March 22, 2020
Albany, NY

Video, Audio, Photos & Rush Transcript: Governor Cuomo Calls COVID-19 Pandemic the 'Challenge for This Generation,' Reminds Americans We Will Overcome This Together

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

Governor Cuomo: "They talk about the greatest generation, the generation that survived World War II. Dealing with hardship actually makes you stronger. Life on the individual level, on the collective level, on the social level. Life is not about avoiding challenges. Challenges are going to come your way. Life is going to knock you on your rear end at one point. Something will happen. And then life becomes about overcoming those challenges. That's what life is about. And that's what this country is about."

 

Cuomo: "America is America because we overcome adversity and challenges. That's how we were born. That's what we've done all our life. We overcome challenges and this is a period of challenge for this generation. And that's what has always made America great and that's what going to make this generation great. I believe that to the bottom of my soul."

 

Cuomo: "We will overcome this and America will be the greater for it. And my hope is that New York is going to lead the way forward and together we will."

WYSIWYG

Earlier today, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo called the COVID-19 pandemic a defining challenge for this generation. The Governor reminded Americans that we will overcome this challenge together as we have during each great challenge in our history.

 

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:

 

Personal advice, this is not factual. I try to present facts. I try to present everything I know. I try to present unbiased facts. I try to present numbers because people need information. When you get anxious, when you get fearful, when you don't get the information or you doubt the information, or you think people do not know what they are talking about, or you think you are getting lied to, so I present facts. This is personal advice. This is not factual. So it is all gratuitous. You can take it and you can throw it in the pail.

 

But we have to think this situation through. Don't be reactive at this point to this situation. Yes, you are out of control in many ways. You are out of control to this virus. You are out of work. Situations are changing. They are not in your control. You don't even know how long this is going to go on. This is a very frightening feeling, that is true.

 

You can also take back some control. Start to anticipate and plan for what is going to go on. Plan for the negatives and plan for the positives. There are going to be negative and there are going to be positives. There are real economic on sequences. How do you handle the economic consequences? You are not alone. It is everyone in the United States, that is why you see this federal government acting quickly to get funding into the pockets of families who need it. But think through what the economics mean.

 

Think through the social issues and the social impact of this. Think through the emotional issues of this. It would be unnatural if you did not have a flood or emotions going on. It would be unnatural, if you didn't have a lot of emotions going on. It would be unnatural. Either you wouldn't understand what was happening or you wouldn't appreciate it, but if you know the facts and you understand what's going on, you have to have a flood of individual emotions, positive and negative and anticipate it. You know, "Stay home, stay home, stay home," well when you stay home, remember the old expression, "Cabin fever," right? You stay home alone - you don't want to be isolated emotionally. You can be isolated physically - you don't want to be isolated emotionally. You want to keep those physical connections. You want to talk to people, you want to write letters, you want to have emotional connectivity. That is very important. If you're not alone and you're in the house with the family, and the kids and everybody's together - that's a different set of emotional complexities.

 

Being in that enclosed environment, normally the kids are out, everybody's going to work, you're only together a short period of time of the day. Now you're all in the same place for 24 hours. I remember when the kids were young, what it was like, it was pure joy, but I remember what it was like to be with them for multiple hours and it's complicated. I live alone - I'm even getting annoyed with the dog, being in one place. So think that through because that is real, and it's going to go on for a period of time.

 

This is not a short-term situation. This is not a long weekend. This is not a week. The timeline, nobody can tell you, it depends on how we handle it, but 40 percent, up to 80 percent of the population will wind up getting this virus. All we're trying to do is slow the spread but it will spread. It is that contagious. Again, that's nothing to panic over. You saw the numbers. Unless you're older with an underlying illness, etcetera, it's something that you're going to resolve but it's going to work its way through society. We'll manage that capacity rate but it is going to be four months, six months, nine months.

 

You look at China, once they really changed the trajectory which we have not done yet, eight months, we're in that range. Nobody has a crystal ball. Nobody can tell you. Well I want to know. I want to know. I need to know. Nobody can tell you. I've spoken to more people on this issue than 99 percent of the people in this country. No one can tell you. Not from the superb Dr. Fauci to the World Health Organization to the National Institute of Health, but it is in that range so start to plan accordingly.

 

It's going to be hard. There is no doubt. I'm not minimizing it and I don't think you should either but at the same time it is going to be okay. We don't want to overreact either. The grocery stores are going to function, there is going to be food, the transportation systems are going to function, the pharmacies are going to be open, all essential services will be maintained. There's not going to be chaos, there's not going to be anarchy, order and function will be maintained.

 

Life is going to go on. Different - but life is going to go on. So there's no reason to be going to grocery stores and hoarding food. You see all this overreaction on the TV everyday which makes you think maybe I'm missing it, maybe I should run to the store and buy toilet paper. No. Life is going to go on. The toilet paper is going to be there tomorrow. So a deep breath on all of that. 

 

But I do believe that whatever this is 4 months, 6 months, 9 months - we are going to be the better for it. They talk about the greatest generation, the generation that survived World War II. Dealing with hardship actually makes you stronger. Life on the individual level, on the collective level, on the social level. Life is not about avoiding challenges. Challenges are going to come your way. Life is going to knock you on your rear end at one point. Something will happen. And then life becomes about overcoming those challenges. Thats what life is about. And that's what this country is about. 

 

America is America because we overcome adversity and challenges. That's how we were born. That's what we've done all our life. We overcome challenges and this is a period of challenge for this generation. And that's what has always made America great and that's what going to make this generation great. I believe that to the bottom of my soul. We will overcome this and America will be the greater for it. And my hope is that New York is going to lead the way forward and together we will.  

 

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