By Janet Ekstract
NEW YORK (TURKISH JOURNAL) – In his Saturday daily briefing on Memorial Day weekend, New York Governor Cuomo focused on the need for every New Yorker to remain vigilant in wearing masks to protect themselves as well as everyone else. As Cuomo said: “We have to get back to activity but we have to do it in a better way, a smarter way.” The governor said that the “good news is the number of hospitalizations are down, intubations are down, number of new cases is down.” He said as of May 22, 84 lives were lost, 62 in hospitals and 22 in nursing homes which is a step forward but still one too many. Cuomo commented: “It’s a sign we’re making real progress.”
On reopening additional regions in New York state, Cuomo reiterated that the criteria for reopening all across the state from region to region is the same and urged everyone to check the criteria on the New York State COVID website. He added that the Mid-Hudson region will reopen on Tuesday since the criteria was met for the number of declining deaths and all the tracers will be trained before then. He also added that Long Island will be ready in all likelihood to reopen on Wednesday. The governor added: “We opened up the beaches, people are great, they’re doing what they’re supposed to do.” Cuomo cautioned that “just because you don’t have symptoms doesn’t mean you don’t have the COVID virus.”
As the governor has explained often, testing is crucial and New Yorkers should get tested more than just once to make sure they were not infected. He said that more testing now exists in lower income communities and that currently there are 760 testing sites throughout New York. Cuomo urged everyone: “Please go to the website and get a test,” and added “we made it as easy as possible.” He said the test is needed if someone was exposed to a person who ended up testing positive for COVID, if you are “public facing” or if you’re in a region that is opening up. Cuomo reiterated that “we need people to continue to step up.”
Governor Cuomo emphasized that “what we are doing is working” and to compare that with the rest of the states in America where you see the curve going up. He said: “It’s about being New York tough which is being smart, don’t put yourself in a situation where it’s not worth it. We’re united, we’re disciplined. This is about doing the same thing we did before even though it’s day 84.” Cuomo reemphasized that how states reopen can make all the difference and that when you see the evidence from 24 states, ‘it suggests you may still have uncontolled spread.” He added: “It’s not rocket science. Wear a mask, use hand sanitizer.” The governor said that the reason many frontline workers have a lower rate of infection than the general public is because the masks work.
In a previous briefing last month, Governor Cuomo expressed the need for a novel idea to make the point that wearing a mask saves lives. As he explained: “On May 5, we launched a contest asking New Yorkers to create and share a video explainng why New Yorkers should wear a mask.” Cuomo urged New Yorkers to go to the website, view the five finalists and vote. He said the winner will be announced on May 26 and that people can go to this website to view the finalist videos: Coronavirus.health.ny.gov/wear-mask.
As Cuomo wrapped up his briefing, he showcased the five honorable mention contest videos and once again reiterated: “New York is tough. Yes, this is a tough situation and New Yorkers are tough.” He added: “Tough is about courage.” Cuomo said he understands the urge to give up, that many people feel it’s a hassle to wear a mask. But he reminded everyone that as former president Theodore Roosevelt said: “Courage is not having the strength to go on, it is going on when you don’t have the strength.” He added that his father, the former governor of New York Mario M. Cuomo believed that everyone needed to unite in order to overcome adversity and that his motto was “This nation is at its best only when we see ourselves, all of us as one family.”