October 8, 2020
Albany, NY

Audio & Rush Transcript: Governor Cuomo Announces New Record High Number of COVID-19 Tests Reported

TOP Audio & Rush Transcript: Governor Cuomo...

145,811 COVID-19 Test Results Reported to New York State Yesterday

 

20 ZIP Codes in Areas with Hot Spots - Brooklyn, Queens and Orange and Rockland Counties - Have 5.8 Percent Positivity Rate 

 

Statewide Positivity Excluding Hot Spot ZIP Codes is 1.01 Percent; 1.26 Percent with Hot Spot ZIP Codes Included

 

10 COVID-19 Deaths in New York State Yesterday

 

SLA and State Police Task Force Visits 637 Establishments; Observes 7 Establishments Not in Compliance

 

Governor Cuomo: "The statewide infection rate is actually lower than it has been. The 1.01 is down from the past several weeks so don't confuse 6 percent of the population and say it's representative of the state because it wouldn't be a fact."

 

Cuomo: "There's always been opposition to some of these rules but the rules have been proven over time to work. This is still science and math at the end of the day."

WYSIWYG

Earlier today, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that 145,811 COVID-19 diagnostic test results were reported to New York State yesterday—a new record high. In the top 20 ZIP codes in areas that have seen recent outbreaks - Brooklyn, Queens, and Rockland and Orange Counties - 7,349 tests were conducted, yielding 426 positives or a 5.8 percent positivity rate. In the remainder of the state, 138,462 tests were conducted yielding 1,410 positives or a 1.01 percent positivity rate.

 

AUDIO of today's remarks is available here

 

A rush transcript of the Governor's remarks is available below:

 

Good morning, guys, guys being gender-neutral. I'm joined by Melissa DeRosa, Dr. Zucker, Robert Mujica, Beth Garvey, Gareth Rhodes, want to thank them for all their hard work. Today is day 222. It's been 222 days for them every day. Every day. 

 

Yesterday we did 145,000 tests. That is a new record for the State of New York and I want to make sure you understand the facts here because some of them have misreported because it's complicated. 

 

145,000 tests, that's more tests than anyone is doing in the United States, a new high for us. The tests and the reason we're increasing tests is we're testing two universes - the normal statewide testing which is what we've been doing and then testing just in the hot spot zip codes. 

 

The hot spot zip codes yesterday were 5.8. The rest of the state 1.01 which is very good and it's lower than it's been and it's down from 1.05, the day before. 

 

Some have reported it that the state's infection rate is going up. That is not a fact. That is incorrect. The clusters are what we are watching. The clusters are 6 percent of the state population. I don't think there is any other state that does enough testing to even know what 6 percent of the population is doing. So we're focused on 6 percent of the population because we have enough data to know what 6 percent of the population are doing.

 

The statewide infection rate is actually lower than it has been. The 1.01 is down from the past several weeks so don't confuse 6 percent of the population and say it's representative of the state because it wouldn't be a fact. You can say whatever you want to say. You do, but it's just not a fact. 

 

Ten New Yorkers passed away yesterday. They're in our thoughts and prayers. 754 were hospitalized, 172 in ICU, 67 intubated. Regionally, Capital region is .5, that's very good; Central New York 1; Finger Lakes 0.3; Long Island 1, that's good for Long Island; Mid-Hudson 2.2, that's Orange and Rockland; Mohawk Valley 0.5, that's good; North Country 0.7, that's good. Southern Tier 1.3 - we have that Broome cluster there. Western New York 1.4 - we have to do better in Western New York. New York City, 1.2. New York City disproportionately in a sample is larger so the 1.2 is not good. 

 

Six percent of the population in these clusters and we know exactly where they are. Binghamton was a peculiar situation and we are dealing with that. Otherwise Orange, Rockland, Queens, Brooklyn, we're dealing basically with five towns. 

 

The Orthodox Jewish community, ultra-Orthodox Jewish community - what's happening there is the rules were never enforced in these communities. You know, remember the new rule if you will for the cluster in the red zone says the synagogue would have maximum of 10 people which is a minyan. At one time, we had rules that closed down houses of worship. Synagogues, churches, mosques, et cetera. Closing down is more dramatic than the current rule. Why are they so upset about the current rule when there was a previous rule that was more dramatic? Because the previous rules were never enforced, that's why. 

 

That's why this rule seems harsh because they never followed the first rules and because they were never enforced. That's why I said to all of you 57 times the local governments have to enforce the rules. They were never enforced in these clusters. 

 

Now, we didn't have enough testing and enough data to actually zero in on 6 percent of the population before. The longer you don't follow the rule, the higher the infection rate spreads and the more obvious it becomes. The only evidence is the fact that they never followed the first rules. You can't have more than 10, I'm very upset. What do you mean you're very upset? The rule was you couldn't have anybody. This rule is more liberal than the first rule. 

 

That's what's happening here. Facts, common sense, self-preservation all makes the argument of follow the rule. They are now inarguable. A large part of the community is but, obviously, there's some opposition. There's always been opposition to some of these rules but the rules have been proven over time to work. This is still science and math at the end of the day. Everybody can have a theory. Well this person thinks this and this person thinks this - okay. I think there are people who come down from Mars every night, but there are still facts. So follow the facts. 

 

Also, remember, this is not the first time we've had this discussion with members of this community. We went through this just recently with the measles vaccine. Same argument. Same argument. Well, measles will spread through your community. Well, measles will infect the larger community. Same conversation. 

 

Oh so just to include: The rules are inarguable. They will save lives. Jewish tradition, which - and you haven't had a Governor who's a greater friend of Israel and the Jewish community than I have. I've tried to purposefully do that. My father was very close to the Jewish community, I'm very close to the Jewish community. He was close to the Orthodox community, I'm close to the Orthodox community. Nobody has traveled more to Israel. Two of my brothers-in-law are Jewish. Nobody's fought anti-Semitism more aggressively than I have. First Governor in the nation to do BDS. That didn't stop the controversy over measles and it's not going to stop the controversy over this situation either. 

 

The President of the United States says today New York is closing down parts of the economy because we want to hurt the economy until after his election. The President, once again, is disconnected from reality. The President, once again, is either lying, purposefully deceiving, or ignorant. We're not closing down anything, we're talking about 6 percent of the population. These are limitations, but again are limitations that are in many ways more liberal than past ones. "Well they want to hurt my economy until after my election." The rules are in place for two weeks. There's a calendar. The calendar on it has months and weeks and days. Two weeks is before his election, not after his election. So if he looks at a calendar, you find election day and you look at where we are today and you add 14 days, that's before his election date. That's a fact. So the President is wrong, which happens to be the norm.

 

Vice President called Senator Harris a "monster" yesterday. Now the Vice President has always tried to set himself up as a gentleman and a professional and above pettiness and ugliness. Well he was petty and he was ugly and he was insensitive yesterday. Senator Harris is a monster? On what basis? What justification to use that word, a "monster"? This on a debate after the President made the first debate a disgusting mockery of crudeness and bullying and obnoxiousness. You'd think the Vice President would say, "Well I want to set a different tone, that's not my style and he calls the first African-American, Asian female to run for Vice President a monster. Disgusting. So for the President to call her a monster was just wrong.

 

Last point, Jim Dwyer passed away. Jim Dwyer, for those of you who don't know, he was a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist. He was at Newday, he was at the Daily News, I've known him for I bet you 30 years. To say it's a great loss to journalism is to understate it. It's a great loss to journalism but he was just a great New Yorker and a powerful voice for many, many years. I did a video for tonight they have the Jack Newfield Lecture Series, named for Jack Newfield, and tonight they're talking about a book of Wayne Barrett's work, Without Compromise, a book where Wayne Barrett was one of the first reporters to look at Donald Trump and expose the deception that is Donald Trump. He was also a colleague of Jack Newfield and the Jack Newfield Lecture Series is going to be hosting tonight about Wayne Barrett, the same day we lose Jim Dwyer. And working on the video for Wayne Barrett, it's almost reinforcing that we lose Jim Dwyer. Jack Newfield, Jimmy Breslin, Pete Hammill who we just lost, Jim Dwyer - I grew up with these guys. I say in the video, I said that I'm out of sync with today's journalism, because I grew up in the home of Mario Cuomo. As a kid, listening to Jack Newfield and Jimmy Breslin and Pete Hammill and Wayne Barrett and the back and forth, and it was a different type of journalism back then. It was not journalism that was 280 characters in a Tweet. They wouldn't do that. They wouldn't think that you could do it. And it was not about 'he said, she said'. I say in the video, when journalism becomes 'he said, she said' - he says the world is round, she says the world is flat - when that's the extent of journalism, don't be surprised when half the population thinks the world is flat because there was no arbiter of truth. A higher endeavor of journalism, he says the world is round, she says the world is flat, however every scientist since the findings of Christopher Columbus say the world is round and there is absolutely no basis to say the world is flat. That's adding the discovery of the truth. Jim Dwyer was about the discovery of the truth, and he was brilliant. He was hard working. He also was a poet. He had a beautiful way of communicating it. He had the same gift that I think Billy Joel has. Billy Joel is brilliant, but he has a gift of communicating in a way that people understand. He has a connectivity - capacity to connect. Jim Dwyer, through a different medium, had that same ability; the ability to connect with New Yorkers, to take complicated subjects, find the truth, and then communicate it to New Yorkers in a way they understood. 

 

Jim Dwyer had a contemporary, Mike McAlary, who was a good friend of mine in my bridal party, and both Jim and I spoke at Mike's eulogy. Mike had that gift also. But he is gone, he is gone, and it's a terrible loss. I went to see Jim at Memorial Sloan Kettering the other day and he was full of - he was there and the whole experience, God bless those people at MSK, gowns, and masks, face shields. They're trying to do their job, and then they have to do their job, which is difficult enough, on top of COVID. I spent hours with Jim walking through Subway tunnels when we were redoing the MTA last year, and finding out why the system had decayed. I can't tell you how many - we got to the bottom of the drainage problem. The reason the water was backing up was because the drainage system was clogged at the MTA. And then we did these late night visits together to car repair shops, where people were supposed to be working and nobody was around, and that's what prompted the time clocks being put in, because we showed up at places that the employees just weren't there, so that's when we started the time clocks.

 

Anyway, it's sad. It is really, really sad. He was my contemporary, my age. Best I know he didn't have COVID. But he's gone and I miss him, and we're going to be the weaker for it.

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