ALBANY, N.Y. (WROC) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo was in the nation’s capital Wednesday for his daily coronavirus update. He traveled south Wednesday to meet with President Donald Trump at the White House.
The governor announced that 74 New Yorkers died from COVID-19 Tuesday. The state’s death toll from the virus is more than 23,000 to date.
“Only in this time of crisis would 74 deaths be anything less than tragic news, but when you’ve gone through what we’ve gone through, it’s a sign that were heading in the right direction,” Gov. Cuomo said. “When you look at the curve in the state of New York we are down, on the right side of the mountain.”
The governor said that the focus has shifted to reopening the economy, something he says will be decided by science, not politics.
“Do we have testing in place and do we have tracing in place?” Gov. Cuomo said. “Just take the politics out of it, do it on the facts, and do it on the science, and that’s what were doing in New York.”
The governor again insisted on the need for federal funding to help states offset revenue losses caused by the pandemic.
“There cannot be a national recovery if the state and local governments are not funded that is a fact,” Gov. Cuomo said. “Is now the time to savage essential services? Don’t you realize if you do this, if you cut state and local government and cause chaos on the state and local level, how does that help a nation striving to recover economically?
“The states that bore the brunt of the COVID virus, they’re one third of the national GDP,” Gov. Cuomo said. “How can you tell one third of the country to go to heck, and then think you’re going to see an economic rebound?”
The governor said federal legislators need to put partisan politics aside to help the country.
“Hyper-partisan politics is toxic to this country,” Gov. Cuomo said. “New York pays more every year, $29 billion more every year, than we take back. The great irony is that the conservatives want to argue against wealth redistribution. ‘Why take from the rich and give to the poor?’ That’s what they do every year. Stop abusing the states that carried the brunt of the virus.”
The governor said Tuesday that major infrastructure improvements can address central societal needs while also jump-starting the economy.
“There is no better time to build than right now. You need to restart the economy, you need to create jobs. And you need to renew and repair the economy. Now is the time to do it,” Cuomo said. “Let’s put Americans back to work. It is common sense.”
Locally, there have been 198 COVID-19 deaths and 2,704 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Monroe County. This Friday marks two weeks since the Finger Lakes region began Phase One, and local leaders are hopeful the region has the potential to move on to the next phase.
Check back with News 8 WROC as we will continue to update this developing story.