By Janet Ekstract
NEW YORK (TURKISH JOURNAL) – In this moment, more than any other, truth and facts matter, New York Governor Cuomo said in his Tuesday daily briefing. He added: “That has to guide our actions, period.” The governor revealed that he had a “productive visit” with President Trump at the White House on Tuesday, commenting: “We spoke truth, we spoke facts, we made decisions and we have a plan going forward.”
Cuomo explained: “All the governors are united,” adding, whether Republican or Democrat, they’re all “saying the same thing, we need funding.” He stressed that state governments must get help from the federal government because as Cuomo reiterated, the states fund state workers across the board. The governor once again emphasized: “The Congress has to insist that this is in the legislation.” He said: “This is not the time for baby steps, this is when you should be taking bold action.” Cuomo added the action should be “proportionate and responsive” to the problem but it wasn’t.
Per the governor’s visit, Cuomo said Trump agreed to waive states’ 25 percent match of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) cost which Cuomo said is “a very big deal.” He also said the president agreed to handle the national manufacturer supply chain issues and is sending more testing kits. Testing, Cuomo insisted is the most definitive way of knowing how and when to reopen New York. He added that contact tracing is essential along with testing which involves tracing all the people a person who tests poitive has been in contact with. Cuomo said on Monday, his team set a goal to double the number of state tests. Then he reiterated “once you do all those tests, you have to go back and trace all those contacts. The governor admitted: “It’s an intimidating exercise. I say so what. Who cares if we’ve never done it. So, figure out how to do it.”
On reopening plans, the governor reemphasized that he’s operating on a “tri-state” basis and that he’s spoken to both governors of New Jersey and Connecticut and that the aim is a “nation-leading” contact tracing program. John Hopkins University and Vital Strategy will be putting together the tracing operation, Cuomo said. The program will be coordinated downstate as well as upstate Cuomo explained, saying that one-third of those working in New York City are from downstate.
Cuomo stressed: “If you’re going to do these tracing operations you can’t do it just in your own county because you’ll run into people who are cross-jurisdictional.” He explained that former New York city Mayor Michael Bloomberg is going to start with the core of tracers and that it’s necessary to put together a “significant operation” on tracing. He also said the former mayor will assist in coordinating the entire effort and is working through a program at John Hopkins that he already works with. Cuomo informed that John Hopkins is developing an online curriculum to teach people how to do tracing. He also said the goal will be to trace as many positive cases as possible.
Cuomo mentioned the “disparity” between the African-American and Hispanic communities compared to the white communities in New York when it comes to finding those who test positive. Minority areas are where coronavirus “tends to be higher,” Cuomo related. He said it’s very difficult in those areas because they are industrial and asthma is a major problem there. The governor’s message is that everyone should learn from this experience. He added: “The positive message is look how well we do when we actually focus and say let’s do this.”
On a final note, Cuomo said: “Local officials feel political pressure to open.” But the governor pointed out that decisions must be made based on facts and that everyone must be cognizant of the consequences of opening too soon or opening one region too soon. The governor shared: “This is a profound moment, we make a bad move, it’s going to set us back. We can’t make a bad decision.” He further pushed the envelope on the stay-at-home orders and social distancing when he commented: “This is no time to act stupidly, i don’t know how else to say it.’ Cuomo reminded everyone that he works tirelessly for New Yorkers and that he won’t “bow to political pressure” to open too soon.
Cuomo was adamant about smart actions and highlighted: “I also know more people will die if we are not smart.” He added: “We’re not going to have people lose their life because we acted imprudently.” The governor cautioned as experts have, that there could be a second or third wave of infections,” and said: “I’m worried about that. I have no problem with anyone blaming me for not reopening sooner.” Cuomo also reminded everyone that it’s not the time for “confusion or disagreement” among government – adding: “The local laws can’t counteract state laws anyway.” Cuomo addressed those who refuse to wear masks: “You have a responsibility to act prudently vis a vis other people.’