June 29, 2020
Albany, NY

Audio & Rush Transcript: Governor Cuomo Calls Into NY1 With Pat Kiernan

TOP Audio & Rush Transcript: Governor Cuomo...

Governor Cuomo: "Indoor dining has been problematic in the past. I'm going to be speaking to business owners today in New York City and elected officials in New York City. But the restaurants and the indoor dining can be problematic. And in New York City we have a number of things going on, we have the large social gatherings on street corners, et cetera, we have the demonstrations - that is not helpful. We have a lack of compliance and a lack of enforcement which is not helpful. So we're watching those things. I would not want to roll back anything we've done. I want to continue to move forward, but we may move forward with caution. We have a week before New York City enters the next phase, and we have numbers every day, but I'm going to be speaking to the electeds in New York City and the business owners in New York City. Malls and indoor dining are things that I'm concerned about and we may consider slowing them down for next week. Not going backwards, but we may actually slow them down."

WYSIWYG

Earlier today, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo called into NY1 with Pat Kiernan to discuss New York State's response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

 

AUDIO is available here.

 

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

 

Pat Kiernan: After what we were through New York in March and April at the height of the pandemic New Yorkers watching very nervously as we see what's happening in other parts of the country and the failure to control the spread of coronavirus, Governor Andrew Cuomo joins me now on the telephone. Governor Cuomo, you have a briefing planned for later today. You've been watching these numbers with the same intensity that all of us have with great concern about what has happened elsewhere in the country.

 

Governor Cuomo: Well good morning, Pat. You're exactly right, and look, all New Yorkers should stay concerned. We've been to hell and back, right. We've made tremendous progress. We now have the lowest infection rate in the United States of America, believe it or not, and we want to make sure we don't go backwards. Right now, we are in very good shape. We test more than any state in the nation, so we know exactly where we are. The numbers that I'm going to be speaking about today are the best numbers we've had, Pat, since we started. 853 people hospitalized in New York. That's the lowest number since this nightmare began. We had seven deaths yesterday, and again we don't want to lose anyone, but seven deaths is minimal. We had 800 deaths per day at one time. So the number of deaths on the three-day average are the lowest they've been. And we're under 1 percent in terms of infection rate. At one time when we did testing, we had 50 percent infected, so that's really, really good news.

 

Pat Kiernan: As you look at the phases of reopening and look at what other states are doing, whether they're rolling back their reopenings in some cases, are you reconsidering things like indoor dining? Have we moved too fast on that or should we take a couple steps back from that?

 

Governor Cuomo: Well, the other states are in a fundamentally different position than we are. Now, we have to make sure we don't get infected by them, which is an additional complication. But we had this tremendous spike, we then had to get to spike and a control, Pat, and bring it down. They never had the spike. They just had to stop and increase. We had to reverse an increase because we had the virus come here from Europe, which the federal government missed. But anyway, the other states never really had an intelligent reopening plan the way we did, and they are now seeing that their reopening is actually was dramatic and abrupt and brought the spread up. We've been reopening, and the spread is still gone down with our reopening, because we have a phased and we have it calibrated.

 

Now, to your question, New York City is different. It is more complicated than other parts of the state. Our numbers are good, very good right now, but there are troubling signs. We still have large gatherings which are going on, which are not helpful. We went through the protests, and now we're seeing continued large gatherings. We're seeing large social gatherings on sidewalks, et cetera which is not helpful. We are also getting information from other states of issues on malls, indoor dining. I'm working now on air conditioning systems and filtration systems, and we may be recommending to businesses that they actually install what are called HEPA filters, which can actually shelter out the virus in an air conditioning system. Indoor dining has been problematic in the past. I'm going to be speaking to business owners today in New York City and elected officials in New York City. But the restaurants and the indoor dining can be problematic. And in New York City we have a number of things going on, we have the large social gatherings on street corners, et cetera, we have the demonstrations - that is not helpful. We have a lack of compliance and a lack of enforcement which is not helpful.

 

So we're watching those things. I would not want to roll back anything we've done. I want to continue to move forward, but we may move forward with caution. We have a week before New York City enters the next phase, and we have numbers every day, but I'm going to be speaking to the electeds in New York City and the business owners in New York City. Malls and indoor dining are things that I'm concerned about and we may consider slowing them down for next week. Not going backwards, but we may actually slow them down. The other complication, Pat, is the viral spread in these other states is so high. I'm worried that we're going to get infected by the other states the way we got infected by Europe in the first place.

 

Pat Kiernan: You see the numbers there, it's frightening, and these are people who are coming back and forth.

 

Governor Cuomo: That's exactly right. That is exactly right and, you know, we don't have border control. We have a quarantine for the most highly infected states. But we are a place of commerce, people come in and out of New York all the time. We got it from the airports in the first place. So it's almost hard to avoid. We're not an island, we are technically an island in Manhattan, but we're not an island and people are going to come in and that could make it more complicated. So there are a number of forces and dynamics at work that are not helpful - the spread nationally, the additional congregations in New York, lack of enforcement in New York City on the congregations. So we're watching it all and it may be a point of caution. We have a week to decide, but I'll talk to the electeds and the business owners today, but I am concerned.

 

Pat Kiernan: And the Governor has a briefing scheduled for later today, we will bring that to you live on New York One. Governor Cuomo, thank you for joining me by phone this morning.

 

Governor Cuomo: Thank you very much Pat.

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