March 25, 2020
Albany, NY

Video, Audio, Photos & Rush Transcript: Governor Cuomo: Amid Covid-19 Pandemic: 'Our Closeness Makes Us Vulnerable. But It's True That Your Greatest Weakness Is Also Your Greatest Strength'

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

Governor Cuomo: "Our closeness is what makes us special. Our acceptance, our openness is what makes us special. It's what makes us feel so connected one to another. It's what makes us so accepting of one another. It is the closeness that makes us the human beings that we are. The closeness is that New York humanity that I think exists nowhere else. The closeness is what makes our sense of community."

Cuomo: "It is also that closeness and that connection and that humanity and that sharing that is our greatest strength, and that is what is going to overcome at the end of the day. I promise you that. I can see how New Yorkers are responding. I can see how New Yorkers are treating one another. I see the 6,000 mental health volunteers. I see the 40,000 health care workers stepping up. I see the vendors calling me, saying, I can help. That's New York. That's New York. And that, my friends, is undefeatable."

WYSIWYG

Earlier today, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo laid out why New York's spatial closeness makes the region vulnerable to coronavirus and why New Yorkers' sense of community makes them uniquely able to overcome the crisis.

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

And this is my personal opinion. I like to make sure that I separate facts from personal opinion. The facts I give you are the best facts I have. And again, the data changes day to day, but I give you exactly what I have on a day-to-day basis.

Personal opinion, why does New York have so many more cases than any other state? How can it be? You're 15 times the number of California. I mean, really is breathtaking when you think about it. State of Massachusetts, with 30 times the number of cases. So why is the question that people ask me.

Two answers. Answer one is because we welcome people from across the globe. We have people coming here, we have people who came here from china, who came here from Italy, who came here from countries all around the globe. We have international travelers who were in China and who were in Italy and who were in Korea and who came here. And I have no doubt that the virus was here much earlier than we even know. And I have no doubt that the virus was here much earlier than it was in any other state because those people come here first. That's the first answer.

The second answer is, because we are close. Because we are close. We talk about the virus and how it transfers in a dense area. It's literally because we are close, because we live close to one another, because we're close to one another on the street, because we live in close communities, because we're close to one another on the bus. We're close to one another in the restaurant. We're close to one another in the movie theater. And we have one of the most dense, close environments in the country. And that's why the virus communicated the way it did. Our closeness makes us vulnerable. Our closeness makes us vulnerable. That spatial closeness makes us vulnerable. But it's true that your greatest weakness is also your greatest strength. And our closeness is what makes us who we are. That is what New York is. Our closeness is what makes us special. Our acceptance, our openness is what makes us special. It's what makes us feel so connected one to another. It's what makes us so accepting of one another. It is the closeness that makes us the human beings that we are. The closeness is that New York humanity that I think exists nowhere else. The closeness is what makes our sense of community.

And there's a gentleman who I still look to for guidance and for leadership and for inspiration. He's not here anymore for you. He's still here for me. But he said things more from profound and more beautifully than most other people ever have. And one of the things he said that is so appropriate for today: "We believe in a single fundamental idea that describes better than most textbooks and any speech that I could write what a proper government should be: The idea of family, mutuality, the sharing of benefits and burdens for the good of all, feeling one another's pain, sharing one another's blessings -- reasonably, honestly, fairly, without respect to race or sex or geography or political affiliation." That is New York. It is that closeness, that concept of family, of community. That's what makes New York, "New York." And that's what made us vulnerable here. But it is also that closeness and that connection and that humanity and that sharing that is our greatest strength, and that is what is going to overcome at the end of the day. I promise you that. I can see how New Yorkers are responding. I can see how New Yorkers are treating one another. I see the 6,000 mental health volunteers. I see the 40,000 health care workers stepping up. I see the vendors calling me, saying, "I can help." That's New York. That's New York. And that, my friends, is undefeatable. And I am glad in some ways that we're first with this situation, because we will overcome and we will show the other communities across this country how to do it. We'll be there for them. We want them to be there for us. And we will be there for each other, as we always have been.

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