ALBANY, N.Y. (WROC) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo held a briefing in Albany on the state’s ongoing coronavirus response efforts Monday; day No. 240 of the pandemic in New York state.
Monday’s data was reported as follows:
- 82,117 tests conducted
- 1.45% infection rate statewide
- 3.25% infection rate inside red zones
- 1.18% infection rate outside red zones
- 12 virus deaths statewide
- 1,059 statewide hospitalizations
- 237 in ICU
- 118 intubated
The governor began his briefing with further criticism of the federal government’s handling of the virus thus far.
“Why did they do nothing back in January? Why do they keep denying COVID?” Gov. Cuomo said.
The governor said the federal administration doesn’t think the virus can be controlled.
“That, my friends, is their theory,” Gov. Cuomo said. “‘We’re not going to control the pandemic. All we can do is develop the vaccine, and therapeutics.’ That’s what they believed from day one. They cant control the virus. And that was, in my opinion, factually a wrong premise back in January, and it was the wrong conclusion. It is a threshold issue because if you believe you can’t control it, then you don’t even try and the federal government has never tried to control the virus.”
The governor said that New York state proved the virus can be controlled.
“New York state controlled the virus and we’re controlling it now,” Gov. Cuomo said. “Chief of staff said ‘you can’t control the pandemic.’ New York says you’re wrong and we did. Flattening the curve is controlling the virus. That’s what the White House thinks you can’t do — except we did.”
The governor insists that the federal government made the decision to let the virus spread vs. letting the economy feel the blunt of the pandemic.
“They believe there were only two options,” Gov. Cuomo said. “Option A: Close down the economy. Option B: Let the virus spread. That’s what they saw and that’s what they believe. There was a third option they didn’t consider, that you can control the spread of the virus by having a phased reopening. That was the right choice back in March and its the right choice now. It was always both. They see the valves as all on or all off. We said ‘no.’ You phase the economic reopening, turn the valve a little bit, let the economy stop, and watch the viral spread on the gauges.”
The governor says that the federal response to the pandemic so far is indicative of how a future vaccine will be rolled out, and the inherent problems therein.
“Too many people are going to die by the time you operationalize the vaccine,” Gov. Cuomo said. “This could be one year, easily 1 year. You’re talking about vaccinating 330 million people. You’re talking about vaccinating double the amount of COVID test that you have done, nationwide in seven months.”
The governor says the federal government has failed the American people, in part due to the political polarization of the virus.
“The federal government was just wrong,” Gov. Cuomo said. “Look, this is a highly-charged political atmosphere, and it’s a polarized society and people are almost falling into this modality of polarization. Because we don’t think people will do what they need to do to control the virus? You underestimate the American people. We know that people will join the effort, we know that they will follow, we know they will do the right thing. I can’t enforce a mask order — then why are 98-99% of people doing it? Because they’re smart, and they heard the facts, and they care about one another.”
The governor announced a new masking campaign to promote the use of face coverings.
“The RealReal is working with top designers,” Gov. Cuomo said. “They’re going to design masks, Real Real is going to make them available through their website, and the profits from the masks sales will go to charities. So this is a win-win across the board. Campaign goes for five weeks. The profits will go to COVID relief organizations, public school is going to release their NY TOUGH mask, it’s going to be released today.”
On Sunday, the Monroe County Department of Health reported 68 new cases of coronavirus bringing the county total to 6,727.
Check back with News 8 WROC as we continue to update this developing story.