WPCNR TUESDAY GOVERNOR ANDREW CUOMO CORONAVIRUS BRIEFING. By John F. Bailey. May 26, 2020:
Today was Opening Day.
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced Westchester County and the rest of the Midhudson region is starting Phase 1 of Reopening. (Details on the reopening are provided in the story below from County Legislator Benjamin Boykin.)
He said New York City still has too many infections in poor neighborhoods rising and not enough tracers signed on yet to open.
He said New York City would be concentrating on getting the high rate of infections in the poor minority districts of New York in Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx by zip code, and meeting the number of tracers needed for New York City to follow and get the new infections (occurring at rates up to double the infection rates in the rest of the city). There was no target date of when NYC could expect to do that. Long Island is expected to open tomorrow.
The Governor said he has been in touch with County Executives across the state allowed to reopen, to watch their infection rates and when they see numbers of corona virus infections rise steadily to “jump on it.”
Moving ahead the Governor said he wanted to accelerate major projects now under way that by acceleration would create 8,000 jobs. The projects are the Empire Station complex at old Penn Station, speed completion of LaGuardia Airport, build an Airtrain to LaGuardia; construct an extension of the new 2nd Avenue Subway to 125th Street; refurbish the AMTRAK TUNNELS under Manhattan.
The Governor’s Daughter, Michaelia Kennedy Cuomo introduced the winning Public Service Commericals for the state “Wear a Mask Campaign.” Ms. Kennedy Cuomo said 186, 117 people voted in the contest among 5 productions. Governor Cuomo said the top two spots split 96,000 votes between them and were separated by only 500 votes, so he made an “Executive Order” to run both “Wear the Mask” spots alternately in the upcoming public service campaign
In the Question and Answer session, the Governor was asked if he would consider borrowing to finance the state budget deficit. The Governor said the state had to be “fiscally responsible…we don’t want to create more debt than the state can repay it—now we’re in a downward spiral. Decisions call for hard choices
He said the subways would continue to cleaned every night because the Center for Disease Control did say the coronavirus could not be caught from hard surfaces, only that hard surfaces were not the primary source of infection. (Air droplets are.)
Asked about enforcement of wearing a mask on public transportation, the governor appeared to indicate there were no penalties or enforcement measures at this time planned. He recommended “polite, curious” reminders to persons not wearing a mask, to wear one.
On the matter of the budget deficit the state faces, the Governor said he wanted the federal government to own this issue. “Tell me what the Federal Government does, and I will tell you what the New York State budget is. Congress has to deliver. Federal government it’s your turn to deliver.”