By Janet Ekstract
NEW YORK (TURKISH JOURNAL) – In his Friday press briefing, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo slammed President Trump and the federal government in what he labeled as “federal negligence” in the COVID-19 pandemic. Cuomo made a passionate plea to Washington to get their act together. The governor said: “If the American people are continually lied to, the chaos will continue.” He added: “Every American knows this was the worst blunder in U.S. history.” The governor had a very succinct message for those on Capitol Hill: “Don’t pass a piece of legislation that doesn’t restore New York’s funds.”
Governor Cuomo’s point is simple: Washington and the president knew how bad things were six months ago but failed to act in time to prevent an exponential spread of the virus. He commented: “I’m not going to let Washington off the hook, they have to deliver.” Cuomo stressed: “We pay them to pass a piece of legislation that helps New York.” The governor also pointed out how some of the wealthiest taxpayers in New York left for their homes outside the city and may never return. He said: “We’re trying to get people to come back.”
The good news for New York is that the COVID infection rate has “dropped significantly” Cuomo emphasized and reiterated that New York is doing much better than other states. But the governor insisted that this is still no time to relax social distancing and the use of personal protective gear. The governor reminded everyone that 39 states are experiencing serious COVID spikes. In New York City, Cuomo said the main problem is young people at bars and restaurants violating social distancing and not wearing masks. He said there are twice as many police out enforcing the rules and that at least 106 citations were issued. As he said: “We’re seeing continued situations that are just not intelligent.”
As to when New York schools might reopen, Cuomo said that school districts must submit detailed plans about how they are going to ensure student, teacher and employee safety. The governor said that ultimately the students’ parents will be the deciding factor and that they will ask questions about testing and how adequate it could be. He cautioned that reopening schools is not something to be taken lightly because ”this is an issue of public health.” He added: “Parents are going to want to understand the information for themselves.” Cuomo stressed that the parents need to feel comfortable and the teachers must also feel comfortable with whatever plans they review for returning to school. The governor proposed discussions between schools and parents begin taking place via conference online. He recommended schools set up special conference rooms where they can video chat with parents to explain what precautions the schools will take. Cuomo also made it clear that if he doesn’t deem a school safe that it will not reopen.
A main issue to consider, Cuomo reiterated, is that many parents probably will not want to send their children back into the classroom unless they felt there was a reasonable safety net and detailed safety precautions set in place. The governor said the State Education Department (SED) is responsible for reviewing the school district plans but that they haven’t received those plans, yet. He emphasized that parents have to be able to trust their school district and that not all parents will.
The New York governor said two major threats to New York are lack of compliance and the nationwide spike in COVID cases. Cuomo said: “It’s an inarguable fact” that there’s a dramatic rise in COVID all across the nation. He said that medical experts are saying “we should hit the reset button” on reopening and shut down again. The governor remarked: That’s a damning commentary on where we are.” He said the one constant that has been missing from the COVID equation since it began is the truth. Cuomo said: “We start this time with the truth, we do something different in this country that was not done six months ago.” Cuomo added: “It starts with the President of the United States telling the truth which he did not do six months ago.” Cuomo pointed out that “the president should admit his mistakes and untruths.” He added that the Trump administration “sent the wrong message to the American people.” The governor emphasized that President Trump was irresponsible in his message on COVID and said: “If you believed him, you wouldn’t take COVID seriously and then you wouldn’t take the precautions you needed to take.”
The governor cited Florida, Texas and Arizona as examples of prime COVID hot spots where the virus has jumped. Cuomo pointed out: “It was a mistake to deny the reality that happened in New York that was broadcast across the country.” He said that it’s incredulous that other states still don’t have adequate testing after six months but that New York was given only two weeks to get their testing in order. Cuomo’s question to other states is: “How did you not do all the essential things you needed to do?” His answer: “Because they were listening to the president.”
Cuomo’s bottom line is: “The truth is COVID is deadly serious.” He added: “It shouldn’t have been politicized and this is not a political issue which is what Trump did.” The governor stressed: “Start with the truth which is that an outbreak anywhere is an outbreak everywhere.” Cuomo cautioned that if is there is another nationwide lockdown that everyone needs to get it right. The governor commented: “The truth is none of us are safe until all of us are safe. If we don’t tell the truth on the reset then COVID will keep bouncing from state to state. It will never end.”
New York’s famous governor has a very succinct message for America’s president: “If you don’t respect the American people then you shouldn’t ask to be their leader.” Cuomo stated: “This was a colossal blunder how COVID was handled by this president – shame on all of you.”