ALBANY, N.Y. (WROC) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo addressed both the coronavirus pandemic and the violent protests dividing the nation during his daily briefing Tuesday in Albany.
“We have multiple crises that are colliding, and that creates confusion,” Gov. Cuomo said.
On Day 94 of the COVID-19 pandemic, New York state is seeing some of it’s lowest hospitalization rates and deaths since the beginning of the pandemic.
“Number of new COVID hospitalizations is at an all-time low, 154,” Gov. Cuomo said.
As that situation is improving, another is intensifying. On Day 9 since the death of George Floyd, Gov. Cuomo asked protesters to be calm and peaceful. He’s also reminding protesters that we’re still in the middle of a pandemic and there is still a need to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
The Governor said the looting and criminal activity has nothing to do with the protests. He said it is due to groups who are using this moment for their own purposes and exploiting this movement.
“Separate the protesters from the looting,” Gov. Cuomo said.
Reiterating sentiments from the past few daily briefings, the governor said we need to learn from Floyd’s death and create a specific agenda to deal with the issues.
Some specifics the Governor mentioned were: a need for independent investigations, a national standard of excessive force, to ban chokeholds, and to address the inequality that is in education, unemployment, income, etc.
The governor says Western New York and the Capital Region are expected to get the go-ahead to enter Phase Two this week. New York City is still on track to enter Phase One on June 8.
In his briefing on Monday, the governor said New York State is handling the coronavirus pandemic “better than ever,” announcing that there had been 54 deaths over night — the lowest since the beginning of the pandemic.
“Yes it was a disruptive 93 days, I know, but look at what we did in 93 days,” Gov. Cuomo said. “We went from the worst situation on the globe to actually reopening. That’s where we are, we should be very proud of what we done.”
Still, the governor warned that mass gatherings protesting the death of George Floyd stands to set back the progress that we’ve made as as state. The governor said it’s important for demonstrators to use their energy constructively, and be specific to demand real positive change.
Locally, as cases continue to rise, groups of people also continue to meet throughout the Rochester region to show their support for Floyd. There have now been 224 COVID-19 deaths and 2,888 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Monroe County.
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Check back with News 8 WROC as we will continue to update this developing story.