March 28, 2020
Albany, NY

Video, Audio, Photos & Rush Transcript: Amid Ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic, Governor Cuomo Issues Executive Order Moving New York Presidential Primary Election to June 23rd

TOP Video, Audio, Photos & Rush Transcript:...

Issues Executive Order to Enable Moving Tax Filing Deadline for Personal and Corporate Taxes to July 15th

  

New York State's Wadsworth Lab Has Started Evaluating New Antibody Test 

  

Governor Announces Three New Sites to Add 695 Hospital Beds to the State's Capacity; State Will Begin Using Some Facilities Only for Patients with COVID-19

  

Following Governor's Request, Federal Government Has Approved Four Additional Sites for Temporary Hospitals

  

First 1,000-Bed Temporary Hospital at Jacob K. Javits Convention Center Expected to Open Monday

  

70 Non-Profit Organizations Statewide Will Receive $7.5 Million in Operating Support Funds to Provide Technical Assistance to Small Business Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

  

Confirms 7,681 Additional Coronavirus Cases in New York State - Bringing Statewide Total to 52,318; New Cases in 44 Counties

 

Governor Cuomo: "There's an old expression, you go to war with what you have, not with what you need. Which is true. When the bell goes off and you have to go to war, you deal with what you have because it's too late to do the preparation. The but on that is until you're in that situation, do everything you can do to be prepared for it."

 

Cuomo: "This is not a sprint, my friends, this is a marathon. You have to gauge yourself. You have to understand that this is going to be a long-term situation, and even though it's so disruptive, and so abrupt, and so shocking, it's also long-term. And each of us has to do our own part to adjust to it. It is a new reality. It's a shocking new reality. There is no easy answer. We're all working our way through it, and we all have to figure out a way to get through it."

WYSIWYG

Earlier today, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced he is issuing an executive order to move the presidential primary election from April 28 to June 23rd, aligning it with the congressional and legislative primaries in New York.

  

Governor Cuomo also issued an executive order to enable the tax filing deadline for personal and corporate taxes to be pushed back to July 15. The Federal government took similar action earlier this month.

  

The Governor also announced that the State Department of Health Wadsworth Lab is working in partnership with others labs to evaluate antibody testing that is designed to help very sick COVID-19 patients. 

   

The Governor also announced three new sites - South Beach Psychiatric Center in Staten Island, Westchester Square in the Bronx and Health Alliance in Ulster County - to serve as a place for emergency beds. The three new sites will add 695 more beds to the state's capacity. Additionally, in a new approach, the State will begin designating some facilities only for COVID-19 patients. The state has identified three sites - South Beach Psychiatric Facility in Staten Island, Westchester Square in the Bronx and SUNY Downstate in Brooklyn - that will provide more than 600 beds specifically for COVID-19 patients.

  

Following a conversation with President Trump this morning, Governor Cuomo also announced the federal government has approved four new sites for temporary hospitals for construction by the Army Corps of Engineers - the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal, the Aqueduct Racetrack facility in Queens, CUNY Staten Island and the New York Expo Center in the Bronx - adding an additional 4,000 beds to the state's capacity. The Governor toured the four sites yesterday. These temporary hospital sites are part of the Governor's goal of having a 1,000-plus patient overflow facility in each New York City borough as well as in Westchester, Rockland, Nassau and Suffolk counties.

 

VIDEO of the Governor's remarks is available on YouTube here and in TV quality (h.264, mp4) format here, with ASL interpretation available on YouTube here and in TV quality format here.    

  

AUDIO of today's remarks is available here

  

PHOTOS will be available on the Governor's Flickr page.

 

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

 

Let's talk to you about where we are. Today, this is a situation which none of us have ever seen before and it manifests itself in many different ways. There's economic anxiety. People are out of work. What does this mean? Unemployment insurance, will it cover the bills. There's isolation. There's fear of the unknown, there's misinformation. You put it together, it is very disorienting, to say the least. If you're feeling disoriented, it's not you. It's everyone, and it's everywhere, and it's with good cause. Today is Saturday. You know how I know today is Saturday? Because my alarm clock said Saturday when I woke up this morning. But if you drive around, it doesn't seem like Saturday, right? Saturday is the day that people are off work, except people were off work yesterday. Saturday is the day that the traffic is lighter. But the traffic was lighter yesterday. So, it's literally one day blending into the other. And just as a matter of perspective, a matter of context, this feels like it's been going on forever. But it really hasn't. New York State had its first case of COVID just 27 days ago. New York schools closed only ten days ago. The New Rochelle cluster, which was the highest cluster in the United States, which, thanks to the good work of our health department, has now come down. That was 18 days ago when we started the school closings in New Rochelle and started the testing and the drive-throughs. The overall shutdown of non-essential workers was only eight days ago. Feels like a lifetime.

 

Perspective, well, how long does this go on? How long do we expect it? China, which was the first test case, right, first case was 12 weeks ago. That's when it started in China. South Korea started nine weeks ago. Italy about eight weeks ago. South Korea started nine weeks ago. Italy about eight weeks ago. So keep it all in perspective during this disorienting time where one day is blurring into the next. A lot of people ask me why is there so much talk about the ventilators? I never heard about a ventilator before. You're not alone, I never really heard about a ventilator before either.

 

But every emergency situation is unique and every emergency situation winds up focusing on an issue that you would have never thought of before. We've been through emergency situations, Superstorm Sandy. We needed 1,000 portable generators immediately. Whoever heard of needing 1,000 portable generators? We had flooding in the northern part of the state. We need 700 miles of sandbags. Whoever heard of needing 700 miles of sandbags? So there's always a particular circumstance that winds up developing in these situations that really you could never anticipate.

 

And in this situation, it is about a ventilator. Why? Because the majority of these patients, they're not coming in needing surgery, you know. It's all the same. It's a respiratory illness. Their lungs are damaged. They're having trouble breathing. They have a cough and they all need a ventilator. And that is the peculiarity of this situation. Compounding it is usually when we equip a healthcare system, people are usually on a ventilator for three or four days. With COVID patients, they're on for 11 to 21 days. That then compounds the ventilator issue. Not only do you need more, but people are on them longer, so you need even more, and that increases the problem.

 

I think the president was right to use the Defense Production Act. What the Defense Production Act basically says is I'm not going to ask private companies to help out, and it's great that we have volunteers, et cetera, but the Defense Production Act gives the federal government significant leverage to actually say, I need these produced and I need these produced by X date. Now, the federal government still pays. They pay an increased cost for the accelerated production, but it gives the federal government the ability to do that. And when it comes to ventilators, they are the necessity in this situation. What do I do as governor? Basically, I ask people who know, I ask the experts a lot of questions.

 

And just staying on the ventilators, well, what if? What if? What if? What if we can't get the ventilators? What do we do if we don't have enough ventilators? Then you use bag valve masks. What is a valve bag mask? This is a bag valve mask. This is what you do if you have a person that needs a ventilator, and you don't have a ventilator. The way this works is it's basically a manual ventilator and someone squeezes the ventilator, the bag, continuously. This looks easy. I guarantee, if you do this for any length of time, you see how difficult it winds up being. This is the alternative if you don't have the ventilator. We are actually buying these. We bought about 3,000. We've ordered about an additional 4,000 of these bag valve masks. We've even talking about training National Guard people to learn how to operate this device, which is relatively simple to operate, but you need a lot of people to operate this 24 hours a day for each patient, right? So those are bag valve masks. They're the alternative to ventilators and short answer is, no thank you. If we have to turn to this device on any large-scale basis that is not an acceptable situation. So we go back to finding the ventilators because we need the ventilators.

 

Well, you need 30,000 ventilators. Do you really need 30,000 ventilators? Look, I'm not a medical expert. Even the medical experts can't tell you what you're going to need here at the high point. They do numerical projections and then you plan based on the projection. You plan based on the data, based on the science, based on the numbers. The data says at that high point of need, you could need 140,000 hospital beds and you could need 30,000 ventilators. That's what the numerical projections say. So we're planning for that quote, unquote worst case scenario which the models predict. Maybe we never get there, maybe we flatten the curve and we slow the infection rate so we never get to that point and that's what we're trying to do and we're working on that day and night. But, if we can't flatten the curve, you can't slow the infection rate, you hit that apex, make sure you're ready for the apex and that's where the 30,000 ventilators come in. 

 

I have no desire to procure more ventilators than we need. On a very practical basis, the state is buying most of the ventilators. The ventilators cost between $25,000 to $45,000 each. So they're very expensive and you're talking about a state government that quite frankly is already in a, from a position of revenue, in a terrible position because we're not collecting any revenues, literally. So I don't want to buy any more ventilators than we need to buy on a very parochial basis. I don't want to pay for them and after this is over, we'll have a great stockpile of ventilators whatever we do, but the state has no interest in inflating the number of ventilators that we actually need. 

 

Something interesting about the price of ventilators. When we started buying them they were about $25,000. Now, they're about $45,000. Why? Because they're in such demand and there's such competition to buy the ventilators, which I'll touch in a moment. The government has sent us 4,000 ventilators. Those 4,000 ventilators are not currently in use. Why? Because we don't need them currently. What we're doing is we're planning for that apex. We're planning for the critical need and making sure we have the equipment to staff the beds for that critical need. We're not at that critical need. Projections change, but the models say you're 14-21 days away from that apex we call it, when that curve hits the highest point. But when the curve hits the highest point, it is too late to try to acquire what you need. Acquire what you need, that's the concept of putting together a stockpile and that's the process we're going through now. We only have 14-21 days so it's not a significant amount of time, but do everything you can to get ready now. 

 

There's an old expression, you go to war with what you have, not with what you need. Which is true. When the bell goes off and you have to go to war, you deal with what you have because it's too late to do the preparation. The but on that is until you're in that situation, do everything you can do to be prepared for it. If they tell you you're going to go to war in 14-21 days then spend the next 14-21 days getting ready everything you would need when you actually have to go to war. For us, the war would fully engage if and when we hit that apex. And that's why everything we're doing now is in anticipation of that. Flatten the curve so the apex never happens. God forbid the apex happens, make sure we have as much of the equipment, staff, et cetera that we would need for that moment. 

 

A few updates. They still forecast the apex to be 14-21 days. Again, that changes on the modeling every time the case load goes up or down a little bit that effects the calculation on the apex. What do you need at the apex? One hundred and forty thousand beds. That's hospital beds, dormitory beds, we're working on that every day and we're getting closer and closer to that 140,000 number. PPE equipment: right now we have enough PPE in stock and all the local health systems say they have enough PPE in stock, short term. No one has enough long term so we're still buying and we're still talking to the federal government about acquiring more PPE. There is a concern among health care professionals because the CDC guidelines suggest a different protocol for PPE and masks depending on the condition and apparently there is a crisis set of guidelines that the CDC puts out for how often you change a gown, how often you change your mask, et cetera in a crisis. And the CDC has put those crisis guidelines in place and many health care professionals are concerned that those guidelines do not adequately protect the nurses and the doctors and the health care staff that are working on this issue. Dr. Zucker is looking at that. If we believe the CDC guidelines don't protect health care professionals, we will put our own guidelines in place. You have a bed, you have the equipment, you need the staff and that's where we're working on bringing more reserves staff and putting that reserve staffing capacity in place and that's going very well, and back to our favorite ventilator quest.

 

Word to the local health systems, we need the local health systems to think more holistically. In other words, you'll have a regional health system with Western New York, Central New York, New York City and they'll have a number of hospitals. You can have a single hospital get overwhelmed within that system. You can have the staff get overwhelmed. You can have one hospital where they run low on supplies. The local health systems have to choose their orientation where it's not hospital by hospital, which is the normal culture - every hospital is free standing on its own, and is its own entity and buys its owner equipment, has its own staff, et cetera. I need the local health systems to change their orientation and operate and plan as if that system is one. If you see a local hospital getting overwhelmed, shift to an adjoining hospital, both within the public system and the private system. Your public hospitals and then you have private hospitals, voluntary hospitals. We have to stop operating as individual hospitals, and they have to operate as a system. I need the local officials to that.

 

So patients can and should be moved among those local hospitals as the need requires. Staff can and should be moved among those local hospitals as circumstances require. State department of health has not only advised that but has mandated that. It's not the normal operating culture but it is a necessity in this situation, because depending on where a hospital is, you'll have hospitals getting overwhelmed because they'll happen to be in an area where there are not a lot of other hospitals, or because that's a hot zone, cluster zone, that hospital gets overwhelmed. All right. Shift, cooperate, plan as a local health system. There may come a point where the state steps in and actually allocates among local health systems. This is when I said the other day, you may have patients from downstate New York to Upstate New York. Why? Because if the entire local health system in downstate New York gets overwhelmed or the local health system on Long Island gets overwhelmed, and the Long Island health system says to me, "Look, we've allocated and have eight hospitals. We allocated everything we can among our eight hospitals. We're still overwhelmed." Well then we'll shift the burden literally to a different health system. And I just want them to anticipate that and see that's coming.

 

We have asked the pharmacies to cooperate above and beyond here and do free home delivery. There are long lines of pharmacies right now. That's not good for anyone. I'm going to be speaking with some of the major pharmacy chains today to ask if they would be cooperative but this would be a very big benefit. I understand it a hardship on the pharmacies to provide home delivery, I'm asking them to do it free of charge, but it will make a very big difference.

 

Also, the Department of Health is monitoring the density and activity in the New York City parks, specifically on the playgrounds. This has been a problem. We spoke about it last week. The New York City Mayor de Blasio and the Speaker Corey Johnson have spoken to this and gave us a plan. We accepted the plan. The plan is premised on the fact that people will reduce the density in playgrounds - no basketball, no contact sports, social distancing. There have been reports that is not happening and it's not in compliance. Speaker Johnson has made this point and I believe he's right. So if the density compliance is not working on a voluntary basis, we could get to a point where we will close those playgrounds. So I again ask the people in New York City, especially young people, take this seriously, for yourself and for others and let's do it on a voluntary basis. We're also now administering 1,100 tests of the hydroxychloroquine and the Zithromax. This is the prescription the President is optimistic about, we hope to be optimistic also, but we're now using it on a large scale basis particularly in the New York City hospitals and we'll be getting results soon.

 

Javits will open Monday - I was there yesterday. It's a 1,000 bed emergency hospital. It is amazing what the Army Corps of Engineers did in a short time. It was about one week and the progress they made is really extraordinary and I want to thank them from the bottom of my heart. The Army Corps of Engineers, the National Guard, which is our workforce that we call out in all these situations - I've worked with many of them and I know them after so many situations together, but they showed up and really done a great job and this should open on Monday. The USNS Comfort is going be on its way as of today I'm told. The President is going to be seeing it off. It should be here on Monday. That will be 1,000 beds. It also brings medical personnel, which frankly are more important than the beds in this case. And it has operating rooms, et cetera. We'll use this to backfill and take pressure off the hospitals. So a hospital can backfill on to this 1,000 bed facility. I'm hoping it gets here Monday and I will greet it with open arms.

 

I spoke to the President this morning. Actually, just before I came in today. I apologize for being a few minutes late. And the President approved four new sites for emergency medical facilities. One in Brooklyn at the Port Authority cruise ship terminal it's called - one at Queens at aqueduct racetrack and one on Staten Island and one in the Bronx at the New York Expo Center. I went and toured these sites yesterday. They are perfect -- well, perfect. None of this is perfect. They are appropriate and suitable to bring in large scale medical facilities. They're 100,000 square feet, 120,000 square feet. They're open, they have electric, they have climate control, et cetera. So, this is going to be a big advantage. This will add another 4,000 beds and there is one in every borough in New York City, which was important to me. Every borough knows that they have a facility and they are getting the same treatment that everyone else is getting. I'm a New York City outer borough person. You don't know that classification unless you're from New York City. Outer borough. Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island, Bronx. Those are out boroughs. Manhattan is the inner borough, but they never call it an inner borough. Everyone is being treated the same. We're adding to that bed capacity to get to the 140,000 beds. We've added 695 additional beds South Beach Psychiatric Center on Staten, which is opening up. We have the Westchester Square Bronx 200 beds. Health Alliance in Ulster County, 235 beds. So, you see again, we're trying to have facilities all around the geographic location that's experiencing the increase.

 

We're also making another shift where we're going to go to COVID-only hospitals. Where people in those hospitals will just have the COVID virus. So the staff that is there is basically working with one type of issue as opposed to a normal hospital setting where you can have people with heart ailments and other medical issues. And on top of them, the COVID patients. The Health Commissioner has given us good advice. It's smarter to keep the COVID patients separate. You don't want a person who goes into a hospital with one situation developing COVID because they happened to be exposed. So, this is smart and we're going to isolate 600 beds for just this treatment. South Beach again, Westchester Square and SUNY Downstate, which is in Brooklyn.

 

This shows you the coverage that we'll have when all of this is said and done. You'll see it's equally distributed. It's significant and, in truth, many locations have been constructed, adapted, modified, and it's been done in a very short period of time. Again, all this in contemplation of the apex. If we're lucky the apex never happens.

The New York State Department of Health has gotten approval by the FDA to start a new test, which is an antibody test. We can test individuals to see if they were, in fact, infected by the virus, resolved, and now have the antibodies so they have an immunity to the virus. This is being done here. It's managed by our health department. The FDA has given us approval. Department of Health is working with private hospitals who actually enact this now. This could be a big breakthrough if that happens.

 

On the theory of risk, reward, we're supposed to have a presidential primary election that's coming up on April 28th. I don't think it's wise to be bringing a lot of people to one location to vote. A lot of people touching one doorknob, a lot of people touching one pen, whatever you call the new device on the ballots, so we are going to delay that and link it to an election that was previously scheduled on June 23rd. The June 23rd is for state legislative races and Congressional races. We'll move the presidential election to that date. Ironically, I had advocated that it be on that date all along anyway, so there's only one election and people only needed to come out once. Everybody wants to vote, everybody wants to do their civic duty, but don't make me come out and vote 11 times. Put the elections together so I can go to the ballot once and this will actually do that.

 

We are also extending the tax filing deadline to July 15th. This good news for individuals, for businesses. You don't have to file your state tax return, you file it with the federal tax return on July 15th. This is bad news for the state of New York on a parochial level. That means we receive no revue coming in until July 15th.

 

This is the increase in the trajectory in the number of cases. You see it goes up again. The number of people tested, we tested 17,000 yesterday. Again, we're testing more than any other state in the country and more than China and Korea ever tested. Total tested is up to 155,000. Number of new cases 7,681. You see the state getting more and more covered. Just a handful of counties that have not reported any positive tests. This is the summary. 52,000 tested, 7,000 currently hospitalized, 1700 ICU patients, 2700 patients discharged. That's up 681. Remember, people go into the hospital, people get treated, people leave. Remember, most people never go into the hospital. 80% they self-resolve.

 

Most impacted states. State of New York, 52,000. Next is our neighbor New Jersey, 8,000, then California, 4,000. But, you see the reports nationwide that other states are finding it, other cities are finding it. I believe you're going to see more and more of that. But again, in comparison, you take California, 4,000 cases, compare that to the situation we're in with 52,000 cases. People say I advocate for more help for New York with the federal government and I ask for more things than other states are asking for. Yes. Respond to the need. Respond to the need. We have 52,000 cases. California has 4,000 cases. I want California to have all the help they need, but I want to make sure the distribution of need is proportionate to the number of cases. If you're looking for good news today on the numbers, the number watchers, this is good news. I wouldn't put tremendous stock in it, but it's good news.

 

We're watching the trend, right, because we're trying to gauge if there is an apex, the number of daily ICU admissions, which are the critical points for us, ICU admissions, people who need ventilators, ventilators are what's in short supply. The ICU admissions went down only 172 compared to 374 the day before. You see the overall line is still up. The 374 was very troubling because that was a gigantic leap. The 172 may be a correction from the 374. I don't like to look at the data on any one night. We average three or four nights to get a more consistent track, but this is good news on a one-day number. The number of ICU admissions dropped as did the number of new hospitalizations dropped. So, there's a correlation there that also affirms both, right? Affirms the ICU numbers to the new hospitalization number. But again, I wouldn't put any - I wouldn't put too much stock in any one number. You see the overall trend is still up, but you could argue that the trend is slowing. I say, don't argue, follow the numbers, get more numbers, whatever the numbers say, the numbers drive the policy. So, we'll track it every day and we'll see from where we go.

 

The worst news, the news that is most depressing to me, and I'm sure every New Yorker, the number of deaths are up to 728. Of that 728, what's happening is people are on ventilators longer, you saw that average length of stay on a ventilator. The longer you are on a ventilator, the less chance you're coming off that ventilator. That has always been true. It's more dramatic in this situation. Since this has been going on a period of time, you're having more and more people now who are on ventilators for a longer and longer period of time and those are the people we're losing. They tend to be people who came in with underlying illnesses, underlying respiratory illness, compromised immune system. Not all of them, but most of them, but that doesn't make you feel any better, right? These are still people who we lost because of this virus. If they didn't have this virus, they would be with us today. So I don't accept the concept of well, these were people who were old and death is inevitable. Yes, death is inevitable for all of us, just not today, right? That's the point.

 

Again, total perspective. It's not a new situation. It's not just New York. It's not just the United States. This started in China. They have all the data since China and you have a very broad data base to call from. Again, on prospective, don't forget the basics. People feel this has been going on for so long. Wash your hands, washing your hands by the way is just as effective health care professionals will tell you as hand sanitizer. So, wash your hands, don't touch your face. I'm a big face toucher for some reason, my own face, I don't touch anyone else's face. Stay six feet away from people. The social distancing is important and don't get complacent. These rules are not just important in the beginning, you have to do this every day, so you have to stay disciplined about it.

 

General comment as to where we are, rule one in any almost any situation in life certainly in government, certainly in an emergency situation is to plan forward. Plan forward. Plan the next step. Don't be reactive, be proactive. Don't wait to find out what the virus is going to do to you. Anticipate what is going to happen and plan for the step ahead. We have been behind this virus from day one. We have been in a reactive posture from day one with this virus. We're waiting to see what the virus does and then we're responding. The virus makes another move, we respond. No, you don't win on defense. You win on offense. You have to get ahead of this and anticipate what's going to happen and create that reality now. That's what we're doing with the apex preparation, right? We don't have that crisis today. We could have that crisis in 14 to 21 days. So yes, I'm creating a stockpile today for a possible reality 14 to 21 days from now. I'm not going to wait for day 13 to say, "Oh my gosh, we need 30,000 ventilators. It's over."

 

So get ahead of it. That's our apex preparation plan, but beyond just New York, as a nation, we have to start to get ahead of this in two areas specifically. On purchasing, you can't have a situation where 50 states are competing with each other to buy the same material. That is what is happening now. When I showed you the price of ventilators, went from $25,000 to 45,000. Why? Because we bid $25,000. California says, I'll give you $30,000 and Illinois says, I'll give you $35,000 and Florida says I'll give you $40,000. We're literally bidding up the prices ourselves. Now every state, no one's doing anything wrong, I'm here to protect New York. That's what I get paid to do. I have to acquire the ventilators. I have to pay whatever I have to pay to acquire the ventilators. I don't mean to take them from other states, but when you have a system where you say to the states "Okay, you go out and buy what you need to buy." We all need to buy the same thing. We all need to buy PPE and N95 masks, we all need to buy ventilators, so we're all shopping the same distributors, the same group, and it's not even legally price gouging. I was Attorney General. I don't think you have a price gouging case. This is just private market competition. My daughter Cara is working on the purchasing team. They change the prices -- you can see the prices going up literally during the course of the day.

 

So, if the federal government organized this, if the states organized among themselves, because you can't have the states competing against the states, and then by the way, when the federal government goes out to buy the same equipment for their stockpile, now it's 50 states competing against the states and the federal government competing against the states. So, this is not the way to do business. We need a nationwide buying consortium. Either the federal government should say I'll be the purchasing agent for the nation and I will distribute by need, or the states, which is hard to organize 50 states. I'm Vice Chairman of the National Governor's Association, I'm going to talk to them about this. Maybe the states could come up with a voluntary buying consortium and then we distribute by need. But, this is something that has to be worked out not just for this, but for the future because this can't happen again.

 

Also we have to plan forward on testing. We've mobilized, we've scrambled, but this is still not where it needs to be. We need many more tests. There are still people who can't get tests and we need tests that are faster. There are other countries that are developing faster tests, developing home tests. We have a rigorous approval process through the FDA and CDC in this country; it served us well in normal circumstances. These are not normal circumstances. I would say to the market if you have a test, and a home test, and a state wants to take responsibility for monitoring the results of the test, God bless you, because you can't have a situation where you have a five-day waiting period for a test. That's five days for the person to be out there and possibly infecting other people, and if the goal is to open up the economy as quickly as you can you're going to need a much faster testing process to find out who had the antibodies, which means they had the virus and resolved, and who's negative and who's positive. So, you are going to need a much faster testing processing. That's the only way you get the economy up and running in a relatively short period of time.

 

I'll end where I began. You saw the number of days that this has been going: only 28 days. Schools closed only ten days; it feels like a life time. This is not a sprint, my friends, this is a marathon. You have to gauge yourself. You have to understand that this is going to be a long-term situation, and even though it's so disruptive, and so abrupt, and so shocking, it's also long-term. And each of us has to do our own part to adjust to it. It is a new reality. It's a shocking new reality. There is no easy answer. We're all working our way through it, and we all have to figure out a way to get through it. My gratuitous two cents: see if you can't find a silver lining in all of this. People say extraordinary things to me that I just pick up anecdotally. I was going for a walk yesterday with one of my daughters and Captain -- Captain is my dog -- and people come up with all of these interesting ideas, you know:  who's painting their house because they never had time to paint their house before; who's working on a project that they never got to; who's reading a book that they never got to do; who's writing a book. A few people say I'm writing my journals, I'm writing my life's story. 

 

Find a way -- you have the advantage of time here, and you have the advantage of time for communication. I've had conversations with my daughters, hours long conversations, where it's just us, just us talking. No place to go. She doesn't have to go to work. She doesn't have to run out, and they're priceless. They are priceless. I'll never get the opportunity in life to do that again. You know, we're going to get through this and they're going to go off and find a boyfriend and then do whatever they do. I've had conversations with my mother who can't leave the house, and she's in the house so we sort of take turns talking to mom. I talked to my mother for hours and it's special. So yes, it's terrible and I'm not trying to say it's not a terrible circumstance. But, even in a terrible circumstance if you look hard enough you can find a few rays of light, and people are doing it and I think we all should.

 

It's going to be a marathon, but we're going to get through it and we will get through it, and we are going to be the better for it when we get through it. We will have learned a lot. We will have changed. We will be different, but I believe net, we'll be different in a positive way.

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