August 10, 2020
Albany, NY

Audio & Rush Transcript: Governor Cuomo Updates New Yorkers on State's Progress During COVID-19 Pandemic

TOP
Audio & Rush Transcript: Governor Cuomo Updates New Yorkers on State's Progress During COVID-19 Pandemic
Share

Governor Releases "Mask Up, Long Island" PSA Featuring Members of Long Island's Reopening Control Room

ICU Patients Drop to 127 — New Low Since March 16

Hospitalizations Drop to 535 — New Low Since March 17

0.88 Percent of Yesterday's COVID-19 Tests were Positive

2 COVID-19 Deaths in New York State Yesterday

SLA and State Police Task Force Observes Violations of State Requirements at 19 Establishments

Confirms 476 Additional Coronavirus Cases in New York State - Bringing Statewide Total to 421,336; New Cases in 36 Counties

Cuomo: "New York conducted 54,000 tests yesterday - 276 were positive. That's .88 ... all New Yorkers should feel very satisfied with the progress we've been making."

Cuomo: "State Liquor Authority, State Police have been working on the bar and restaurant issue which is a serious issue for us...This is an enforcement issue. It's not an informational issue. People have the information. They know what they're supposed to be doing and what they're not supposed to be doing. This is an enforcement issue and I need the local governments and the local Police Departments to do the enforcement. It's that simple."

Cuomo: "We're still recovering from the tropical storm. The utility companies - some of them are doing a better job some are doing a worse job. ConEdison and PSE&G are doing the worst jobs in terms of recovery. I've asked the Public Service Commission to do an investigation and they are in the midst of that, but this is an old story at this point. ... Depending on what they find in the investigation, they can require fines, penalties, restitution, and I want the utilities to know that we do not abide by the concept in New York that anything is too big to fail. Your franchise can be revoked. I am not bluffing."

Earlier today, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo updated New Yorkers on the state's progress during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The number of new cases, percentage of tests that were positive and many other helpful data points are always available at forward.ny.gov.

The Governor also released a new Public Service Announcement today, made for and by Long Islanders, reminding their neighbors to wear a mask and help stop the spread of coronavirus. The advertisement features members of the State's Long Island Control Room, including Nassau County Executive Laura Curran, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, Long Island Federation of Labor President John Durso, NAACP Long Island Regional Director Tracey Edwards, and Long Island Association President Kevin Law. New York State is partnering with Altice to air the PSA on Long Island. The PSA can be viewed here.

AUDIO of the Governor's remarks is available here.

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

Good morning everybody. Joined today by Melissa DeRosa, Robert Mujica, Jim Malatras, Gareth Rhodes, and we have Mike Kopy who is the head of emergency management of the State of New York, on the phone.

Today is day 163. New York conducted 54,000 tests yesterday - 276 were positive. That's .88. That is a great number for us. Pardon me if I sound excited but these things in life make me excited but that's really good news.

Two New Yorkers passed away. They are in our thoughts and prayers but I think all New Yorkers should feel very satisfied with the progress we've been making to see just two New Yorkers passed away. We don't want to lose anyone but once you accept reality that we will lose people from this COVID virus, that number is extraordinary relative to where we've been as you all know.

535 New Yorkers were hospitalized - that's a new low since this began. 127 in ICU - that's a new low. 62 intubated, and that is a new low so on the numbers God bless New Yorkers. They're doing what they need to do and we've made tremendous progress and now we're focusing on protecting the progress we've made and that is the same two main issues we're dealing with, the spread across the rest of the nation and continued compliance in our state.

State Liquor Authority, State Police have been working on the bar and restaurant issue which is a serious issue for us. They did 19 violations last night, seven in the Bronx, one in Brooklyn, two in Manhattan, three in Queens, and six in Suffolk. Again, New York City, we need the NYPD to step up. I understand the sheriff's office is helpful and that's good news but the sheriff's office is relatively small - it's like 150 people. NYPD is something like 35,000 people. This is an enforcement issue. It's not an informational issue. People have the information. They know what they're supposed to be doing and what they're not supposed to be doing. This is an enforcement issue and I need the local governments and the local Police Departments to do the enforcement. It's that simple.

We're still recovering from the tropical storm. The utility companies - some of them are doing a better job some are doing a worse job. ConEdison and PSE&G are doing the worst jobs in terms of recovery. I've asked the Public Service Commission to do an investigation and they are in the midst of that, but this is an old story at this point. There will be storms and the utility companies know that. I've spoken to them about this numerous times. The essential service a utility provides is, at this point, it is preparing for a storm and recovering from the storm. That is the essential service that is the art form for utility and ConEd and PSE&G did a lousy job. That's a technical term - lousy job. They were not prepared, and they didn't anticipate what it would take to get back online quickly and we- there's nothing new here. There's a mutual aid system, we've deployed the mutual aid system. When numerous geographic areas are hit at the same time the mutual aid system becomes stressed and then that utility has to prepare with enough additional crews to do the repairs quickly. It's not an excuse to say, "Oh well everyone was stressed and the mutual aid system was stretched thin." We know that's going to happen. It is inevitable and that's what they're supposed to be prepared for. They are also supposed to be prepared to provide people with information, so people know when the power is coming back on. It's not an excuse to say, "We were overwhelmed with calls." Of course you were overwhelmed with calls. That's what happens after a storm and when power is out. So, look, I'm personally disappointed in them because this is a conversation I've had with them. But forget the personal disappointment. PSC- I have told them to be as aggressive as the law will allow, because New Yorkers are fed up. Especially Nassau and areas within the Con Ed jurisdiction. They're fed up and they're right. And I'm with them.

The PSC is doing the investigation. Depending on what they find in the investigation, they can require fines, penalties, restitution, and I want the utilities to know that we do not abide by the concept in New York that anything is too big to fail. Your franchise can be revoked. I am not bluffing. I don't bluff. Your franchise can be revoked. Con Edison, your franchise can be revoked. And I'm as serious as a heart attack. PSEG, you know your franchise can be revoked. And that is a real possibility. "Well, we're big. We've been here for a long time." I don't care. If you are not serving the people of the State— they give you a license to provide a service; if you don't provide the service, they will revoke the license. And the license is your franchise. And again, I don't want to pre-judge the PSC investigation. We'll get the facts, but this is not our first rodeo. And we'll get those facts, we'll get that report, but this was entirely unacceptable. In my opinion.

On the schools, there are 107 school districts that have not submitted their plan. For those 107 school districts, how you didn't submit a plan is beyond me. But they didn't submit a plan to DOH or SED. If they don't submit a plan by this Friday, they can't open. So, maybe they just have determined that they don't want to open, which is the only logical conclusion. But if they think they're going to open, then they have to have their plain in by Friday. Period. Now, let's say we're near August 15 for these places, these districts, that haven't sent in their plan. August 15— we're talking about a couple of weeks. The main arbiter here of whether a school district has an intelligent plan to reopen and whether people have confidence in that district's plan: it's going to be the parents and it's going to be the teachers, and that requires discussion, and that's going to be a dialogue. You're not going to dictate to parents that they have to send their children. They don't have to send their child. The parents are responsible for the health and safety of the child, and they're not going to send the child if they don't believe the plan makes sense. I've said that from day one, and I'm with the parents. A teacher is not going to come back into the classroom if they think the classroom is not safe, and that's right. The school district has to have that dialogue. I said mandatory you have to have at least three open dialogue sessions with parents and teachers on the plan by Zoom, by online, however a school district wants to do it, and they have to have mandatory a dialogue with the teachers separate, because teachers do have different concerns, or additional concerns beyond just the student population. The big 5 school districts as we call them have to have 5 sessions. We're August 10th, you have to have 5 sessions. They have to start and they have to start soon, because you don't want to rush these conversations, you don't want to create more anxiety for the parents and for the teachers. So, that's what the school districts need to do, and they need to do it ASAP.

Besides the 107 districts that just didn't put in a plan, some put in an incomplete plan and the Department of Health will be advising them of that. New York City put in a supplemental plan over the weekend or last Friday and that is being reviewed. Again, that plan for New York City, for all these school districts, schedule the parent briefings. Schedule the teacher briefings satisfying DOH, satisfying SED. That's a bureaucratic approval. This is not a bureaucratic approval process. This is a parental approval process and this is an approval process where the teachers feel safe to go back.

That conversation is the real conversation and again, they have to do a minimum of the state mandates. Three sessions with parents, one separate one with teachers, five with parents, four with the big five.

The federal government has taken actions over the weekend. The President issued some Executive Orders on the possible federal legislation, unemployment insurance, FEMA costs. I will have comments on that at 1:30 this afternoon. I'll be doing a briefing on the federal response at 1:30. Anyone who would like to join us at that time would be our pleasure.

Contact the Governor's Press Office

Contact us by phone:

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