Governor Cuomo: "You played politics with this virus and you lost. You told the people of your state and you told the people of this country, White House, 'Don't worry about it. Just open up, go about your business, this is all Democratic hyperbole.' Oh, really? Now you see 27 states with the numbers going up. You see the death projections going up. You see the economy going down. It was never politics. It was always science. And they were in denial, and denial is not a life strategy."
Cuomo: "Forget that. Your hospital beds are filling up. You know what that means when your hospital beds fill up, it means more people are getting sick. That's what's happening. And it's now undeniable. This country paid a terrible price."
Cuomo: "We today, Alisyn, have the lowest hospitalization rates since this started... We're under 1,000 people hospitalized for coronavirus. 996. That is the lowest number since we started. We have 17 deaths today which is one of the lowest numbers since we started."
Earlier today, Governor Cuomo was a guest on CNN's New Day and announced that New York has reached its lowest hospitalization rate since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
AUDIO of the interview is available here.
A rush transcript of the interview is available below:
Alisyn Camerota: Joining us now is New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. Good morning, Governor. Great to see you. First, let me just ask you in practical terms, can you just explain how this is going to work? If there's a driver driving up on I-95, from Florida, who is going to stop her at the border of New York?
Governor Cuomo: Good to be with you Alisyn. This is not a blockade. I don't believe a blockade is legal. The federal government at one time threatened to blockade New York which means you couldn't come in, you couldn't go out. I don't believe that's constitutional, but states do have the authority to regulate their own public health. The law is if you come in from another state you have to self-quarantine for 14 days. If you don't, and you get caught, you will have violated the law. You can be fined. It's like any other law, Alisyn. You know, you can speed in your car and if you don't get caught you're fine. You can drink too much and get in a car and drive home, and if you don't get caught you're fine. But if you fly in to New York, we'll have your name, we'll know where you're supposed to be staying, there will be random checks. You get pulled over by a police officer and he looks at where your residence and says "How long have you been here?" You get sick, Alisyn, and you go to a hospital from out of state and you test positive and you've been within the 14 days, you violated the law. You are going to have a problem.
Alisyn Camerota: But Governor what do you mean there will be random checks? At people's homes, people's workplaces? What does that look like?
Governor Cuomo: Well, we know people who fly in. You fly in here from another state, we know what flight you came in on. And we'll have inspectors who are randomly looking at the names on the list and calling to follow up to make sure you're quarantining. And if you're not you're in violation of the law and you will have a mandatory quarantine, and you'll be fined. I think most people are going to honor it. You know, they understand why we're doing this. We have one of the lowest infection rates in the United States right now. We had one of the highest as you know. Weworked very hard in New York, and the people of New York sacrificed for the past three months. They closed down, they wear masks, they socially distance, we have the virus under control and we don't want to see it go up again. It's that simple and people understand that. So i think they're going to honor it because people at the end of the day, they get it now. It took them too long to get it but this country gets it now.
Alisyn Camerota: Remember when Florida did this to New Yorkers, and I remember you being not so pleased and calling it political at that time. So what's different now?
Governor Cuomo: Oh, it's still highly political. Look, I said the same thing for three months. You can just play the tape. I was listening to Sanjay on the section before. Three months ago I said we're playing politics with the virus and the virus is going to win. It was all politics. And the virus - you can't beat a virus with politics. The virus isn't Democratic or Republican. We were in political denial. And people were saying "Don't worry about it. It's only the flu. Go about your business, open the economy. Lberate, liberate, liberate New York. We took a different track in this state, but I said it's going to catch up with us, and you're going to see that virus go up and you're going to lose Americans you don't need to lose - and it's actually going to hurt the economy. It's not going to help the economy. You open up the economy too fast, the virus goes up, the stock market is going to go down. That's right where we are and we can't deny it anymore. We played politics and we lost. Now follow the science. That's what it's been about from day one. What we're saying in New York, look, we did the right thing and New Yorkers paid a terrible cost as you know, Alisyn. They have been locked up. They have been closing their businesses. We have the virus under control finally. We had to flatten the curve. We don't want to go back.
Alisyn Camerota: Remember back in May when Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida had talked about how basically blocking people from hot spots, at that time New York, had been very effective for Florida. So let me play that for you to remind you.
Governor DeSantis audio: I quarantined them in March and everyone in the New York media was blowing a gasket. That was the right decision. That was the number one landing pad. Had we not done the quarantine you would have had way more cases, the hospitalizations, the whole nine yards. I have no doubt that that quarantine saved lives.
Alisyn Camerota: So, what do you say to him today, now that the tables have turned?
Governor Cuomo: Oh, I say to them all look at the numbers. You played politics with this virus and you lost. You told the people of your state and you told the people of this country, White House, "Don't worry about it. Just open up, go about your business, this is all Democratic hyperbole." Oh, really? Now you see 27 states with the numbers going up. You see the death projections going up. You see the economy going down. It was never politics. It was always science. And they were in denial, and denial is not a life strategy. You see now they're saying, don't worry, it's not really that the virus is going up. Just the testing numbers are going up. I don't even know what that means mathematically. And forget that. Your hospital beds are filling up. You know what that means when your hospital beds fill up, it means more people are getting sick. That's what's happening. And it's now undeniable. This country paid a terrible price. We today, Alisyn, have the lowest hospitalization rates since this started.
Alisyn Camerota: Today. You're saying New York today is setting a record?
Governor Cuomo: Yes. I'm going to announce the numbers later this morning. But the lowest hospitalization rate since we started. We're under 1,000 people hospitalized for coronavirus. 996. That is the lowest number since we started. We have 17 deaths today which is one of the lowest numbers since we started.
Alisyn Camerota: Wow.
Governor Cuomo: So, this is after three months, Alisyn, of everyone working hard and doing the right thing and taking this seriously. I got lambasted by everyone saying, "Just open up the economy. You're overreacting. Don't listen to all these scientists who are saying the virus could go up. That's just fear mongering." It wasn't. They were facts, and facts are facts, even in this crazy political environment. Even at this crazy political time.
Alisyn Camerota: Yeah.
Governor Cuomo: And the people who played politics now are causing this nation great havoc. You're seeing it all across the country. You're seeing the deaths numbers go up. We'll lose tens of thousands more Americans - it's a real American tragedy we're living through.
Alisyn Camerota: Well, Governor, we're very happy to hear that the numbers are going in the right direction and that you have something to celebrate in New York today, at least. Thank you very much for being on "new day.
Governor Cuomo: Alisyn, who's your favorite Cuomo?
Alisyn Camerota: You know the answer, Governor. You know the answer. Great to see you. Thanks so much.