July 13, 2020
Albany, NY

Video, Photos, Audio & Rush Transcript: Governor Cuomo Announces New Data-Driven Guidance for Reopening Schools

Video, Photos, Audio & Rush Transcript: Governor Cuomo Announces New Data-Driven Guidance for Reopening Schools

Schools in Regions in Phase IV Can Reopen if Daily Infection Rate Remains Below 5 Percent Using a 14-Day Average

Schools Will Close if Regional Infection Rate Rises Over 9 Percent After August 1

Finalized DOH and Reimagine Education Advisory Council Guidance and Guiding Principles Available Here

Enforcement Teams Will Be Stationed at Port Authority and Regional Airports Beginning Tuesday, July 14th to Request Proof of Completion of State DOH Traveler Form

New Electronic DOH Traveler Form is Now Available, Making it Easier and More Efficient for Travelers to Complete

State DOH Issues Emergency Health Order Mandating that Out-of-State Travelers from Designated States Complete DOH Traveler Form Upon Entering New York

1.08 Percent of Yesterday’s COVID-19 Tests were Positive

10 COVID-19 Deaths in New York State Yesterday

Confirms 557 Additional Coronavirus Cases in New York State - Bringing Statewide Total to 402,263; New Cases in 38 Counties

Governor Cuomo: “​It is all good news on where we are as a state, and the numbers show that what we have done in terms of our reopening strategy and our plan has worked. We have been reopening for weeks now. Over one month, we started reopening. And we expected, after the reopening we expected the numbers to tick up. They haven’t ticked up they’ve actually gone down. So the reopening strategy has worked. New York State smart has worked. And it shows that this nation can defeat COVID.”

Earlier today, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced new, data-driven guidance for reopening schools in New York State. Schools in a region can reopen if that region is in Phase IV of reopening and if its daily infection rate remains below 5 percent or lower using a 14-day average since unPAUSE was lifted. Schools will close if the regional infection rate rises above 9 percent, using a 7-day average, after August 1. New York State will make the formula determination during the week of August 1 to 7. New York State, the Reimagine Education Advisory Council and the Department of Health released finalized guidance and guiding principles for reopening schools today, which are available here. The DOH and Governor’s Reimagine Council are working closely with the Department of Education as it releases education guidance. Plans to reopen schools are due on July 31.

Topics addressed by state guidance include:

  • Masks/PPE
  • Social Distancing
  • Cohort Structures
  • Restructuring Space to Maximize In-Class Instruction
  • Transportation
  • Food Service
  • Aftercare and Extracurriculars
  • Screening
  • Tracing
  • Cleaning and Disinfecting

Governor Cuomo also 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.

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

AUDIO of the Governor'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:

Good morning, everyone. It’s our pleasure to be here this morning in New York City. To my left, we have Dr. James Malatras. He’s been working on, among other things, the school reopening plan. He’s here to talk to us about that today. To my right, Melissa DeRosa, Secretary to the Governor. To her right, Rick Cotton, who is the head of the Port Authority. He’s been doing an extraordinary job overall building LaGuardia Airport, first new airport in the United States in 25 years. Re-doing John F. Kennedy Airport. Then if that wasn’t enough, he had to deal with something called COVID, which obviously, impacted the airports. We are so lucky to have him and I want to thank him very much for everything he’s been doing.

This morning, we’re going to be joined by Mayor Bottoms, Mayor of Atlanta, she’s going to join us this morning.

Good morning, how are you, Mayor? I don’t know if we can hear her.

Mayor Bottoms, we’ve been watching you. We’re your neighbors to the North. We’ve been watching you and what you’ve been going through. First, I hope you’re feeling well and I hope your family is feeling well. On top of everything, you have to be dealing with the COVID virus yourself, then you have your hands more than full there. Not only with the COVID virus but the virus of racism and division and what was going on with Mr. Brooks. We just want to tell you, on behalf of New Yorkers, after what we’ve gone through that you are exactly right, Mayor; what you are saying and what you are advocating.

It is no longer a question of theory or a question of politics, we have facts. We have data. We went through it here in New York. We went through it in a worst case scenario. It is about following the data and following the science and taking the precautions and doing what’s right. It is about masks. Masks work. We can tell you that here in New York.

We had the worst spike per capita on the globe and we brought it down. Now you see these other states are going higher than New York. Those masks work. We were the first state to start mandatory masks April 15. All the science now says for sure masks make a big difference. One of the models last week, the IHME model, the Gates funded model that the White House uses, actually projected 40,000 more Americans will die if we don’t have a national mask policy. It’s clear.

We just wanted to tell you that we feel for you. We are all one. We are one community. I applaud your leadership. You really get to see what an elected official is made of when the pressure is on and you have more than risen to the occasion. You’ve been inspiring. They refer to you as a rising star and they are all correct. We are with you.

Anything we can do for you, for the city, we stand ready. We remember how good the people across this country were to us. When we were in the midst of it, I asked for volunteers from across the United States: nurses, doctors to come help in our hospitals. Thirty thousand people volunteered to come to New York in the midst of it and work in our hospitals. It was such an act of generosity and love that was really touching.

We are here for you. The concept of paying it forward – whatever we can do on any level. We have people who have been through this and actually know and we stand ready. You’re right, keep going, stay strong. The facts will bear out. It’s about saving lives and you’re doing exactly the right thing. The numbers are going to show that.

Thank you for taking some time to be with us today. Mayor?

Mayor Bottoms: At the beginning of this pandemic, my charge to my team was simple: God bless the child whose got his own. I had no idea that we would have to go it alone in so many ways. I thought that it was more geared toward the lack of leadership we have at the federal level, but it has been equally challenging at the statewide level.

My family is an example of what’s happening across this country. We had an asymptomatic child in our home for 8 days before we knew that that child was asymptomatic and by that time, my husband and I had contracted COVID. Unnecessarily I would imagine, because we would have taken precautions to protect ourselves.

Thankfully, by the grace of God, we don’t have underlying health conditions and we are all on the mend. My husband is feeling a lot better, but for so many people across this country that is not their story and their outcome is so very different.

In Atlanta, when we saw that we were in a very different place than the governor’s leadership was taking us, we convened an advisory committee in our city compromised of health experts, small business owners, Fortune 500 representatives, college and universities – it’s just really a representation of our community. They made some very clear recommendations of where we needed to go with reopening with a phased approach.

We had made it into the second phase, but given where we are, I see that capacity is maxed out in some hospitals by the day we’re getting closer to maxing out. The numbers are ticking up. I look at the numbers daily. I have seen numbers that I have not seen since April. As of yesterday afternoon, we were up almost 23 percent over a week period of time. We’re headed in the wrong direction. ​So the city, we've recommended we go back to phase one, which is essentially a stay at home order. Also, we've instituted a mask mandate. The benefit of that is one – us taking a very clear position as a city that we recognize that wearing masks helps save lives, but also even in the world’s busiest airport - Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport – one of our largest job centers, we can also mandate masks there as well.

And it's very simple, unless we have a coordinated approach across this country we are going to continue to unnecessarily watch people die. And what makes it even more frustrating and even more disappointing, we didn't have to look to Italy, we could look to New York, and you told us very clearly that if we didn't do things differently in our cities and states we will find ourselves in the same situation that New York was facing, and unfortunately you were correct because throughout the south especially we are getting there in rapid order.

And so I thank you for your leadership. I know that as a city, in the same way New York was able to get to the other side, I know that we will get to the other side but it is going to take us taking responsibility for ourselves and taking actions that look at data and science and not just our opinions.

Governor Cuomo: Thank you very much, Mayor. And you're right, the unfortunate and really frustrating point here is why did other states have to go through this? I mean, we knew what we were dealing with, New York went down the path before, we lived exactly this. Just learn from what New York did, learn from the numbers, learn from the data. And we knew that if you reopen recklessly the virus was going to take off again. If you're not doing pre-cautions the virus was going to take off. Now New York's problem is we have the infection coming from other states back to New York. We’re worried about our infection rate going up because of people coming from other states where the infection rate is higher.

We have a cluster of cases in an upstate county called Rensselaer - people came up from Georgia, they had the virus and they infected New York and then it took off. So, you are on exactly the right track. Anything we can do to help, we’re at a stable period now, we have the virus way down low. We went from the worst infection rate in the country to the best infection rate the lowest. So, we have a little breathing space here, anything we can do for you that you need, any help on the testing, setting up the testing and the tracing, that is so, so important. And we've been through that, so you have an open offer, whatever you need, but we're also 100 percent behind you. And we wish you Godspeed in your health recovering and we hope that Atlanta under your guidance comes back quickly and anything we can do we stand ready.

Mayor Bottoms: Thank you Governor, and that’s exactly what we need assistance with. Testing that gets people results very quickly, and also the contact tracing because we know that’s extremely important for us to help slow the spread. So I appreciate your offer to help and we certainly would be appreciative of that assistance.

Governor Cuomo: Well we can do that. We have, I’ll arrange it with your team, but we'll put people who've done the testing for us and the contact tracing. We actually worked with Mike Bloomberg, former Mayor of New York City. And because nobody knew what a contact tracing program was, and we worked with the former mayor who stepped up and brought Johns Hopkins to the table and we came up with a training program and a whole software program. So I’ll send a team down to Atlanta and they can work with your people and whatever we know and whatever we can share we will do.

In the meantime, send my regards to the former mayor there who I worked with, send my regards to all the people at the Centennial Park. When I was HUD secretary I did a lot of work in Atlanta, a lot of good work, I have a lot of fond memories. So send my regards to everyone. I’ll get that team together and they'll come down to Atlanta as soon as it works for you. Thank you for being with us, Mayor.

Mayor Bottoms: Thank you so much Governor. I appreciate it.

Governor Cuomo: Thank you. My pleasure, thanks. Okay. Godspeed to the Mayor.

Where are we? Today is day 135. Let's talk about some facts first. Where are we? 792 hospitalizations today, that is very good news, lowest since March 18th. You look at our rate of transmission, all across the board, every region we see good numbers. And again, we have more data than any state in the country, so we live and die by the data and all the numbers are good. You look across New York City, the county numbers, they are all good and they are all consistent. You have a little deviation from day to day, that’s statistically irrelevant. But there's all good news in the numbers across the state and across the city. Death toll for yesterday is 10 people. Again, we'd love to see that number at zero, but compared to where we have been that is a very a good place to be.

You look at the three-day average and you see there the whole slope of what we've gone through. You see the descent and the experts say to me, “You'll never really get to zero on the number of deaths because people die, this is a condition like pneumonia, it attacks the respiratory system. So people who are very ill can contract COVID and it can be the cause of death.” But that's where we are now.

We did 51,000 tests yesterday and it was just over one percent. ​It is all good news on where we are as a state, and the numbers show that what we have done in terms of our reopening strategy and our plan has worked. We have been reopening for weeks now. Over one month, we started reopening. And we expected, after the reopening we expected the numbers to tick up. They haven’t ticked up they’ve actually gone down. So the reopening strategy has worked. New York State smart has worked. And it shows that this nation can defeat COVID.

There was no reason to have these states on the increase. New York inherited a spike. Remember where we started. we were handed this high infection rate, because nobody knew the virus had come from Europe. So we started with a high spike. We had to get that spike down. The other states didn’t start with a spike. They just had to stop it from increasing. And with all we did in New York and all we knew, they were just blind to the reality. and again, I want to congratulate New Yorkers who really stepped up to the plate and they did what they had to do, and it was hard. Social distancing, close businesses, close schools, stay at home, it was hard. But, they did it.

We now get to the question of reopening schools. There is a state formula that will determine if it is safe to reopen schools, okay? So open schools or not, there’s a state formula that determines it. There are then state guidelines as to how that school reopens, right. State formula determines if it reopens. If it reopens the second question is how, and that will be done by state guidelines. But the question of school reopening is like the question of reopening the economy. Reopening the schools, reopening the economy, it’s the same conversation. And by the way, it’s the exact conversation with the president of the United States.

We talked about reopening the economy, and he said just reopen. Just reopen the economy. There’s no reason for any of this stuff, phases, data, masks, it’s all baloney, just reopen. Yeah, we saw how well that worked. Go ask Florida, and Texas, and Arizona how well that worked. On schools, what does he say? Reopen the schools. Just open them up. Don’t worry. Yeah, he was wrong on the economic reopening. He’s wrong on the schools reopening. Everybody wants to reopen the schools. I want to reopen the schools. Everybody wants to reopen the schools. It’s not do we reopen or not. You reopen if it is safe to reopen. How do you know if it’s safe? You look at the data. You don’t hold your finger up and feel the wind, you don’t have an inspiration, you don’t have a dream, you don’t have an emotion. Look at the data. We test more, we have more data, than any state, look at the data. If you have the virus under control, reopen. If you don’t have the virus under control, then you can’t reopen. Right? We’re not going to use our children as the litmus test, and we’re not going to put our children in a place where their health is endangered. It’s that simple. Common sense and intelligence can still determine what we do, even in this crazy environment. We’re not going to use our children as guinea pigs. I say to the experts, it’s very simple. If I’m making the determination as to whether or not I would send my daughter to school. If it’s safe, I’ll send her. If it’s not safe, I’m not going to send her. And you can determine that by science. So the formula is this:

Schools will reopen if that region is in Phase IV, and the daily infection rate remains 5 percent or lower over a 14-day average. Okay? You’re in Phase IV, and you’re under 5 percent infection rate. That means the virus is under control. That means it’s safe to reopen. And then the schools can proceed to reopening in that region. Exactly how, you look at the state guidelines. This determination will be made the first week in August.

Second question is, what happens if between the first week in August and the day school opens, the virus spikes? I don’t want to be in a position where we made a determination August 7, and then the virus spikes, but we already said the schools are going to reopen. So the safety valve, there’s a floor, schools will close if the regional infection rate is above 9 percent on a 7-day average. Okay? So you get a green light, reopen in a region, if you’re in Phase IV, and the infection rate is 5 percent or lower. If the infection rate goes over 9 percent, on a 7-day average, that means the virus is moving rapidly and it is not intelligent to open. That’s the green light, and that’s the red light, and it’s the way we’ve done the economic reopening, it’s purely on the numbers. Purely on the numbers. It’s on the science.

We’ll make the first decision, we’ll look at the numbers the week of August 1 to 7, the week because it’s a rolling 14-day average, different regions are in different positions on the 14-day average. Between August 1, you get a green light on August 1, between August 1 and the day the school opens we continue to monitor every day, and if the infection rate goes over 9% then we hit an emergency stop button. It’s very simple, it’s clear. Once you get a green light to re-open, then how you reopen you follow the guidelines and we leave it to the 700 school districts across the state to come up with a specific plan pursuant to those guidelines.

We have done state health guidelines; the State Department of Education is doing state education guidelines which will incorporate our health guidelines. We had a great Reimagine Education Advisory Council that did a lot of work to come up with the guidelines. Jim Malatras ran it for me, I want to thank them all very much for the good work they did. They’re education officials from all across the state. They came up with guidelines that will say the districts have to have flexible plans, there has to be safeguards, they’re prioritizing safety, maximizing available space, focusing on arts career technical education. They have to be innovative. How do you use remote learning? How do you use innovative models, best practices? And all the guidelines will be up today.

We want masks and PPE whenever students or staff cannot maintain social distancing. Masks work. They work for children, they work for teachers, they work for everyone. We have social distancing, six feet separations. We have cohort structures in the guidelines. Guidelines on transportation, food service, after care, extracurricular activity. Every child and person entering will be screened. Tracing has to work in the schools, cleaning and closure procedures. That’s all in the guidelines, and again we’ve done the health guidelines. The State Department of Education, which I do not run separate agency, they’ll do the education guidelines incorporating ours. Well then, what’s the bad news? All our numbers are good. All our numbers are good.

The bad news is, we have to keep them that way and there are challenges. There are two threats. First is lack of compliance by New Yorkers. We get arrogant, we get cocky, the weather’s warm, the numbers are good. I heard the Governor said everything was good, there’s nothing to worry about. I never said there’s nothing to worry about. I never said that. I said the numbers are good. I worry every day. Well, you just worry a lot. No, I’m not really worried by nature, the circumstances cause me to worry. We have to remain compliant and the local governments have to do their job and enforce compliance. Well, it’s hard with younger people. I understand. Well, some people don’t like to wear a mask, I understand. Well, social distancing is difficult, I understand. We have to do it. If you don’t do it, the virus will increase. Period. Period! I mean, this is not my opinion, I’m not guessing. We know it as a scientific fact. That’s the first threat.

Second, is the virus comes to New York, and this is a very real threat and it is déjà vu all over again. The first federal debacle was losing track of the virus that was supposed to be in China and not knowing that it left China and went to Europe and then it came here from Europe, and the federal government has now admitted this. It was one of the great federal blunders in history…cost thousands of lives in New York and billions of dollars. They just missed it. Yeah, it was a terrible miss and a terrible mistake and it’s what created the spike in New York. The second federal mistake, is even after everything we went through, they allowed and pushed the other states to reopen recklessly. And you now have the virus out of control in other states and it’s going to fly back to New York.

The first mistake brought it from Europe to New York. The second mistake will bring it from Georgia to New York, and Texas to New York, and Arizona to New York, and the 38 states that see the virus going up. Both times New York did nothing wrong. It was the federal government that caused our problem and then, frankly, wanted to have nothing to do with the solution. They caused the problem and then said, you’re on your own. Literally you have 39 states that are now seeing the virus increase and come to New York. So, we talk about the valve…I talk about the valve. The reopening valve, we talked about monitoring it all along. You now have to add two additional measures, or dials, to the valve. One is, now you have to watch the effect of non-compliance and make sure the local governments are doing their job. The second dial is now the effect of the national outbreak and people coming here to New York with the virus.

Those are the two new complications that have been added to the mix. And look, it is the federal government because it is the federal government. Sometimes it is what it is, and this has been gross negligence. They have been denying the reality of the situation from the beginning. It doesn’t exist, it’s going to go away, by Easter we’ll reopen, when it gets warm it will go away like it’s a miracle. It didn’t go away! There was no miracle.

You denied reality. This is their political agenda over public health policy. That’s what this is. This is politically inconvenient in an election year. So, deny it. Yeah except you are jeopardizing public health and you're losing lives by your denial and your political agenda. And then when the federal government didn't step up and handle this, this was a federal crisis. Why is New York state or the state of Georgia, or the state of California, or any of these states handling the COVID virus. It's a national issue. The President did a federal emergency declaration.

You know what a federal emergency declaration means? It means a federal emergency. You know who's in charge of federal emergencies? The federal government. That's why they use the word federal in all of those expressions. I was in the federal government. When there's a federal emergency it's the responsibility of the federal government. They just abandoned their post and said it's up to the states. And by the way, they got offended when the states asked for any resources or help from the federal government. If they're not going to step up and address a problem that hurts every state in the United States. Then what is the point of the federal government? I mean if you don't see that as your role. What is the role?

Now the President is attacking science. What a surprise. No surprise. He's been attacking science from day one. The denial of reality was to deny science and he's done that from day one. At the end of the day, science trumps politics. Politics does not trump science. You don't defeat a virus with politics. You defeat a virus by using science and medicine. That was true from day one. The President now says his own health officials are lying about the virus. His own CDC health officials are lying about the virus. Well, if the President is telling the truth, you know what he should do? He should fire them. He should fire them. You know what I would do if I believed my Health Commissioner was lying? I would fire him. If I said in this room, my Health Commissioner is lying about the coronavirus. You know what your first question would be? Governor, if you say he's lying, how do you not fire him? How do you keep him in charge of health policy if you say the person is lying? Because someone is clearly lying to the American people. And people are dying because of it.

Trump's COVID scandal makes what Nixon did at Watergate look innocent. Nobody died in the Watergate scandal. Thousands of people are going to die in this COVID scandal and that is all the difference in the world. You look at the facts. The facts clearly demonstrate Trump was wrong from day one and New Yorkers have been right from day one. There's no argument. There's nothing to tweet about. The facts are in. The numbers are in. Look at the number of bodies. Look at the infection rate. New York's numbers have declined while the nation is going up. New York is down 70 percent. These other states up over 800 percent. Florida up 1300 percent. Who's right who's wrong? What's there to argue about? Those are the numbers. Tell me the numbers are wrong. It’s all across the country and it is undeniable. And it’s now a threat to the state of New York.

We have done a quarantine for the highest risk infection states. We know there have been instances of noncompliance. Non-compliance can lead to outbreaks; we're seeing it in Rensselaer County now where people came up from Georgia. We're going to have the Department of Health issue an emergency health order today that will mandate that out of state travelers from the states that are quarantined, must provide a location for form before they leave the airport. The airlines will hand it out on the plane. It will also be available on the web. You can fill it out electronically or you have to fill out the piece of paper on the airplane. You must give officials at the airport your form as to where you came from and where you're going before you leave the airport. It will be enforced in every airport in the state of New York. Downstate, the Port Authority will enforce it. If you leave the airport without providing the information, you will receive a summons immediately with a $2,000 fine. If you leave the airport without filling out the information not only can you have a $2000 fine, you can then be brought to a hearing and ordered to complete mandatory quarantine. None of this is pleasant, but we've gone through this before.

We went through this when Rick Cotton and people at the Port Authority watched three million Europeans—people from Europe—come into this state and bring the virus. Fool me once. We can’t be in a situation where we have people coming from other states in the country bringing the virus again. It is that simple. Again, Port Authority will do the enforcement in downstate New York, the other airports will do it in upstate New York. The general point is we have to stay diligent. New Yorkers have been truly amazing and what they did was historic. They tamed the beast because they are New York Tough, which means smart, united, disciplined and loving.

Those were the facts, and now I’m going to give you an opinion. This case, it’s a very personal opinion. Personal opinion, but very personal. There’s personal, then there’s very personal, which is even more personal than just personal. We went through 111 days of hell. Everybody processed it their own way. I saw it as climbing a mountain and you had to climb that mountain and every day was hard and every day climbing the mountain you didn’t even know how high the mountain was. And at the same time you were designing the mountain because our behavior was going to design the mountain and design the plateau and the peak. When will the virus stop? When you stop the virus, is what the experts would say to me. It was like a cruel riddle every day. When do the deaths stop? When does the infection rate stop? When you stop it. What does that mean? When the social distancing works. When the closedown policies work. When the masks work. So you’re climbing a mountain and you are designing the curve of the mountain. It ends when you say it ends, right? This was traumatizing for people. And on a personal level, economic level, it was frightening, it was isolating. Everyone had their own demons they were dealing with. I had my own demons and my own fears. I’m afraid for my mother, afraid for my kids, afraid for my brother. Everyone had their own pain and their own trauma to deal with. But what we went through and what we did was historic because we did tame the beast. We did turn the corner. We did plateau that mountain. And then we came down the other side. And they will be talking about what we did for decades to come. It really was an historic moment. Personally traumatic, socially traumatic, and historic.

So, I love history. I love poster art. Poster art is something they did in the early 1900s, late 1800s, when they had to communicate their whole platform, candidacy on one piece of paper, right? They wanted to run a campaign, they didn’t have TV commercials, they didn’t have mail, they didn’t have any of these things. So they got their whole message on one piece of paper and it always fascinated me—I use so many words—what if somebody said, okay no words. Paint me a picture that tells the story of what you’re trying to say. That’s poster art. And it’s helped me because it’s been like a relief valve, not that I don’t have joy every day dealing with you guys, but I could go and just use a different side of my brain. And this was the most famous—the William Jennings Brian with the octopus. He’s fighting the octopus and the octopus is corporate trusts that are taking over the economy, right? You could almost do that again today.

So over the past few years I’ve done my own posters that capture that feeling. I did this one for the State of the State. Ship of State that was sailing in the Sea of Division, right? Back in January. Well, in any event, so I did a new one for what we went through with COVID and I think the general shape is familiar to you. We went up the mountain, we curved the mountain, we came down the other side and these are little telltale signs that, to me, represent what was going on. That big arrow that goes right up through it. That was the economic models, right? We needed 120,000 beds, we needed 140,000 beds, and those models shot straight up. We had to bend the curve despite those models. We needed 30,000 ventilators, that model said.

We almost get to the top of the mountain—Economy Falls—get it? Economy Falls like Niagara Falls, but then the economy drops, the economy falls. And the economy comes running down. Timeline on the bottom. From day one to day 111. It’s roughly scaled and then little visuals of what was going on. Starts on day one—little octopus is the tell back to the William Jennings Brian poster. Zack got that right away. First comes on a cruise ship—the COVID virus, right? We start the daily briefings. It’s Jim Malatras and Stephanie Benton. Hand sanitizer, we have the winds of fear are blowing, everybody’s afraid. We have the plane bringing three million people from Europe and that’s how COVID came through the clouds of the federal government, CDC, et cetera. Testing, hospital surge, Javits Center. We’re pulling down the curve together, right? One hundred and eleven days of hell.

The New Rochelle hot spot, first hot spot cluster. Testing, tracing. Nasal swab, cute little button nose. I’m driving once again – one of the few benefits of this, I get to drive myself now. Subway disinfection. We’ve turned the corner, mask up, social distancing. The sun is on the other side of the mountain. We just had to make it to the other side of the mountain. There’s the man in the moon. It’s just the flu. Phase one, we’re now coming down the other side. Boyfriend cliff is there. Tell the people the truth, they will do the right thing. They made the boyfriend look like Zack Fink, I’m not sure why.

Who’s pulling down the curve? New Yorkers, healthcare workers, the essential workers, out of state volunteers. 30,000 people from out of state volunteered to come help us.

I have my three daughters there. That’s Captain. They have him a little paunchy – he’s on a diet. He’s not that bad, but he’s on his way.

Stock market reopens. We come down the other side. There’s the briefing table. Out of state ban. Follow the facts. That’s Arizona, Texas, Florida going up. Last little sign, “caution ahead.” We’ve climbed the mountain, we’re down the mountain. Be cautious. What we’re talking about today. Do compliance, watch people from other states, and we’re still in the sea of division, which I talked about in January, even worse. George Floyd murder, racial tension, protests. Even worse than it was.

So, New York tough, smart, united, disciplined, loving. In case you haven’t heard that before because love wins at the end of the day. Love is the rainbow. Timeline on the bottom. We forged community and community wins. You were part of it. And I’m going to give you a poster because you were a part of it.

Contact the Governor's Press Office

Contact us by phone:

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