June 14, 2020
Albany, NY

Video, Audio, Photos & Rush Transcript: Governor Cuomo Announces Low-Risk Youth Sports for Regions in Phase Three Can Begin on July 6th

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

State is Extending Special Enrollment in the Health Plan Marketplace for an Additional 30 Days Through July 15, 2020


Reminds Bars and Restaurants that Violations of Reopening Rules and Guidelines Can Result in Loss of Liquor License


Governor Signs Legislation Requiring the State Department of Health to Conduct a Study on the Health Impacts of COVID-19 on Minorities in New York State


Announces Lowest Number of Hospitalizations and Deaths Since Pandemic Began


Only 1.1 Percent of Yesterday's COVID Tests Were Positive


Confirms 694 Additional Coronavirus Cases in New York State - Bringing Statewide Total to 383,324; New Cases in 41 Counties


Governor Cuomo: "To these people who are now violating it. It's illegal. It's also wrong. It is just disrespectful not to wear a mask. It's disrespectful to the health care workers and the essential workers who sacrificed themselves for 100 days, some of whom died and gave their life to crush this COVID virus. They gave their life. It is disrespectful not to have the courtesy, the decency, to wear a mask. We all celebrate them, demonstrations, TV ads, God bless the health care workers. Yeah, good, act that way. Act that way. Show a modicum of respect and wear a mask."


Earlier today, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced low-risk youth sports for regions in phase three of reopening can begin on July 6th with up to two spectators allowed per child.


Governor Cuomo also announced the state is extending the special open enrollment period in the New York State of Health Health Plan Marketplace for an additional 30 days through July 15, 2020.


The Governor also reminded bars and restaurants that any violations of reopening rules and guidelines can result in the loss of that establishment's liquor license. Additionally, individuals can be fined for open container and social distancing violations. The Governor also reminded local governments to enforce all reopening rules and guidelines and that any failure to enforce these rules can result in the closure of businesses.


The Governor also signed legislation (S.8245-A/A.10517) requiring the State Department of Health to conduct a study on the health impacts of COVID-19 on minorities in New York State. The state previously conducted an antibody testing survey at churches in lower-income New York City communities and communities of color, which showed higher infection rates among individuals in these communities compared to the overall population.


The Governor also announced the state has reached the lowest number of hospitalizations and deaths since the pandemic began. The number of total hospitalizations was down yesterday to lowest level since March 20 to 1,657. Twenty-three people in New York passed away due to COVID-19, down from a record-high of 800 just nine weeks ago.


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 are available on the Governor's Flickr page.


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


Hello, hello, hello. Beautiful Sunday morning in Albany. Today is day 106. To my right everybody knows Robert Mujica, to my left everybody knows Melissa DeRosa. Day 106 since the coronavirus crisis befell New York; Day 22 since Mr. Floyd's murder. We're handling both situations. They are both different. They are both complicated. They are both critical and then you have an intersection between the two where they actually affect each other.


Let's talk about COVID first. New York State has been following the data and, on the numbers, we're making really great progress and today is another great day in terms of achievement by New Yorkers. We're looking now the daily testing numbers most importantly we started reopening, we're looking for reaction to the reopening that's what we have focused on and you'll see the immediate reaction to reopening in the daily testing numbers. 50,000 tests statewide today plus or minus. Watch that daily testing numbers. Today New York City 1.5, 1.7, 1.5, 1.7, 1.4 yesterday, you're looking for basic consistency if it goes down that's great if it goes up that's bad. We'll see an up and down, but if you see pick up, pick up, pick up, pick up, then start to worry. You watch the individual regions and then you can look at your county and see where your county is within that region. New York City for example which we'll be watching closely because it just reopened and it is a volatile situation. But you look at the Bronx 2.1, 2.4, 1.6, 1.8, 1.4- you see the numbers are basically consistent all across the board. Staten Island you have a pick up. That can be a Saturday aberration but we're watching it total. Hospitalizations- lowest level since we started this horrific journey so that is great news. 1,600 hospitalizations. Great news. Number of deaths lowest number ever. 23 are in our thoughts and prayers but as the health experts tell me when the number gets this low it's basically a question of how people are recording a cause of death. Across the nation and you have situations where, a person dies from multiple causes you could put down COVID you could put down cancer you could put down heart disease, so at one point it becomes fairly random and we're basically at that point. But this is really great news. This has caused a lot of New Yorkers a lot of pain. I know everyone at this table has felt that pain with them so we breathe a deep sigh of relief today because of all the numbers we've been talking about. That's the one number we can't change, that is the one number we can't fix, which is the number of lives lost. So, personally that is great news we just have to keep going now. And we will.


We're going to expand the timeline to enroll in our health exchange. We're going to extend that another 30 days. That health exchange works. We have one of the highest rates of health coverage ever, in this state. It is a great, great accomplishment and we want to keep it going and get it even higher, so we're extending the deadline.


We're also opening low-risk youth sports and Phase 3. Young people can engage in sports. Two spectators per child so that's another step towards return to normalcy. Understand the facts-New York State is leading the nation's reduction in the transmission of the virus. New York State where we had the worst numbers on the transmission of the virus. Worst numbers on the number of cases. Now has the best numbers in terms of reducing the rate of transmission. That is a startling turnaround that they will record in the history books. And when we get past this and we have a little perspective, they'll look back and they'll study how New York State did what it did. And my answer is going to be the same: because New Yorkers rose to the occasion, in a way nobody could have anticipated and nobody did. You look at all those projection models early on — go ask yourself what happened? Why were all those projection models wrong? Because there was a factor they didn't consider, which is the resilience and the strength of New Yorkers. So, we're leading the nation.


And at the same time, you have another fact: the virus spread is increasing dramatically in post-reopening states across the nation. So, hold two facts in your hands. One: New York is doing better than any state in reducing the virus. Fact. Another fact. States post-reopening are seeing a dramatic increase. Not New York. Not yet. But that is a serious caution for us. And that's what I am focused on. You look at the rate of transmission: New York, first dot. All the way on the left — lowest rate of transmission in the nation. This is an independent Web site that has been started by the founders of Instagram, which we've been following. You see the states up at the top red, those are the states that have the highest rate of transmission. The green to red is one or more. Because at one — a transmission rate of one — they classify the virus as an outbreak, or an epidemic. So, we have the best rate.


But we're seeing all across the nation, this same warning: new lockdowns. Second waves. Increase. WHO is talking about it. Dr. Fauci is talking about it. The CDC is talking about it. You couldn't have more warnings from any additional sources. They're even talking about Italy having a rise again and Italy had a horrific situation. So, if there's so it is a country that should be showing caution in the reopening — it is Italy.


You see this all across the globe. You cannot ignore it. These are facts and if you ignore the facts — it's going to be to our peril —I promise you that. The reason we made the progress was because we followed the facts even though it was hard. Don't disregard the facts: 22 states are seeing increases. And these are states that don't have some of our inherent issues. They don't have the density. They don't have the population. They don't have the crowding. And they're seeing increases. It's much easier to reduce the viral spread in states with smaller populations. it's much easier to reduce the viral spread in states with less density and less crowding. Where you don't have tall apartment buildings, where everybody's getting in the same elevator. Or in the same lobby, or in the same park outside. We have natural obstacles to controlling the viral spread and we're controlling it despite that. Alright? So just hear the facts. Washington State — which had the first case in a nursing home, which was devastating — they're seeing an increase in coronavirus cases. South Carolina is seeing it. Some states — Utah and Oregon— are rolling back reopening. Imagine how devastating and dramatic an action that is. Imagine how dramatic and dangerous this situation has to be for a state to say — we're stopping the reopening. What makes the determination? It's what we do. It is our behavior nothing more nothing less. Well the numbers a good those numbers can change in a week. They can change a week. You get undisciplined, you'll see those numbers change in a week once they change you can't change them back that quickly.


Now we're getting reports from all across the state that there are large gatherings, social distancing is being violated, people are not wearing masks. We have gotten 25,000 complaints to the State of businesses that are in violation of the reopening plan - 25,000 complaints. We have never received more complaints in a shorter period of time. 25,000 - just think about that.


What's alarming about the 25,000 is the volume but it also shows how smart people are and how offended people are that they're calling and complaining. This is a time in history we've never seen before. Think about how concerned New Yorkers are not just to see the violation but then to care enough to come back and write a letter or call registering the complaint. You know why? They're afraid for themselves. They walk past the business. They see the businesses violating the rules and they are saying my health is jeopardized - my health - and that's why they're complaining. 25,000, especially at bars and restaurants. Okay? This is the situation and these are the facts. Well they're not being ethical, they're not being moral, they're not been good New Yorkers. Great.


They're also violating the law. This is a question of violating the law. Not just feel guilty - you're violating the law. All right? This is a very serious situation and I want to make sure everybody knows the consequences here. A bar or restaurant that is violating these rules can lose their liquor license. State Liquor Authority inspectors are out. We have a task force of State investigators who are out. You can lose your liquor license and that is a big deal for a bar or restaurant. We are not kidding around with this. You're talking about jeopardizing people's lives. It's a legal violation and the SLA inspectors are out there. I am telling you that. I called a couple of bars and restaurants myself where I saw the pictures of the situations that were in their bars and restaurants and I said to them you're playing with your license. There is no excuse. Well, I told people and they did it even though I told them. You are responsible for the people in your establishment. There's no excuse.


Well, the local legislator told me I could do this. No one can tell you that you can violate the law. There's nobody who can tell you that. Well, my brother said as long as I I don't care what your brother said. You violate the law, you can lose your license and you will. We're not kidding around about this. If you are an individual you can't violate the open container law. There is an open container law. You can't stand on the sidewalk drinking a beer. You're violating the open container law.


The social distancing, mask-wearing, these are legal violations. Protesters and police, the law applies to you. "Well, I'm protesting." Yeah, I understand that. You can protest. The law still applies to you. Police department, your job is to enforce the law. Why don't you follow the law? It's a very bad signal when you see police people who are not wearing a mask and not following the law. How can you enforce the law if you're not following the law? So, wear a mask, and also to locally elected who are in charge of the police department, it's your responsibility to make sure your police department follows the law. The local governments, you are responsible for monitoring the compliance with the reopening plan. That is the local government's responsibility. We've been very clear about this from day one. We go to phase one, we go to phase 2, we go to phase 3 - the local government is responsible for compliance. 


Mayors, county executives, you have to do your job. I understand it's an unpopular position to have to enforce the law. I understand nobody wants to go to a sidewalk with people drinking and say you can't drink on the sidewalk. I understand that. I understand nobody wants to say to a bar, restaurant, you know, you're only supposed to be in an open-air area and you're not supposed to be violating social distancing. I understand that. I understand it's not popular. I get it. You know what's more unpopular? If that region closes because that local government did not do their job. That can happen. 


Utah, Oregon had to reverse their reopening plan. Before I reverse a statewide position, I'll tell you what I'm going to do: I'm going to reverse it in those areas that are not in compliance with the rules. I'm going to reverse it in those areas where those local governments did not comply with the law. That is what is going to happen here. I am warning today, in a nice way, consequences of your actions. We have 25,000 complaints statewide. I'm not going to turn a blind eye to that. New Yorkers deserve better. 


Manhattan and the Hamptons are the leading areas in the state with violations. These are not hard to spot violations. People send video of these violations, you can look it up on social media. You don't need a detective squad to go out and find them. They are rampant and there's not enough enforcement. I am not going to allow situations to exist that we know have a high likelihood of causing an increase in the spread of the virus. 


If we increase the spread of the virus in Manhattan because of bars and restaurants, well then everybody in Manhattan is going to suffer. That's not fair either. Local government, do your job. Local government do your job. If we have to close, then people are going to hold you accountable. Bars and restaurants, do your job, or you can have an SLA violation and possibly loss of your license. Individuals who are violating the law, you can be held liable also. We got here because people did the right thing and if we stop doing the right thing we'll see a very different trajectory. 


I am telling you that you look at all the other states - it's not hard to figure out what is happening here. It's happened in half the states in the nation. So far, we have been the exception. We're not going to go back to that dark place because local government didn't do its job or because some individuals exploited the situation besides the legal violation. Because our success here was not based on what government did. Our success here was based on individual action and social action. That's why this moment was so special. It's what 19 million people did and they did what they had to do not because there was a legal sanction, not because I was going to knock on their door and hand them a ticket, that's not why they stayed home. That's not why they closed their business. They did it because it was the right thing to do. To these people who are now violating it. It's illegal. It's also wrong. It is just disrespectful not to wear a mask. It's disrespectful to the health care workers and the essential workers who sacrificed themselves for 100 days, some of whom died and gave their life to crush this COVIDvirus. They gave their life. It is disrespectful not to have the courtesy, the decency, to wear a mask. We all celebrate them, demonstrations, TV ads, God bless the health care workers. Yeah, good, act that way. Act that way. Show a modicum of respect and wear a mask.


It's also disrespectful to the people who you could infect. Well, I'm 25, I'm a superhero, it's not going to bother me. First of all, you're wrong, it could kill you, but that's your life. It's disrespectful to the other people who you could infect. It's disrespectful to a parent, to a grandparent, to a cousin, to a brother, to someone who you run into on the sidewalk and you don't even know, but happens to have a compromised immune system because they're battling cancer or because they're battling HIV and you in fact them you and wind up killing them. In some ways, we're in this great moment where society is so caring of the rights of one another and that's a beautiful thing. Well then let's be caring about the rights of each other and respect people's health and respect people's lives. We're not asking for much. It's basic decency of a society and again that's what we did so well to get here in the first place.


On the issue of Mr. Floyd's death, I'm very proud of what New York has done because New York has acted, right. All the great activists in history will tell you protest is a means to an end. The end is change, the end is reform. Protest is not for the sake of protest. Demonstrations are not for the sake of demonstrations. It's to make a point, it's to communicate, it's to get attention, and then it's actually make change. Reverend Sharpton was right, demonstration leads to legislation, leads to reconciliation. We demonstrate because we want to make a change. New York is already in the change modality. We passed a number of laws, transparency of records, 50-a, banning chokeholds, the Attorney General as special prosecutor, false race-based 911, and the New York State Police reform and reinvention collaborative which is the vehicle that is going to make institutional change in this state. We have more work to do. We're going to sign two more bills today. One that affirms the right to record police and one that has the Department of Health studying the health impacts of the COVID virus on minorities. There has been tremendous disparity as we know across the nation, not as bad in New York, but we don't want to have any disparity in New York, and we have some zip codes that have twice the infection rate in New York City.


But the New York State Police reform and reinvention collaborative is a game changer and it's going to be a national model. Because it is a fundamental transformational change for every community in this state. Every community in this state gets to redesign its police department. Every community in this state gets to determine what is the appropriate public safety function in 2020. Every community in this state gets to have heard the protests, heard the demonstrations, seen the outrage last night in Atlanta again and now redesign their police department in their community. Just think about it."The policing doesn't work." And it doesn't because as soon as you lose respect and trust between the police and the community it's not working, and it's not going to work, because it's a relationship. And it's about trust and respect and once you don't have trust and respect it doesn't work.


Okay, reform it. What do you want to see? And get it done in nine months. Now it gets real. "I don't like this. I don't like this. I don't like this. I want this. I want this. I want this." Okay, now it's real. Tell me specifically what you want from your police department, Buffalo. Rochester, tell me exactly what you want your police department to do. Not abstract, not conceptual, write it down on a piece of paper. Come to a table. The mayor the council, the activists, the protesters, the public safety experts, the police department, and redesign it so the relationship is one of trust and respect. The police are a function of what the community wants. We've heard loud and clear the community wants a different type of police force. Great, now do it. "Well, where do we start?" You start with a blank piece of paper and redesign your police department. "Well, why do we do it statewide?" There is no such thing as a statewide police department, that's the state police. Every community has its own police department, its own wants, its own needs. Albany will want a different kind of police department than New York City, will want a different type of police department than Erie County.


Different communities have different needs. They have different opinions. They have different ideas. Fine, make the police department work for you, but do it. Do it. "I want change. I want change." Great, write the bill. That's what I say to my friends in Albany, right? "I want change." Good, write the piece of legislation. Tell me what you want changed. Now, every community come to the table, blank piece of paper, redesign your police department. Do it in collaboration, all the stakeholders at the table, you have nine months to do it. "Nine months is too long". No, it's not, you can make a baby in nine months. If you make a baby in nine months, you can redesign a police department. "But nine months is too short." No, it's not, this is going to be a long conversation. It's going to be a lot of issues to work through. So, nine months I think is an appropriate time. But it now requires real leadership, not just criticism, not just suggestions. You need a real leader or number of people to lead and actually make this happen. "Well, I want to say what we don't want." Fine, you come to the meeting and say what you don't want. But you need leadership in the local community and you need a real vision that is going to start to redesign the police force. Every community needs a real plan, right? Answer the questions. What do you want in terms of a use of force policy? What works for you Albany? What do you want in terms of a budget? "Well, I think it should be less." Okay, how much less? What's the right number? "Well, a billion less." A billion less from what, right?


Now it gets real. "And we have too many police." Okay, how many police should we have? What's the right number? "Well I want to demilitarize the police." Great, what do you mean by that? What do you mean? No guns, assault weapons, tanks, armored cars? What do you mean? Write it down. "Well, bias in the police force is a problem." Yes, how do you want to address it? Just tell us. "Diversity of the workforce." Yes, how do you want to address it? "We need a better complaint process. We should have a faster disciplinary process. We should have more transparency." Great, design it. Design it. "We should have civilian review of the police department complaints." Great, yes. How do you want to make it work? Government is hard because government, you need to be specific, and you need to effectuate change. That's the art form of government. That's the art form of protest and of demonstration. All the great activists also knew what they wanted. You need to know the change you want. There's no change for the sake of change. You have to change to something. What do you want to change to? So, lead the process community by community. The mayor is a naturalleader for this effort. I believe in the city of Buffalo, a person like Mayor Brown who already started will come to the table. He'll be a leader. The Mayor doesn't want to do itor can't do it, City Council President can do it. City Council Member in charge of public safety can do it. New York City Mayor de Blasio could do it. He doesn't want to do it, Corey Johnson, City Council Speaker, could do it. Donovan Richards, public safety councilman but somebody has to be a leader now and come to the table and start to redesign, because the clock is ticking. Time is wasting. April 1. Plan has to be passedby April 1. Why passed? Because it has to be law. Not just to wish list. Not just, "Here is what we're thinking about. Here's what we're considering." Government is very good about doing a report that sits on a shelf for 150 years. Come up with your plan, pass it, make it law, so people know exactly what we have. 


9 months tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, you hear that sound? That's the 9 months to key. Step up to the plate, who's going to lead. Bring everyone else to the table and let's get to work. And let's show that Mr. Floyd did not die in vain, Eric Garner did not die in vain, Breonna Taylor did not die in vain. Change came and change was institutionalized. That is the art form and now is the time to do it and we're going to do it in the state first. No other state is talking about doing this. Why? Because this is hard. It's always easy to say what you can't do, what you don't want to do, it's always easy to argue in vague concepts. "I don't like this. I don't like this. I don't like this." Hard is, "Okay, let's redesign,let's reform and this is what we're going to do going forward." Defund the police - okay what does that mean? How do we do that? Community by community by community - it's no right or wrong - I'm not going to tell anyone what they should do. They should do what they want to do. They should design a police force that works for them. It's the only people it has to work for is for them. You have federal laws and state laws that have minimum standards on calling police. But then it's up to the local community. Do it and let New York be the state that made the most progress by making statewide change community by community. Hearing the dialogue, hearing the protests, seeing on video the obvious injustice over and over and over again and then fixing it. Fixing it. That's who we are - we're New York tough, smart, united, disciplined.

Contact the Governor's Press Office
Contact the Governor's Press Office