March 3, 2020
Albany, NY

Audio & Rush Transcript: Governor Cuomo is a Guest on CNN with Brooke Baldwin

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Audio & Rush Transcript: Governor Cuomo is a Guest on CNN with Brooke Baldwin
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Governor Cuomo: "We have a Coronavirus epidemic, we have a fear pandemic. The fear factor is way ahead of the facts of dealing with this disease."

"I think that's the real pandemic here, people just don't believe the facts that government is telling them, and that's unfortunate."

Earlier today, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo was a guest on CNN with Brooke Baldwin to discuss the novel Coronavirus.

AUDIO is available here.

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

Brooke Baldwin: With me now, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. Governor, thank you so much for being with me and tell me about this man. Because it is my understanding he has not traveled to any hot spots. He does work in midtown Manhattan. Do you know how he got it?

Governor Cuomo: This is one of those cases Brooke that you can't trace back to a specific source. There is no specific travel to China, etc. So, they call it community spread. But this is also a gentleman who has underlying respiratory illness. And so he is in a target category where it may have a greater effect, right? Because we are really focused on senior citizens and people who have compromised immune systems or some other underlying illness. He is hospitalized. But the reality is - community spread - it is inevitable that you are going to see more and more cases. You have been seeing that all along. You will see dozens and dozens of cases as we go over these next few weeks. And you will see more and more community spread where it is one place removed, where you can't say this person went to China. And that is the natural, mathematical evolution of what we are looking at.

Brooke Baldwin: But how do you track the people that he has come in contact with?

Governor Cuomo: You do the best you can. But, for example, people lead their lives. You know, they go to a party, they meet dozens of people. A child goes to school, he is in contact with dozens of other children. So, you do the best you can, but it is not going to be a precise system obviously. And that is why you are going to see a spread. But I think, if anything Brooke, we have a Coronavirus epidemic, we have a fear pandemic. The fear factor is way ahead of the facts of dealing with this disease. And the fear factor has to be managed as much as the reality of the situation and the fear factor I think is based on the fact that people are so distrustful of government now and it's so hyper-politicized and the Democrats are blaming the Republicans for understating and the Republicans are saying the Democrats are overstating. People don't even know what to believe anymore because if they believe the facts that 80 percent are going to self-resolve, of the other 20 percent some will go to the hospital, and the mortality rate is about 1.2 percent which is double the normal flu rate and that's unfortunate but it's manageable and it can be reduced even from that because we have a better healthcare system. The facts are not frightening. If you believe the facts, and I think that's the real pandemic here, people just don't believe the facts that government is telling them, and that's unfortunate for a much broader set of reasons.

Brooke Baldwin: I know a lot of New Yorkers are hanging on your every word, we live on top of each other, we're on trains, the concern, you say there will be more community spread. Of course the concern is what do you do when you're living in New York City? Just quickly, your advice.

Governor Cuomo: You live your life. Yes, you take extra precautions, hand sanitizer, etcetera, but we have 15,000 people in New York in hospitals today, Brooke. Fifteen thousand, for the flu. That's the normal flu. Are you going to see this virus spread? Yes, and this obsession of one case, one case, new case, new case - you will see dozens and dozens and dozens of cases. That is going to happen. Understand it. Prepare for it. But the underlying reality is we can manage the system. We're doing more testing. We have the hospital beds, and the mortality rate, the lethality of this disease is double the normal flu rate but it is manageable although unfortunate and that's what this is, if people actually believed it. The fear factor is in some ways harder to deal with than the reality.

Brooke Baldwin: Governor Cuomo, thank you. Live your life. Governor, thank you.

Governor Cuomo: Live your life.

Contact the Governor's Press Office

Contact us by phone:

Albany: (518) 474 - 8418
New York City: (212) 681 - 4640