPE, get that contact tracing up. MTA will finish their final preparations, but then hotspots, hotspots, hotspots. We’re in New Rochelle today where we had the first hotspot in the nation.

Andrew Cuomo: (10:13)
There was no such thing as a hotspot before New Rochelle had a hotspot. Congratulations, New Rochelle, created a new term now used by every American, hotspot, in this regard. But we know where the hotspots are in the city. We want to focus on them next week, be ready to open. We are on track to open on June 8th, which is one week from Monday and next week, as I mentioned, we’ll be following up on these issues. Phase one should bring about 400,000 employees back to work in New York City. Remember that reopening does not mean we’re going back to the way things were. Life is not about going back. Nobody goes back. We go forward.

Andrew Cuomo: (11:03)
Life is not about going back. Nobody goes back. We go forward. It’s going to be different. It is reopening to a new normal. It’s a safer normal. People will be wearing masks. People will be socially distanced. It doesn’t mean they don’t like you. It’s not a personal reflection. It’s just a new way of interacting, which is what we have to do. Wear a mask, get tested and socially distance. It is that simple, but that hard. It is that simple, but that hard. Those simple devices, wearing a mask, hand sanitizer, they make all the difference. They make all the difference. You talk to all the experts, “What advice? What should we do?” Wear a mask. “How can it be that simple?” Because, sometimes it’s that simple. The doing is what’s hard, not the advice. Getting 19 million people to do it, that’s what’s hard.

Andrew Cuomo: (12:10)
What happens is up to us, up to us. People say, “Governor, tell me what’s going to happen next week, the week after.” I can’t tell you. Only you know. It’s the person in the mirror. You tell me how the people of New York City respond, I’ll tell you what happens in New York City. You tell me how the people in Westchester respond, I’ll tell you what happens in Westchester. The New Rochelle hotspot, that was all done by New Rochelle. It was no act of God. It was no external force. It happened because of what people in New Rochelle did.

Andrew Cuomo: (12:44)
We know how we got here. We know how we can get from here. If we act smart, these stores open and they’re smart, the customers are smart, people are smart, people on public transit are smart, then we won’t see those numbers go up, as we haven’t in the upstate regions that have reopened and Long Island that has reopened. The numbers have not gone up. Why? Because people have been smart. We have to continue to be smart. We’re going to be doing this in New York City with our partners. I want to thank the Mayor very much and his team very much.

Andrew Cuomo: (13:24)
Everybody in government has been working overtime. None of us have been here before, but we are figuring it out. I’m proud of the way New York is figuring it out. We wish we were never here, but once we were here, we have made the best of it. We should be proud. The Mayor is looking fit and healthy and rested. I don’t know why, but he’s looking extraordinarily good. It’s good to be with him in this new way of everyone is virtual, everyone is Zoom. But it’s not the virtual Mayor, it is the real mayor of the city of New York, Mayor Bill de Blasio.

Andrew Cuomo: (14:07)
Good to be with you mayor.

Mayor Bill de Blasio: (14:08)
Thank you so much, Governor. Governor, I’m worried that the coronavirus is affecting your eyesight because I think the last 90 days for all of us, a lot of long days. I know you and your team have worked extraordinarily hard. I think we all look a little less than ideal lately. Thank you. I want to say, first of all, thank you, Governor. Thank you to your whole team for the extraordinary work that’s happened over these last months. As you said, our teams talk all day long with a lot of common purpose. We’ve done really important work with the same strategic view, the same approach. I want to thank you for that.

Mayor Bill de Blasio: (14:55)
We are excited to get to the point of a restart for New York City. When I talked to the people of this city this morning, I told them that the indicators are moving absolutely in the right direction, but that the key to getting to a point, a definition for that phase one came from the collaboration between you and me and the state and the city to all get on the same page and make sure that we were confident that it was the right time to do it.

Mayor Bill de Blasio: (15:24)
You and I have talked and I think we are absolutely on the same page. The fact is, Governor, you’ve talked about the condition of the state and how incredibly different it is than even a month or two ago. I just want you to hear this good news about the city, our own health department indicators. We have set a threshold that we want to be under 200 new hospital admissions each day to know we’re in a safe zone. Today, Governor, only 61 new patients for COVID-19 or a similar disease. That’s breathtaking how far we’ve come on that.

Mayor Bill de Blasio: (16:05)
We also have said we want to be below 15% of all new tests, positive result for the people taking those tests. Governor, as you know, with your help we’ve all been doing more and more testing every day, literally exponential growth. Today’s number will bring a smile to your face. Only 5% of those tested, tested positive in New York City. These are great indicators. The third one, we still have a little work to do, but I’m very confident. I know you are too. That’s the number of people in our public hospital ICUs. This morning, Governor, we announced that threshold, that 375 threshold, we were damn close at 391 patients. But as you and I have discussed, we’ve got about 40 patients that actually can be cared for outside of ICUs in a different setting that gives them the long-term [inaudible 00:16:59] under that threshold.

Mayor Bill de Blasio: (17:06)
Now when you add all that together, as you and I have discussed, we are on now the gateway to the next big step. Governor as I affirm to you, we’re going to spend this coming week going out to the businesses in New York City that would be part of phase one. We’re going to be providing them with free face coverings. We’re going to be providing them with a hotline where any employer can call to figure out how to address those practical questions.

Mayor Bill de Blasio: (17:32)
I have given a lot of credit to you and your team for the guidance you’ve put out around phase one. [inaudible 00:17:36] very [inaudible 00:17:36]. [inaudible 00:17:48] questions. If we see something that’s not right, helping them correct it, but we’re going to do the same for workers. I have a hotline for workers to make sure they’re safe and they’re getting the support they need. As you and I discussed, this next week we will be able to implement all of that. A lot of hands-on direct work with the small businesses and …

Mayor Bill de Blasio: (18:05)
(silence)

Andrew Cuomo: (19:16)
It will work in New York and New York … if you continue to watch [inaudible 00:19:23]. I did want to focus on those hotspot zip codes, [inaudible 00:19:28] preparation, the hospital numbers. There are about 100 hospitals in New York City, 11 are the hospitals the Mayor was referring to, the New York City hospitals. But then there were about 90 other hospitals, they have to have the beds available. They have to have PPE available. We’ll be working with them, but we’ll get there for June 8th. June 8th, we have to be smart. Again, this is not a happy days are here again, it’s over. We have to be smart. We’re going to remind New Yorkers of that.

Andrew Cuomo: (20:02)
I want to make one point about the larger context of what’s going on in Minneapolis today, which I’m sure is very distressing to all of us. I want to begin by offering our personal thoughts and prayers to the family of George Floyd. On behalf of all New Yorkers who have seen that incredible video, we can imagine your pain. You are in our thoughts and prayers.

Andrew Cuomo: (20:33)
I would also suggest that when we think about this situation and we start to analyze this situation and the reaction, let’s not make the same mistake that we continually make, which is we tend to see incidents. This is an incident, an isolated incident and people focus on an isolated incident. It’s not an isolated incident. It is a continuum of cases and situations that have been going on for decades and decades and decades. These are just chapters in a book. The title of the book is continuing injustice and inequality in America. These are just chapters.

Andrew Cuomo: (21:22)
The chapters started modern day, Rodney King in Los Angeles, 1991. Abner Louima in New York, 1997, Amadou Diallo in New York, 1999, Sean Bell in New York, 2006, Oscar Grant, Oakland, California, 2009, Eric Garner, New York City, 2014, Michael Brown, Missouri, 2014, Laquan McDonald, Chicago, 2014, Freddie Gray, Baltimore, 2015, Antwan Rose, Pittsburgh, 2018, Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia …

Andrew Cuomo: (22:03)
… Pittsburgh, 2018; Ahmad Arbery in Georgia, 2020; Brianna Taylor in Kentucky, 2020; George Floyd in Minneapolis, 2020.

Andrew Cuomo: (22:14)
That’s why the outrage. That’s why the frustration and the anger. It is not about one situation. It’s about the same situation happening again and again and again and again, and seeing the same thing and not learning the lesson. Then it’s that happening in a broader context and a broader circumstances, which is what’s going on with the coronavirus, which affects and kills more minorities than anyone else. You look around this country and you look at the people who are dying of the coronavirus, it is this proportionate African-American people. It’s just a continuing injustice. That’s the frustration and that’s the protests. Nobody is sanctioning the arson and the thuggery and the burglaries, but the protestors and the anger and the fear and the frustration? Yes, yes. The demand is for justice. When the prosecutor came out and said, “Well, there’s other evidence, but I can’t tell you anything more than that,” That’s only incited the frustration. Injustice in the justice system, how repugnant to the concept of America, and over and over and over again.

Andrew Cuomo: (23:44)
I stand figuratively with the protestors. I stand against the arson and the burglary and the criminality. I stand with the protestors. I think all well-meaning Americans stand with the protestors. Enough is enough. How many times do you have to see the same lesson replayed before you do something? This country is better than this. It has been better than this, and it shouldn’t take this long to end the basic discrimination and basic injustice.

Andrew Cuomo: (24:22)
Any questions?

Dave: (24:23)
Governor, about the June 8th reopening, what becomes a challenge and begins to become the challenge is commuting. Earlier today, the mayor used the word improvise when answering whether some New Yorker would decide whether to drive in or to take the subway. Is that the right way to look at it? You have to sort of improvise and make that decision, or should there be guidance and ideas for how we do this?

Andrew Cuomo: (24:52)
Well, improvise. I think the mayor’s point was it’s up to you. You want to go into New York City, you go into New York City the way you want to go into New York City. If you want to drive, you can drive. You want to pay that parking, you want to deal with that traffic, that’s that’s your business. If you want to take public transit, you take public transit.

Andrew Cuomo: (25:12)
I understand why people would be anxious about public transit. That’s why the MTA is doing extraordinary work. They really are. I mean, people used to complain about how the MTA cleaned trains and buses, right? They didn’t clean the trains and buses well enough. Well, they’re now disinfecting them. I mean, that’s standard. It was just unimaginable, right? You can disinfect a train? They’re doing it. Closing the subways at night helped, but they’re disinfecting trains. The trains are disinfected. They’re using UV lights. They’re using all sorts of chemicals. They’re experimenting with films that you can spray on that kill a virus for 30 days that are a leading technology. The public transit system will be operational, is operational, and we wouldn’t operate it unless it’s safe. People have to wear masks, but the public transit system will be safe and individuals will make their own choice as they always do. Right?

Andrew Cuomo: (26:15)
I’m a Queens boy. I always had the choice: Take the train or take the car. But as I said, taking the car has obvious environmental issues and is incredibly expensive.

Dave: (26:29)
How about staggering the work shifts? How big a push on employers to stagger work shifts in offices, when we get there?

Andrew Cuomo: (26:35)
Yeah, that’s a good question, Dave. Look, this has always been about finding this new normal and everyone doing their part on an individual level and employers, private companies doing their part. I’ve been, frankly, amazed, pleasantly, at how creative and how thoughtful the employers have been in staggering, their workplace, staggering hours, staggering days. The employers have been responsive. Also, the employees won’t come back otherwise. The market works here. People want to work, people need jobs, but they’re not putting their health at risk. I think the employees are demanding response from employers, but I think employers have been very creative, and that will continue.

Speaker 1: (27:29)
Do you want to see the MTA limit capacity in any way?

Andrew Cuomo: (27:35)
You have to see if that is an issue. Social distancing, as we maintain it in other circumstances, I don’t know that you’ll be able to maintain strict social distancing on a bus or a train. I don’t think that’s reality. I’ll ask Rob Mujica to comment because he’s also an MTA board member, not just the budget director. When a train is late, I blame Rob also. They can’t do strict social distancing, but they can do the cleaning protocol, the disinfecting protocol. You have to wear a mask. You have to wear a mask, and that’s going to be part of the protocol. They’re going to be doing the best they can to stagger volume on trains, et cetera. They’re going to have personnel who are working to limit how many people get onto a train and do the staging.

Andrew Cuomo: (28:33)
Rob, you want to mention anything else on that?

Rob Mujica: (28:35)
In the guidelines you’ll see. As the governor mentioned, right, the MTA is cleaning all the cars. They’re doing the disinfecting. They’re also requiring wearing masks. You’ll see throughout the guidelines for all the re-openings to mitigate not being able to social distance, it’s wear a mask when you come within six feet. That’s why you have the order on the MTA, which is always wear a mask, because it’s more than likely that you will come within six feet. But once you wear a mask, you limit any risk. CDC has also said that surface contact with the virus is not a significant transmission of the disease, so that combined with the disinfecting, combined with adding service, so right now we’re at close to 80% of service with only 10% of the ridership, so as you go into Phase One, you’re talking about increasing by about 400, 000 people. The number of people traveling to work. Trains can easily manage that.

Rob Mujica: (29:36)
The guidelines will also talk about recommending staggered hours, staggered start and stop times for employers, which is something frankly we’ve encouraged from before the coronavirus, right? Because we have high traffic during certain times, peak traffic. All of those things together will mitigate it. But the MTA and the trains and the buses will be safer and cleaner than they were before. When the governor talks about going back better than it was before, you’re going to have an MTA that was better than it was before, cleaner than it was before and safer than it was before we started in March.

Speaker 1: (30:11)
But will you put someone on the platform, “Hey, sorry, trains full and you’ve got to wait?”

Rob Mujica: (30:16)
What we’re encouraging is, there’s other cars, right? Right now you’re saying, will there be people, as the governor mentioned, on the platforms? There are other cars often on the same train, right? The initial middle cars can be full while other cars are empty. We’ll encourage people to go into the other cars. There are not strict limits on the number of people that can get in. But like when you get to an elevator, you see eight people get into the elevator, you may time say, “Hold on, I’m going to wait for the next one.” You can do the same thing with a train and say, “I might not get into it.” But wearing a mask next to other people that are wearing masks, even if you’re not socially distance, has been safe. That’s what we’re encouraging in all of our guidelines, and that will be consistent with the MTA.

Speaker 2: (30:59)
Is there a concern that the [crosstalk 00:31:01].

Andrew Cuomo: (31:00)
Yeah. Excuse me one second, and then I’ll get right to you.

Andrew Cuomo: (31:06)
The individual responsibility also pertains to riding the public transit system. Yes, we will need a cooperative public where if you’re on a subway platform and you see the subway car is crowded, okay, wait for the next one. If you see the bus come and the bus is overcrowded, okay, be responsible. Wait for the next one. People will be part of that also.

Andrew Cuomo: (31:35)
Also, remember this, this is only Phase One. Part of the intelligence of the system is you don’t go from zero to 60 miles an hour. You go from zero to 20 miles an hour. This brings 400,000 people, Phase One, into the system. 400,000 is not a significant number in New York City, right? In a normal operating environment. You start to open gradually. I used to talk about turn the valve. Just turn the valve a little bit and watch how the system operates and see how it works. Then if you have to adjust, adjust. Nobody’s been here before. I’ve never said I know how this is going to work. We know the answers. Nobody can give you the answers. They don’t even know the questions. Nobody re-opened New York City. In history, nobody reopened in New York City. Nobody closed down New York City in history. That’ll be my claim to fame. First governor to close down New York City. Reopening, Phase One, that’s all.

Andrew Cuomo: (32:44)
Now, Phase One has worked very well in the other regions. Starting slowly has worked very well because you see little adjustments that you have to make, frankly. Little things you wouldn’t have thought of when you start to open stores, you start to open attractions. This is only 400-

Andrew Cuomo: (33:03)
… open attractions. It’s only 400,000 people, and we’ll learn, and we’ll adjust.

Speaker 3: (33:09)
Is transit the biggest challenge because we’ve mentioned these superseding events, and commute is different than just not maintaining the social distance in the store for a couple of seconds. It could be 45 minutes. It could be an hour for some people, if they’re in relatively close contact. Is transit the biggest challenge?

Andrew Cuomo: (33:33)
My prioritization for next week are the hotspots. The zip codes with twice the infection rate… They’re driving the new cases, so they’re a health care issue. And it’s the largest area of deaths. When it’s the area of hospitalizations is the area of deaths. And look, I understand the economic consequences. This state will have an historic economic problem from this situation. And I get that painfully, but for me, from day one, it’s been about the number of deaths. This has been about that for me from day one. Any of those numbers, I know we can deal with. We can fix deficits, we can fix shortfalls, we can fight with Washington for funding. The one number that we can’t fix is the number of deaths. That’s the only number that keeps me up at night, and the hotspots’ higher infection rate, higher hospitalization rate, higher death rate. So that’s first.

Speaker 4: (34:54)
Governor, many local officials in the five upstate regions were expecting to start phase two earlier today. Some have called the process confusing and that they need more communication. What’s your response to that?

Andrew Cuomo: (35:08)
They thought it was earlier today than 1:00?

Speaker 4: (35:12)
They believe that it would start right immediately today.

Andrew Cuomo: (35:15)
Today is today, and yeah, they wanted it this morning instead of one o’clock? Yeah. Well, I can understand that, but we want to make sure that the data was reviewed by all the experts. A county executive may be very good at what they do, but they’re not an expert in viral transmission in a global pandemic. I may be competent as a governor, but I am not expert in global transmissions of a viral pandemic, so I wanted to make sure we had the best minds look at all data before we stepped forward. It’s stone to stone across the morass. If you take a step and you’re not on a stone, but you step on a lily pad going across the morass, you will sink, and that’s bad. So I wanted to have the best minds review all the data to give us their opinion. They’ve signed off on it. And the difference between this morning and 1:00… I never talked to anyone about timing, morning or 1:00.

Speaker 3: (36:31)
Phase three for restaurants, dining. And it appears as though New Jersey [inaudible 00:36:38] will allow only phase two, and the city council’s introduced legislation to allow outdoor dining. Could that be done earlier than phase three if it’s outdoors or spaced apart?

Andrew Cuomo: (36:49)
It’s a good question. Have we looked at that?

Speaker 5: (36:51)
We’re still looking it. So we’re still looking at the guidance. Some areas have opened up outdoor dining in advance of indoor dining. So we’re still looking at those guidelines and we haven’t decided yet, but there’s a possibility that you could separate outdoor dining. It’s a little different, depending on which parts of the state and what access you have to sidewalks and spaces for outdoor dining. But that’s something that is on the review.

Andrew Cuomo: (37:15)
Yeah. Talk about never having done this before. So you’re right. It is restaurants, and now a new category, outdoor dining. Is that the same as a restaurant? And then what they’ll say back in the office is, well, outdoor dining on 2nd Avenue in Manhattan or in Albany? What is the size of the sidewalk? What is the volume on the sidewalk? Are they socially distancing from the table on the sidewalk? But we have to look at it. Okay. One more.

Speaker 6: (37:46)
You mentioned the protest and the outrage, and you stand with the protesters. I don’t know if you saw some of the protests in New York City yesterday. Obviously, people are going to protest whether there’s a pandemic or not. Anything you’d like to say about the safety of that situation?

Andrew Cuomo: (38:00)
I’m not commenting on the safety or behavior of any particular protest. You had a lot of violence on some of these protests

Speaker 6: (38:11)
[inaudible 00:38:11] specifically.

Andrew Cuomo: (38:12)
Yeah. But on any particular protest, obviously, obey the law. I’m against any of the criminality that has gone on. Arson, thuggery, et cetera. But Martin Luther King, the right to speak up, the protest, the frustration. I stand with that because I get it. I get it. Look, for my lifetime, basically as an adult, I’ve lived this, seeing this from Rodney King forward. I mean, I was there for Amadou Diallo, I there for Abner Louima. And then you have Eric Garner, and then you have George Floyd. It’s the same case. Just change a couple of facts. It’s the same exact situation. And when does it change? It’s not like a situation that you can’t understand. Here’s a minority, here’s an African American here. Here they are being abused. And it’s the same situation. It’s been 30 years since Rodney King. Amadou Diallo in New York, the reporter won a Pulitzer prize for the reporting. Wow. Great job by journalists. Great job showing the injustice. And what happened? What was the resolution? Where was the progress? Eric Garner? No, I’m with the protesters. Thank you very much.

Speaker 7: (40:01)
[inaudible 00:40:01] businesses. They plan to open early. They want social distancing protocols in place. What do you say to these businesses that are opening?

Andrew Cuomo: (40:03)
It’s not up to you when you open. You have to follow the law, or you will be closed. Thank you.