COVID-19: NYC Quote of the Day 2020-06-17

Wednesday, June 17, 2020, NYS Gov. Cuomo - What Happens When People from Those States Get on Planes and Fly to New York?

We did about 60,000 tests yesterday. No state in the United States is doing that. Number who tested positive, less than 1%. That is the lowest percentage of positive that we have had since we have started. That is one of the lowest levels in the United States of America and we once again have demonstrated that we've gone from the worst infection rate in the country to the best infection rate in the country. Those are powerful facts. We had the worst infection rate. The rate of transmission was the highest. We now have the lowest rate of transmission.

But facts are facts and I'm telling you today the federal government is making a historic mistake and that is not a political comment. That is a fact-based, objective comment.

We had the political debate. How do we reopen? We should just reopen immediately, this is all overblown, it's fine - that was theory A. There was a partisan divide to it. More conservatives argued that. Government should just get out of the way, let the free market do it. That was The Wall Street Journal, New York Post conservative theory. And then there was another theory. Let's reopen based on data. Let's not just reopen blindly as an expression of political ideology. We're dealing with a virus. The virus doesn't have a political ideology. No doctor ever said to me, oh, we did a COVID test, found out it was conservative. Found out it was liberal. It's a virus. It moves as a matter of science.

We tested the two theories. And numbers don't lie. You have 20 states where you have the COVID virus increasing as a matter of numbers. The states without the smart reopening plans are going up. That is a fact. There's Democratic opinion, Republican opinion, but there are no Democratic or Republican facts.

What's New York's interest in the rest of the nation? First of all, we're Americans and we care about other Americans. Second, on a parochial level, if those states are going up, they could spread the virus to New York. What happens when those people get on planes and fly to New York? That's how we got here in the first place. So we do have a selfish interest. Same interest as so many states expressed when we were at the beginning of this and they were worried about New Yorkers going to their states. We lived through that and now it's the inverse.

You hear from the federal government the numbers are going up because we're doing more testing. That is just not true. Forget the testing, hospitalizations are going up. How do you explain that? Are they pretending to be sick? That's Arizona, that's Texas. New York, the number of people going into hospitals is going down. The percent testing positive is going down.

This is a moment in history where it's not going to be about the partisan divide when they write the books. They'll talk about the absurd politics. There's going to be real life and death consequences to this. By the model that the White House uses, they have increased their projections to show almost 90,000 more people are going to die by August. In April, they projected 60,000 deaths by August. May, they projected 134,000 deaths. Now, they're projecting 149,000 deaths.

"Well, that's the cost we have to pay to get the economy back up and running." Really? When the virus goes up, the financial markets go down, consumer confidence goes down, people get more nervous and less confident about government and about the plan and about their future. "Feel good, invest in America, we're reopening, come out and shop." Oh, more people are dying, it's actually increasing the spread of the virus. People aren't stupid.
Edited for redundancy, grammar, and emphasis
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