On the day the death toll from coronavirus in New York passed 10,000, Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said Monday that “the worst is over” in the Empire State, but only on the condition that “we continue to be smart going forward.”
Cuomo called the staggering death toll a “horrific level of pain and grief and sorrow.” He mentioned that both the number of deaths and hospitalizations have begun to flatten, which demonstrates the effectiveness of social distancing measures such as stay-at-home orders.
Cuomo added that he will announce later Monday plans to begin reopening the state as he continues speaking with governors from neighboring Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Rhode Island.
When pressed on his claim that the worst is over for the state, Cuomo hedged from his earlier statement by saying that he’s “not confident that the worst is over.” He then reiterated that the number of COVID-19 cases are “plateauing” and urged New Yorkers to continue following social distancing guidelines.
“The worst can be over, and it is over, unless we do something reckless,” Cuomo said. “And you can turn those numbers on two or three days of reckless behavior.”
In a press conference later Monday, Cuomo announced that neighboring states will appoint public health and economic officials that will form a regional working group focused on “immediately designing a reopening plan.”
Cuomo added that the working group will address issues related to public health and economic reactivation, and will study data and research from other countries that will help “give us guidelines and parameters to go forward.”
“Again, we anticipate different facts, different circumstances for different states, different parts of states,” Cuomo said. “But let’s be smart and let’s be cooperative and learn from one another.”
Watch Cuomo’s remarks below:
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo: "The worst is over. Yeah, if we continue to be smart going forward." pic.twitter.com/q65Nu3G7qz
— Talking Points Memo (@TPM) April 13, 2020