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Gov. Andrew Cuomo gives updates on coronavirus pandemic in New York | USA TODAY

Gov. Andrew Cuomo gives updates on coronavirus pandemic in New York | USA TODAY

today

is Saturday that is a fact indisputable I'm just somebody probably for this beauty but I will stand by that factual determination hospitalization numbers are down good news we were been hovering around 18,000 and we went to 17,000 and we're now at 16,000 almost 17,000 but that is good news we're down now for several days the statisticians will say oh we passed the apex have we hit the plateau and flattened for a period of time and are we now on the way off the plateau and on the descent if you look at the past three days you could argue that we are past the plateau and we're starting to descend which would be very good news again it's only three days but that's what the numbers would start to suggest and you see that basically across the board hospitals will tell you that also the emergency rooms have fewer people in them remember they were at manic max capacity for a very long period of time remember we increased the hospital capacity by 50% so every Hospital had 50% more and that capacity was overwhelmed which just reminds us of the job the hospitals have been doing but we see that in the numbers as well as what the hospitals are saying to us you look at the three-day average which is more accurate that is down the ICU admissions that I don't think is reflective of anything anymore but we continue to include it for some unknown reason are also down the intubations are down which is very good news again intubation means you've been put...
gov andrew cuomo gives updates on coronavirus pandemic in new york usa today
on a ventilator probability is about 80% that you won't come off the ventilator once you put on a ventilator so that's very good news but sobering news on the other hand happy days are not here again we still have about 2,000 people yesterday who were new admissions to a hospital or new kovat diagnosis that is still a overwhelming number every day 2,000 new if it wasn't for the relative context that we've been in this would be devastating news 2,000 people coming into the hospital system or testing positive and if you notice mm we're not at the peak but this is where we were just about in late March when it started to go up so we're not at the plateau anymore but we're still not in a good position and the worst news is still tragic news number of deaths 540 it's not as high as it was still 540 people died yesterday 540 people 540 families 504 in hospitals 36 in nursing homes nursing homes are the single biggest fear in all of this vulnerable people in one place it is the feeding frenzy for this virus despite everything we can do in the best efforts of people who are worse working those nursing homes who are doing just a fantastic job testing testing is the single most important topic for us to understand I think and it's important that we understand that I spoke to one of my daughter's last night who shall go nameless but she said to me what are they all talking about testing which was sort of sobering I think I'm communicating...
gov andrew cuomo gives updates on coronavirus pandemic in new york usa today
information in facts and my daughter's are probably some of the most informed people on the situation given the hardship they endure being my daughter during this period of time and she was like understand all of this about testing which is again it's a wake-up call to me I think we're communicating I think we're putting out this information but you know people have lives to live even in this crazy time but for me the best thing I can do in my position is to communicate facts to people so they have the information to make decisions that's what I've been trying to do since day one here's the information here are the facts you decide and I'll tell you what I think the course of conduct should be given these facts but here are the facts right before you tell me what you think just tell me the facts and then we'll get to your personal interpretation of the facts so facts on testing because it is granular and it is a little boring but it's also vitally important testing is how you monitor the rate of infection and you control for it and that is the whole tension in reopening everybody wants to reopen you don't need to hold up a placard saying we want to reopen nobody wants to reopen more than me nobody wants to get the economy going more than me nobody wants to get on with life more than me and everybody else we're all in the same boat we all have the same feelings the tension on reopening is how fast can you reopen and what can you...
gov andrew cuomo gives updates on coronavirus pandemic in new york usa today
reopen without raising that infection rate so you go right back to where we were overwhelming the hospitals the infection rate now is one person infects point-9 other people you can infect 0.9 but it's basically one person is infecting one person tad less and I don't even know if it's a tad less because I don't even know that the statistics are that accurate frankly so let's say one person now infects one person that's where we are now when that is happening the virus is basically stable where we were was one person was infecting 1.4 people and that's when you have outbreak widespread epidemic we brought it down from 1.4 to 0.9 how did you do that those were the New

York

pause policies close down business close down schools everybody has the social distance everybody has to take precautions masks etc but it worked and we went from 1.4 to 0.9 wuhan says at one point they got down to 0.3 which is where you really start to see the numbers drop but that's where we are the tension is when you start to open business you start to have gatherings you put people on a bus you put people on a subway you put people in a retail store then you're going to see more infections you can see that infection rate rise and then you're going to be back to where we were so how do you gauge this right how do you calibrate it that is all about the testing and you have a very tight window you're at point nine now you can only go up to one point two before you...
see those hospitalization numbers start taking off again you're talking about a very very tight window that you have to calibrate and this is all without precedent so how do you actually do that intelligently well you have two tests and testing informs the calibration what is testing testing as you test you test a person to see whether they're positive or negative for the corona virus there's also something called the antibody testing but let's put that aside for a second on the diagnostic testing positive or negative you test a person when you find the person who's positive you then trace trace they call them detectives did you find the person and then you interview that person and find out who they came in contact and you follow that tree down that's testing and then Traci when they talk about Traci trace all those contacts and then you find the people who are positive you isolate the positive people so they can't continue to spread tracing requires an army literally an army you would need thousands of people who just trace in the state of New

York

right because any one person then leads to 1020 possible people who were infected and you have to trace all through those people you find a positive person you isolate them the trick with testing is not that we don't know how to do it we've done it better in this state than almost any other state almost any other country it's bringing this up to scale and these are private sector companies...
that are doing this but we have done a very good job in testing and the state has played a pivotal role in testing you look at how New

York

the number of tests we do it's more than California it's more than any other state it's more than any other country so we have had great success in ramping up testing so we know how to do it if we know how important it is we had that hot spot in New Rochelle Westchester it was the hottest cluster in the United States of America and we jumped on it and we jumped on it with intense testing and it worked you know we still have an issue but it's no longer a hotspot cluster because you do a lot of testing you take the positives and you isolate them this is now cut the challenge is now bringing this up to scale okay we did five hundred thousand tests in a month that's great news bad news is is only a fraction of what you need the more you test the more information the more you can reopen society how does testing actually work and this again you have to know the facts otherwise this is all a blur and it becomes a he-said she said there are about 30 private companies large private companies in the country that are even international 30 large companies make equipment to test and they all have their own tests okay so you have the Acme test that this test that this tester this test those 30 companies have been selling their machines to local laboratories and that's their business they make a machine Roche makes a machine they...
then sell it to people you have to buy their machine and they then sell these local labs their testing protocol because their test works on their machine so you buy the Roche machine you then have to buy the Roche test from the Roche corporation you buy the Acme machine you then have to buy the Acme test from the Acme corporation and they sell these tests to local labs we have about 300 local labs in our state who have bought these 30 types of manufacturers and 30 types of tests okay and then every time the lab goes to run that test if I'm running the Acme tests I have to have the Acme equipment and the Acme vial and the Acme swab and the Acme reagents what are we agents when you take the swab nasal swab throat swab you then test it with other chemicals the other chemicals are reagents depending on what tests you bought they have their own reagents for every test so the Acme test has once that our reagents the ROS test has another set of reagents and you have to go back to them to buy these reagents so that's the basic chain and it gets very complicated very quickly because you have the national manufacturers who sold their machines to local labs the local labs that need to go back to that manufacturer to run their tests and there's very little uniformity among the tests so you're trying to coordinate this whole private sector system we have some public labs state has of wodsworth lab but the real capacity is in these private labs so how do you bring this up...
to scale and how do you cut to the chase on this one we called the top 50 producing labs in the state and said tell us what it takes to double your output okay and this is literally what they said so there's no interpretation here most of them come back sometimes they talk about the equipment nasal swab vial but what you see is most of them are talking about we can't get the reagents we can't get these other chemicals that we need to test where do they get the reagents from there their manufacturer who made the machine in the first place okay and they all say with the machines we bought we could actually be doing more if they would give us the reagents that's the log jam that we are in they bought the machine they have the machine they have the test but they need the reagents to do a higher volume of tests when you go back to the manufacturer and say why don't you distribute more reagents they say one of two things I can't get more reagents because they come from China they come from here they come from here we don't make them in the United States or they say the federal government is telling me who to distribute it to and this is why I say you have the federal government involved in this situation rightfully so because the federal government is - Acme pharmaceutical give X to California give Y to Chicago give Z to New

York

these manufacturers are regulated by the federal government and the federal government clearly has a role in addressing this...
crisis but we need two things from the federal government we need help on that supply chain especially when it becomes international and we need coordination and basic partnership I get the state's role we've been testing I get this as hard I get that it's difficult I get that it's never going to be perfect I get in this society there's gonna be a blame game and everyone's gonna say why didn't we have enough testing it's the feds it's the state that's going to happen anyway right that's the world we live in and I'm not asking for the federal government to come in and do any more than they need to do but we do need their coordination we do need their partnership and we also need from the federal government we need funding I get that we have to fund the airlines we have to fund this business we have to fund small business yeah I agree 100% but you also have to fund state governments and by the way when you fund the state government you're not funding a private business okay we're not an airline so you don't have an issue of should government really be giving tax dollars to this private entity when you fund the state government you just are funding a state government to perform the functions you want us to perform which is the reopening function I get it I'll do it but I need funding and when you fund the state government your funding small businesses anyway and your funding hospitals anyway and your funding schools...
anyway and you know the Republican doctrine used to be limited government and states rights I'm a good distribution mechanism to small businesses and hospitals and schools because I know what's going on in the state but if you want us to reopen we need funding national governors Association is highly relevant because this is now all up to the governor's the National Governors Association is bipartisan the Chairman is a Republican I'm the vice chairman I'm a Democrat I'm the incoming chairperson we did a press release yesterday saying we need funding in this next bill we need five hundred billion dollars for the states so we can do this reopening federal government yesterday sent 1.5 million cloth masks to New

York

State and I want to thank them for that these are cloth masks that we can distribute to people to help implement our policy where if you're in public you have to wear a mask it's not a surgical mask it's a cloth mask manufactured by the Haynes corporation I believe but we're asking people to wear masks and this is going to be very helpful because we're going to have additional masks to distribute to the public last point personal opinion is not a fact this is just my opinion you can throw it in the garbage the emotion in this country is as high as I can recall people are frustrated we're anxious were scared we're angry we've never been through this before and on every level this is a terrible experience...
it's disorienting it threatens you to your core it makes you reflect on your whole life and it really has it's mentally very difficult it's emotionally difficult economically it's disastrous I mean that market goes down your retirement funds go down you're not getting a paycheck it is as tumultuous a time as we have ever seen but in the midst of this there is no time for politics how does this situation get worse and get worse quickly if you politicize all that emotion we cannot go there that's why I worked so hard when anyone raises any political agenda to me I work so hard to distance myself from it I'm not running for anything I'm not going anywhere I'm gonna be governor of the state of New

York

until the people kick me out and then I'm gonna go spend time with my family and that's that so I have no political agenda and I've stayed a hundred miles away from politics just so people know that there is no possibility of a political distortion here because it's no time for politics and look if you have partisan division splitting this nation now it's going to make it worse Abraham Lincoln a house divided itself against itself cannot stand 1858 where did Abraham Lincoln get her from if a house is divided against itself the house cannot stand mark 3:25 okay so this is a accepted wisdom let us say house cannot stand not to mention a house cannot rise up from the greatest challenge it has seen since World War two this is no...
time and no place for division we are have our hands full as it is let's just stay together and let's work it through and that's why we're called the United States right and the unity was key going back to Abraham Lincoln it was always about the unity going back to the framers of the Constitution was always balance of power to ensure unity and we need that unity now more than ever before questions when I am in public and I'm walking the dog down the street and there is a place where I could come in contact with other people within the social and I can't maintain social distancing I am wearing a mess if I'm walking through the backyard alone and nobody's around me I don't wear a mask wear a mask in public if you are in a situation where you could encroach on other people without maintaining social distancing that's when you wear a mask here I'm not going to come any closer to you than I am there is no possibility that you and I John violate the social distancing guideline I'm socially distanced from Howard socially distance from Melissa I'm not in public in public when nothing in your home in public that I think is a small inconvenience that has a tremendous benefit for people and you want to go walk the dog with me I walk the dog with you I wear a mask and my daughter wears a mask dog doesn't wear a mask I've not heard any data that suggests pets should wear a mask so captain's not violating anything but will...
walk the dog I wear a mask not as attractive as your mask by the way you have a very stylish fashion-forward president Trump has been encouraging implicitly and explicitly some Republican states to kind of move ahead with reopening plans beaches are reopening in Florida

today

there been protests at State House around the country what do you make of that sort of piecemeal approach and considering that people travel you know could travel from Florida's New

York

from Texas to New

York

etc it doesn't defeat the purpose of trying to stamp this out look the I think no one should inject politics and that's why Jesse you know do as you say you know how hard I've worked and how many times I've said taken myself totally out of contention for any possible political position just to make sure nobody could say there's a political angle to this the and I can't speak for anyone else I can speak to my relationship what I'm doing in this state how I'm working with other officials for myself and how I'm trying to work with the federal government I think the president's point of there are different states and different positions and once you say it's up to the governors which is what he said you're going to get potentially 50 different paths forward and that's what he said that is his model he did not say this is a nationwide program that he's asking governor's to buy into he said it's up to the governors so what I do here in...
New

York

may very well be different than what the Florida governor decides to do and your point is well-taken well then can they drive to New

York

to Florida Florida to New

York

yes they can and is that a downside of a 50-state strategy you could argue that's a downside there's no perfect way to do this I'm trying to do it as a region right Connecticut New Jersey Delaware Massachusetts wrote etc I'm trying to do it as a region because I think that's better but yeah when you do individual strategies the tension with that and I think the the rationale for the president is you have different problems in different states and I think the president leaving it to the states was not just right and legal and constitutional I think he's right that it's different in different places look when we look at this state and we talk about reopening we're going to talk about different strategies in different parts of the state because the numbers dictate the strategy then you have different numbers in different parts of this state you raise the countervailing point which is that well yeah but then somebody could drive from place to place yeah I understand that and that's what we're trying to balance with the regional approach I don't want people going to New Jersey or Connecticut versus New

York

and how do we coordinate that but you do have different situations based on numbers on that issue upstate downstate there's a lot of cries from people up...
States and look we don't have that high rate of infection how soon could you consider kind of that sort of regional approach where say the Albany district or Utica or even further flowing places might have different policies schools might open etc that's that will be a factor for sure let's not get ahead of ourselves we are barely in this part of the world barely stabilizing our public health system now you're not seeing a total overload of the emergency rooms that doesn't mean happy days are here again right and the first priority is life and death and Public Health so we're not at a point where we're going to be reopening anything immediately but we are planning and in the planning phase yes different numbers would suggest a different strategy balanced by your point people are mobile and not only people mobile you could create a you know unintended consequences you open one area but you don't open another area and now I can drive to that area and I can go to a restaurant I can go to a bar I can go do whatever I want in that area yeah you could now create an unintended consequence of where you have a flood of people there right they opened the beach in Jacksonville I think it was but some beach in Florida and like the whole beach was filled yeah because you have all this pent-up demand you open a beach people will drive from everywhere to go to a beach right there's a little closer I might drive to the beach so that you know you have to...
factor all of this in and that's why it's a very complicated equation do you agree that they can and if so does that mean they're for something like look I think this first of all it's totally up to them different branches of government and legislative executive I spoke with the speaker yesterday I speak with the speaker often and he's working I can tell you that from a taxpayers point of view if they think their assembly person or senator isn't working because they're not here they have to think again they're working they're working probably harder than they normally work where you have all those constituents in that area with all these issues calling them and their phone is ringing off the hook and they're calling me so I can tell from how much I'm talking to them I'm talking to them more much much more than usual so they're working in terms of passing legislation remotely they can do that that's up to them as far as getting into a very complex issue that requires real analysis and real data and trying to do that on zoom' you know conferences I don't know that that's the best way to do it but that's up to them also marriage bureaus I think the divorce rate is going up marriage rates going down divorce rate is going up what are we doing about marriage bureaus why didn't somebody think about that how we are

today

signing an executive order allowing people to get their marriage licenses remotely and...
also allowing clerks to perform ceremonies over video so if that's an avenue people want to go down it will be available to them video marriage ceremonies there's now no excuse when the question comes up for marriage no excuse you can do it by zoom yes or no yes arrange earlier in the week Docs made the determination in consultation with a second floor that prisoners who are over 55 years old who had 90 days or less on their sentences who were not found guilty of a violent felony or sexual assault offense would begin the process of getting let out of prison these are people who were going to be let out in the next 90 days anyway they serve the entirety of their of their term and they were not a threat to public safety I think that that number is a little over 200 I can get you the precise number after this if they fit that criteria then yes it'll roll forward throughout the throughout this current emergency there are not enough tests being performed on any group anywhere in the state okay they're not enough tests being performed in Buffalo Rochester Syracuse Albany North Country Long Island Westchester not for prisoners not for the black and brown population not for healthcare workers not for police officers that's true across the board that's why we have to bring testing to scale of course the board because it's true for everyone any congregate setting is a concern greatest concern are the nursing homes that is the number one congregate concern...
prisons are also concern but nursing homes by far and away are the number one long-term really devastating consequence of this disease so to the extent you want to argue prioritization you have B congregate care nursing homes prisons obviously hospitals number one at the top of the list is nursing homes let's take two more questions nursing-homes who've been diagnosed with Kopitar suffered a loss related what is the expectation for communication to loved ones with presidents and nursing homes it's a first that's positive because people are telling us that they're not getting any communication yeah let's remember nursing homes are privately run facilities for the most part a nursing home will have rules of operation when a person went into that nursing home we have basic regulations of nursing homes we don't get into a fine detail of what a nursing home does in their policy of communication with family members and what family members do they communicate with and he talked to a only the immediate family etc we release I don't know that I think we release probably more than any other state in terms of nursing home data I don't know anyone else who is doing it maybe not a nursing home data expert but I don't know what else we could release beyond number of deaths per nursing home that doesn't violate healthcare privacy if there is a complaint that a nursing home is non-responsive then we will talk to that nursing home and follow up but...
I don't know that we have any state regulations on this out of regulation I don't think I hear you I don't know if that's what it is because the numbers are going to come out any nursing home that thinks they're gonna sit there and and people are not going to figure out how many people passed away in that nursing home they're kidding themselves I've spoken to a number of nursing homes I think more than anything it's they're overwhelmed they're overwhelmed their staff shortages people staff are getting sick the residents of the nursing home are under tremendous pressure they haven't seen a loved one they haven't had any visitors and you have everyone's under emotional distress because you have a large number of people dying and you're in a nursing home and everybody knows everyone and people are dying so and then you have the state coming in saying you must report this you must report this I want this report by five o'clock and they're saying to me with all due respect governor I'm taking care of people's lives and you're saying do paperwork and I'm saying it's not really doing paperwork it's important that people know and people are concerned but you have to see the dynamic of this situation I don't think there's anything nefarious I think it's just the dynamic last question last question expression residents have actually been tested yesterday you've mentioned that they...
were going to increase testing at nursing homes have would that happen well I don't know that we would know you know nursing homes conduct their own tests again their private facilities the private run facilities we would have to do a survey of nursing homes and ask the nursing homes how many tests have you performed how often have you performed them but it's not a question that we would normally ask we don't perform testing by and large in nursing homes if there's a problem we do but there are about 600 nursing homes and they do their own testing which is another complication on this testing world they also contract for tests right nursing homes are contracting for tests hospitals are contracting for tests private corporations are contracting for tests you know on the Acme corporation I want to go back to work they are calling labs saying I want to buy testing because I want to test my employees so you have all these sources coming into these testing sites I have to go to work the diagnostic or antibody how can you be certain that they are not this point knowing like well we have we have more testing than anyone else and this is from the hospital data that we get which they extrapolate out what are the data goes his little hospitalizations death rate is how we exactly with CV and after seeing only recovered this is coming out of South Korea and other locations have you have you seen cases like that in New

York

we haven't seen cases like that in New

York

...
we've heard about the report in South Korea there are some questions about the validity of that and we continue to look into that I think it was a small sample and I don't know if they were saying reinfected Jesse or the virus was reactivated I don't know what the distinction is yes