Heading toward Memorial Day weekend, NY Gov. Cuomo hosts coronavirus briefing (May 21)
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo offers his coronavirus briefing from New York City on May 21, 2020.
Jermell. Actress. Robert Mujica, budget director. Melissa Derosa, secretary to the governor. Gareth Roads, Young Genius. Total hospitalizations down Great news 5187 The net changes down That's good news. Intubation zit are down. That's very good news. New covert cases air down to 246 which is actually lower than we were when this first started. So we're back to a point earlier than we were when this covert crisis hit us and we started that spike. So that's really good news. Uh, the number of deaths. 105. That's terrible news. The relatively it's better than it has been. Uh, still 105 families who are grieving today, and they are in our thoughts and prayers. But you see the the overall trajectory of this situation March 20th to May 20th minute period of time that will go down in history. A lot of pain, unique period. But we got through it. We got through it. We got over the mountain literally and figuratively. We're not talking about reopening. Of course, the state we're doing it region by region. Rockland County today is eligible for elective surgery and ambulatory care. When we open up for elective surgery in the hospital system, it means we have the hospital bed capacity. One of the the mad scramble, if you remember early on, was to make sure we had enough hospital capacity because the projections where we would need double our hospital capacity in this state. So we stopped elective surgeries. Opening up elective surgeries means we have hospital capacity. When we reopen a region, we start to reopen a region. There will be increased activity. More people are coming out. That does not necessarily equate to an increase in the number of cases. It does not have to be that increased activity means more cases. It tends to be true, but it doesn't have to be true. You can have more activity and if people take the right precautions, you don't necessarily need to see a rise in the number of cases. And none of this is for your day. As you increase activity, what will happen is a function of what we do. And that's not just rhetorical. If you tell me how New Yorkers react with increased activity, I will tell you what will happen to the infection rate. It literally depends on what we do. Uh, and everyone has a role to play. As we go forward, you reopen shops for curbside retail. How do the shopkeepers, the retail owners, how do they perform? How did the employees perform? How did the employers who have people coming back perform and probably, most importantly, as individuals? How are we acting and how are we performing? Are we maintaining social distancing, etcetera? Of all the bizarre things we've gone through, this fact is probably one of the most important facts to me. Logic would have suggested that first responders would have had the highest infection rate, right? Just common sense. The nurses, the doctors, the E. M s workers who are first responding to cove it positive people working with Cove, it positive people all day long, they had to have the highest infection rate, right? Just logic. Think about those emergency rooms. People working 12 14 16 18 hours a day. With covert positive people, they must have had the highest infection rate and y p d first responders Fire department. They must have had a higher infection rate. The first responders, the front line workers wind up having a lower infection rate than the general population in that area. How can that possibly be? Because the P P E works those masks work? We've literally tested all the front line workers. Transit workers there are driving. The bus is they're encountering hundreds of people a day. They're driving the trains. Subway system on stations in cars, health care workers, nurses, doctors, hospital staff, NYPD Fire Department correction officers in state prisons with a congregate population, State Police, Office of Court administration. They all have a lower percentage than the general population. Now it's good news with the front line workers, and we were all worried about what they were doing. But there's a message for all of us, which is that the P. P. E. Actually works. The mask is not just a social symbol, right? This is not do it because we're asking you to do it. The surgical mask. This mask is the same thing that is given to the front line workers. They're not using anything different. If it reduced the infection rate for them, it will reduce the infection rate for you. But you have to wear it now we say that employers must provide this to employees when they go back to work. If they do not get one, employees should call this number on report. An employer who was not operating with the right precautions also was stopped starting outracing operation. And this is totally new. A person who tests positive the tracers will then contact that person and ask who they may have exposed. And you could get a phone call following up on this tracing information saying you were with John Smith last night. John Smith is now positive. You may want to be tested on your telephone. If you have one of the new fancy phones, which I do not, it will come up. And why s contact tracing? You should answer that call. Uh, it's not a hoax. It's not a scam. It's not a fraud. That is an official message saying New York state contact tracing is calling. So if you get that message, take that phone call. It's for your health. It's for your family's health. Small businesses are struggling. The numbers of small businesses that they're projecting may not come back are really staggering. We're trying to do everything we can on a state level. I hope the federal government passes an additional small business relief program, but we are extending the sales tax filing. We extended it from March 20th to May 19th. We're not going to extend this to June 22nd. We understand that there you have financial issues. Obviously eso the state is doing everything that they can on schools. We adopted a statewide policy for our schools. May 1st we announce K to 12 and college would be closed for the rest of the academic year. Schools obviously pose risks. Their places of gathering. They're on buses there in classrooms. How do you reduce density in a classroom? How do you reduce density in the cafeteria on a school bus, etcetera. How do you get Children toe wear masks And we have a another development that we're tracking, which is the cove. It related child illness. Mr. Russo has done great work on this, I believe. And I've said this from the start. This did not present is a covitz situation because it's not respiratory. And we were told early on that Children are not affected by cove it and that was one of the pieces of news that actually, uh, reduced anxiety early on. We're now starting to see that Children who test positive a cove it or test positive a covert antibodies are developing these inflammatory system symptoms. Inflammation of the blood vessel, inflammation of the heart. But it's quite serious, and we've lost the number of Children. New York State Department of Health was the first to really investigate this. The more they investigated, the more cases they found last Thursday. There were seven countries that also investigated in front cases. There were 17 states that found cases. Okay, this was last Thursday. Ah, Today there are 13 countries and 25 states. This is one of those situations where the more they look, I believe the more they're going to find. So when we're talking about schools again, the facts have changed from the quote unquote experts because there are no experts on this covert virus. I've learned that the hard way, uh, Children are not affected. Well, now maybe Children are affected, right? And when you're talking about schools and you're talking about Children and you're talking about density exploring the situation and make sure making sure that this is not a widespread situation affecting Children. They're not even sure the duration after the covert exposure that this might occur because this is all a case of first impression. But this is a related issue that does affect Children, and obviously it's something we're very concerned about. So question was on summer school with summer school Open summer school is not going toe open statewide for in class teaching. It will be through distance learning and meal programs, and child care services for essential employees will continue as in terms of opening up school for the fall. It's still too early to make that determination. We want to get more information on this inflammatory syndrome. We also want to see how the development for treatment of vaccine proceeds. We will issue guidelines beginning of June on what schools would need to do to come up with a plan to prepare to open. The schools will do those plans, provide them to the state. In July, the state will approve. Those plans are not approve those plans in July, all in preparation for an opening in September. But again, we don't want to make that decision until we have more facts and as the facts. Keep changing prudence. Dicks dictates that you don't make a decision until it's timely. So you have the most recent facts to make the decision. We're coming up to Memorial Day weekend. State downstate beaches that are open tomorrow. Jones Beach, Sunken Meadow Meadows, Hither hills. Robert Moses. There on Long Island, those beaches open a 6 a.m. They close at nine PM Swimming is allowed from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. And there's like Welsh beach in Harriman State Park. Just a note on these beaches. There are certain rules on beaches that are operating primarily 50% capacity and then social distancing on the beach. No contact activities. Obviously, social distancing will be enforced. Masks are required to be weren't worn when social distancing is impossible is impossible. But there is such a demand in the New York City area to get to a beach to get some respite is Memorial Day weekend. People want it. I want to get out of the homes 50% capacity. Uh, those beaches may reach capacity at 10 11 in the morning, so that's something to take into consideration. I'm a queen's boy. It's a ride to these beaches. Ah, and you don't want to take that ride and get all the way out there and find out the beach is already closed again. This is a first time for roll of us, but 50% capacity. With this pent up demand, those parking lots will reach capacity very quickly. So take that into consideration When you're making your plans. This week is national, E m s weak and ah, it's a time to thank the M s workers who just were on the front lines and did a magnificent job. Some of them actually gave their lives to this and we're Oh, very, very grateful to them the AMS workers as well as all the front line workers. But to those who we lost in this a battle and it was a battle, it is a battle, we want to say, a special condolences to their families. Uh, really. Everybody knew they knew what what inferno they were running into, and they ran into the fire for us. Everybody knew Covert 19 was dangerous, but they didn't stay home. They didn't call in sick. Some people volunteered to come from across the country to help us here in New York and they lost their lives. We should remember that. And when we were in the midst of this Now, when we get a chance to reflect on what is been done here, what we've gone through and how people reacted Winston Churchill never was so much owed by so many to so few. Uh, covert 19. It could kill you. Everyone stay home. Except the front line workers and essential workers. We need you to go to work. Well, I thought you just said Covert 19 could kill me. Yes, but you have to go to work anyway. And they did. And they did. Hospital workers, NYPD Fire Department, E M s, grocery store workers, delivery boys delivery women. They showed up. God bless them. God bless them. And we thank them questions, comments, sleepaway that have already made it closed and safely reopened in terms of being hands. Is that a different standard? Or you're gonna have information. About what? Headline on school, Summer school in September. What? What about way Have a deadline for camps. Day camps. Guidelines were prepared as the governor mentioned with the new code. Early related illnesses and Children were re looking at those guidelines to make sure that we're not doing this to early. So there are guidelines that apply to daycare presently. Are we looking at the guidelines? Four summer cans, non sleepaway camps, just to make sure that those guidelines actually still work in light of what we're newly finding right with the Children and the growing number, which is now in 100 and 57. That's right. If we can prepare guidelines and the Department of Health feels that you could do it safe. All right, so right now we had we had guidelines that replaced four day care. Right now, with this new population and the new number of cases which are increasing every day before we go ahead and say we want to open more right places where Children can congregate, we want to make sure that you can do it and mitigated within the guidelines. And we haven't made that determination yet. You know, Zack, one of the one of the cautions here is uh, look, you know me. You know my personality. I tend to be, uh, typical New Yorker. I'm aggressive. I want New York to be the first the best. I understand the desire reopened everything. Let's go. We've been on pause for too long. The economy is slow. I don't have a paycheck. I have to get out of the house. Were all about energy and aggressiveness in New York. The caution flag is they keep changing the facts on us. You know, we make a decision based on facts, but then the fax change and you revisit the same decision with a different set of facts. And it's different. Well, if you get this disease, you have antibodies and then your immune. Okay, so let's plan that all of the people who test positive for antibodies they could be the workforce that goes back safely because they can't get infected again. They can't get reinfected. That was the fact that gave us. So we test. That's where antibody tests came up. That's why there's such a demand. We do the antibody test, you're positive for antibodies. You're cleared to go back to work. Okay, Hold on. We're not sure about that anymore. What you mean you said they if they had the antibodies, they were immune. Yeah, but now we're not so sure. Okay, New set of facts, Children and not affected. Okay, let's see what we do about camps. Let's see what we do about school. Hold on. Children may be affected. This inflammatory syndrome is more frightening than cove it. Respiratory on this in some ways because it in flames, the heart Well, we know it exists. We don't know how widespread it is, but the more we look, the more we find it. And in one week, we double the number of countries who now found it, and we double the number of states. What do you do about summer camps? I say have the same conversation with our health experts? I say, Let's put it this way. I want to send my Children today. Camp. Should I send my Children today? Camp. Is it safe? Until we have this answer on this pediatric syndrome? Uh, as a parent, until I know how widespread this is, I would not send my Children to they can. And if I won't send my Children today camp, I wouldn't ask anybody else to send their Children to daycare. Is that simple? And they're still exploring this. So you make a decision on the facts. What do you do when they keep changing the fax to a caution flag, especially when you're talking about Children following up on this New York aggressive distance strength. When we were the early hot spot, some other governors by executive order, decided to sort of prevent us from going there. Hawaii Places like that now in June. If lights start coming here more and more often, it's sort of the reverse. What do you do? Is the governor here to at our airports? Do something beyond what's being done now? And are we at a point where they're a little bit more to use the word aggressive against people who come in making sure that quarantine than we are you? Well, you're right. The tables have turned somewhat. New York our infection rate is going down. You look at those numbers. New Yorkers don't have done a phenomenal job off doing what they needed to do to flatten that curve. Another new expression that nobody would have heard of last year. But now everybody knows, and the infection rate in New York is coming down. The infection rate in the rest of the nation is going up. You have some states that are have more cases than they've ever had. Right now, uh, we are watching it. The ability of a state we don't do Customs and Border Patrol. That is basically a federal obligation and federal duty and a federal role. They do all the clearances of people coming in at airports. We, we administratively operate the airport through the Port Authority, but its federal law and federal agents that can stop people from coming into concurrent een at an airport. It's questionable about what the state's role is, but it's something we're watching. Taking temperatures of people coming in. Asking questions of people coming in is something we're considering. Would you say it's on? You know it's unacceptable with beds are letting us down, so I have to step in. It raises legal questions on and policy questions, but it is something we're watching new model from university. Just that people is the It's the order. Earlier on March, Mayor Glasses up Today, I wish Way had no more because we would have been able to do more. I'm wondering, Do you think could have been sure after earlier implement? Yeah, I think it's frankly this situation is worse then, uh, the story suggests we may lose 100,000 people in this country to cove it. Uh, if this country newme or and knew it earlier, I think we could have saved, uh, many, many more lives. I mean, when you think about it, In retrospect, the virus is in China, November and December. Everybody knows that we do a China travel ban February 1. President did it, and some people said at that time he was criticized that it was too early. We do a European travel ban march 16th. Okay, by the time you get to March 16th starts in China November December, you then have January February March. We now know the virus left China, got on a plane and went to Europe and from Europe. The virus got on a plane and came to the United States and came to New York. January February, March, March 16th European travel ban. Three million Europeans travel to New York State. Three million. If you not have you know that the virus left China November December and went to Europe, you would have done a European travel ban December 31 China Travel ban December 31 how many lives could you have saved? So I think it's actually we started to Monday morning quarterback. I think it goes back before that. New York Times doesn't call for a closed down until March 24th. Think about it. March 24th. Forget March 24th. Should have been December 31st. But who know the virus left China? Who knew the virus went to Europe? Who knew the virus was already here? January February March? No. Who should have known? It's above my pay grade is governor of one state. But what federal agency would international health organization? I don't know. It's not what I do. It's not my responsibility. But somebody has to answer that question. November December It's in January in China. Everybody says is coming from China's coming from China's coming from China. It came from China. It left China. What do you think it was gonna sit in China and wait for you to get there? Oh, it traveled like everybody else traveled. We'll talk about mobility, etcetera. November, December in China, we don't act until March. SEC state lawmakers are reconvening next week. Are there any issues that you would want them to address and have been involved in legislative two years. I talked to the legislative leaders on every significant thing I do with executive order. So I've been talking to them all along. Um, I understand. Uh, you know, the legislators have been working very hard. They're in touch with people on their district. People think, Well, they're not in Albany, that not working no, their work. I think they're working harder than they've ever worked, by the way, because the demands in the district of very high. But they've been involved with everything we're doing and whatever they plan to do, we'll talk about you have some what it's still be done for through the Legislature the rest of the year. Well, look, you're in the middle of a situation that no one has ever seen before. Eso the range of what you could do is almost limitless. Question is, what do you want to do and what can you do? Right? We're waiting for Washington to act with. Desperate for Washington's action. If Washington does not provide federal relief because we have such a big deficit, I want to make sure New Yorkers know what will happen. You know they Washington's far away. What difference does it really make? Its or politics? This legislation makes a difference if we don't get federal funding, loss of school aid, loss of funding to hospitals because that's the state budget, right? Where does the state budget go? Goes to education, goes the health care. That's where our funding goes. And there goes the local governments most of school aid, most of hospital aid, most of funding to local governments as police fire first responders way Have todo. Well, we have to see what Washington does otherwise, you know. You know the equation. If we don't get federal funding, we will have to cut those areas about 20%. That's where we are. Thank you for your good work I have regarding Do you Doesn't first coming. Why tell us? I guess my question is so you see, we have the only update on the numbers we have now. 159 cases were investigating. Ah, I said the tip of the iceberg. Let's say 10 days ago or one week ago, whenever this came time will blurs for me in this tip of the iceberg was right because in one week we double the number of countries and we double the number of states. That's what I mean by the tip of the iceberg. Also, I wouldn't call this a curve. The way we talk about curves, there's not really a curve off the infection rate. This is a discovery phase we're in. The more they look, the more they find right. So you have a universe of Children who have had this inflammatory syndrome across the country across the world, you're now saying to People will go back and look at those same cases through the lens of possible cove it infection and they're rediscovering now or coming to a different analysis. Now, once they're checking for covert, the more they look, I believe them, or they will find your specific question I haven't gotten any information on, In other words, from a point of infection or resolution of the infection, meaning you have antibodies. How long until the onset of this syndrome? I don't believe they have an answer on that yet, which is what's frightening, You know, they're now starting to say what you could have these antibodies and these antibodies may have a negative effect on your system because we never seen these antibodies before for this virus. And now, after one week or two weeks or three weeks or a month with these antibodies, you may be experiencing symptoms like this, but the role just discovering That's what's so difficult and frightening about this. You know, there is no road map on the other a man. Joseph question. They are always annoying questions. Did you ever notice that? Okay, he's a good Yeah, I know. You would have to, um, Connecticut in bars and restaurants this well, just two miles away. Whatever happened? Super. Yeah, we are coordinating with all the regions we said from day one. Coordination does not mean and collaboration does not mean uniformity. There won't be uniformity because you have areas of different density. You have areas with different infection rate. You know, we don't have, uh, uniformity across our own state. New York City's one situation, Long Island is another situation. Westchester's another situation upstate were already reopening, so it's not uniformity. It's collaboration, because what we do in Albany might affect the mid Hudson might affect what they do in Jersey might affect what Connecticut does might affect So it's the collaboration, and that has been going well. But Connecticut has a different situation than we have here in terms of density numbers, infection rate, hospitalization rate. Their reality is a different reality. Down shut out of school, city and state. One That seems to be the case now with really opening. Why so get the same date. And how do you bring clarity? How's reopen? Yeah, I don't think we're on a different, uh, page at all on schools and reopening. My position is, I don't have a position. I don't know whether or not they should reopen yet. We're getting more information. We're getting more data and will make a decision on the full reopening in a timely way. We're telling them, Go ahead, do your plans. Tell me how you would take a classroom, reduced the density. Tell me how you would reduce density in a school bus. Tell me how you would reduce density in the cafeteria setting etcetera. Give us those plans by July, and then we have to make a decision about September. But I don't think there's ah difference of opinion or position between the state in the city. You were city 17 times a day. We've been in lockstep on everything. The indicators that they laid out initially lineup almost identically with our indicators. Um, and, you know, we did the religious ceremonies decision of something that they agreed with on beaches we wanted to take into account the local situations. And that was something that I know Mayor de Blasio supported. And so we've been operating in lockstep with the city. Message woke. Forget this city. I can tell you this. There are 700 school districts in the state I closed down. This is a decision we do statewide. I closed down all schools when I close down all the schools of the 700 school district's If you were to have polled them or taking a vote, uh, 550 of them would have disagreed with what I was doing. In retrospect, it turns out right, But if you asked all those 700 of those 700 the overwhelming majority were against the closed down. Ah, now they have a different frankly said of concerns than I do. You're operating a school district. You're going then goto a remote system. This is a major transformation. How do I do it? But you have 700 School District's. Nobody's been here before. Yeah, you're gonna have 700 different opinions. What? You have one decision maker, but you have 700 different opinions. Thanks. Cometary have kids. You mention times. Are you me? And did you know, Senator, could you please elaborate on what the goal of that partnership is? And if they have any finding so far, or if it's too early on also? No. Initially, I think you said it was infecting Children of all races. But then you the doctor, discovered that there's a pattern and trafficking more minority. Yeah, I can get you the breakdown of the number of Children. The work with Rockefeller in the Genome Center is that trying to figure out why these Children is there something in their DNA code eyes. There's some common denominator among these Children. Why are these Children affected when other Children aren't infected? That's that's basically what they're trying to find out. There hasn't been any recent development of any significance. This kind of research tends to be time intensive, but they're trying to figure out what it is and why is it and are certain Children Maura at risk? Because the initial finding is so broad, it goes from less than one year old child. Listen, when you're old, too 18 1921 years old, that's a big range male female. Now it's countries all across the globe. So they're trying to find they're trying to narrow, uh, the universe to see if there's some common linkage, genetic or otherwise, among these Children. But they haven't found anything yet. I can get you the most recent breakdown of the cases that we have in New York. We can get you that today. Last question. So New York's and love growing businesses are shut man to block. You're saying reopened by early. Did you discuss this with married? Blast yours. So just go, considering dire situation. Yeah. Look, it is a It's a very, very difficult place debate. Right. Uh, it's you have financial stress. You have personal stress. On the other hand, you have the possibility of hospitalization or death, right? So there is no good choice here, and we want to find the root that gets us between the two. We don't want financial ruin, but we don't want death either. Right? So that's the balance we're trying to find. Well, how do you find that balance? You do it on the science and you do it on the data and you do it on the numbers. What's the infection rate? What's the hospitalization rate? What's the death rate? And find that path through the middle using the data. And we have the best scientific thinking in the best data analysis, and we have a set of seven criteria that just measure the infection rate and the spread again, which is determined by how people act. That's why when you have these gatherings at parks or at bars and nobody's wearing a mask, you know, that's we have nobody to blame but the person in the mirror, right? It's our actions that are creating the infections, but we have those mathematical metrics, and they guide the reopening for New York City like they do for NASA on so frickin Westchester in Buffalo and Rochester, the same number, same metrics all across the state. It's just how that locality fits with those metrics, and you can't do it by time. If you make those numbers tomorrow, you open tomorrow. If you make them in a month, then you re open in a month. But you don't reopen until you can reopen safely, because the last thing we want is to go back where we were on the other side of the mountain, right? We saw the spike. We then saw a very slow decline that took a lot of pain on a lot of time. We don't want to make a mistake now and go back to a spike. That would be the worst case scenario. And if I could just add, I don't believe that. That's what Mayor de Blasio said. I believe what Mayor de Blasio said is it looks like we're on track for June based on the metrics with a big ass tricks for what happens between now and then and again. We're on the exact same page with them based on the metrics. That is what it looks like. Thank you guys. Yes, he said, way all have the same numbers in the same criteria. The only courses when we hit those numbers, and that comes down to what people do. Well, I'm watching exact drink. Do you guys think