By Janet Ekstract
NEW YORK (TURKISH JOURNAL) – New York’s Gov. Cuomo announced on Saturday that he’s signing an executive order to allow more than 5,000 pharmacies across New York to conduct coronavirus tests. In his daily briefing on Saturday, he said that due to the limited number of tests available, priority for antibody tests will go to frontline healthcare workers, first responders and state employees. Cuomo said that as more testing becomes available that eventually the testing will be more widely available to the general public. Right now, the goal he said is to ramp up testing even further. Four major hospitals including Bellvue and Elmhurst hospitals will be administering the antibody tests. In addition, antibody testing for transit workers and first responders will start next week. The governor said that from the current 20,000 tests a day, his goal is to ramp up to 40,000 tests a day. As Cuomo reiterated: “Testing is what we are compulsively, obsessively focused on right now.”
Meanwhile, this week Cuomo said he was signing an executive order on absentee voting, making it easier for voters to file absentee ballots because the governor said no one should have to stand on line to vote during the coronavirus pandemic. Applications will be sent out with return postage so absentee ballots can be sent out to voters. He also said that his team is looking at “all options” on a variety of issues especially rent and mortgage. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio is calling for rent free reliefCuomo saıd there wıll be a one week notice on the school timetable.
The governor said “it boggles the mind” how the federal government could leave out funding for states and local government. Cuomo commented: “All they said is don’t worry, they’re going to do it in the next bill.” He added: “I said don’t pass this next bill if you don’t have state and local funding because i told them they’re not going to do it.” Cuomo said that this is: “The most unAmerican uncharitable statement of all times.”
On the federal government’s lack of action on passing funding to states and local governments, the National Association of Governors had requested $500 billion for states, Cuomo said. Senator Mitch McConnell is blocking funding and in a formal statement McConnell had called for “states to declare bankruptcy.” The governor reminded McConnell that legally, unless the federal government passes a law to that effect, that’s not possible. Cuomo also reminded him: “We’ve put more money into the federal pot every year than they’ve taken out.” He added: “New York has bailed you out every year. Mitch McConnell is a taker not a giver.”
In terms of reopening, Cuomo explained that it will take place in phases with phase one’s plan to open manufacturing plants first then other essential businesses second. He said earlier in the week: “All evidence suggests we’re on the downside of the curve.” But in Saturday’s briefing, he commented: “We’re back to where we were on March 31.” Even though “the death count is down but it’s still devastating news.” Cuomo said: “If we start reopening immediately, we will risk a higher number of infections and he warned that experts have talked about a second wave of infection.” He asked: “What should we learn from what has happened thus far?” He added: “This is our first global pandemic. Once it actualizes for people then its different then people get it.”