New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) reflected on the past 100 days of dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic in his state, which had become the epicenter of the outbreak, during an interview on “Good Morning America” Wednesday morning.
After agreeing that he’s concerned about seeing spikes in cases of the novel coronavirus in other states, Cuomo was asked to sum up the past 100 days in one word.
“Hell. Can I say that?” Cuomo said. “We were the worst per capita across the globe; we had a higher infection rate than countries.”
Cuomo then praised New Yorkers who “all rallied” and “got it.”
“I gave them the facts literally on a daily basis and they acted intelligently and responsibly,” Cuomo said. “And we now have the lowest transmission rate of any state in the United States. So I like to say we went from the worst infection rate to the best infection rate, but it’s all because of what New Yorkers did.”
Pressed on what keeps him up at night, Cuomo responded that “we still don’t know where we are going with this” regarding the pandemic.
“No one can tell you,” Cuomo said. “I talk to global experts everyday and nobody really knows if there’s a second wave or if there’s not a second wave.”
Cuomo added that New York “is not an island” when asked whether he is concerned about the possibility of another spike in COVID-19 cases in his state
“We can be doing great job getting the spread down and the rate of transmission down, but people travel here from other states,” Cuomo said.
In light of his 84% statewide approval rating among Democrats, largely due to his daily coronavirus press conferences, Cuomo was asked what he hoped to get out of that approval rating.
“Well hopefully it gets us through the pandemic, in that people trust the information I’m giving them and trust the decisions I’ve made based on that information,” Cuomo said. “Just — let’s get through this crisis” he said.
Cuomo went on defend himself from criticism that he ignored early warnings about the severity of COVID-19 by not shutting down his state a week earlier to possibly save more lives, saying “we didn’t have the information then.”
Asked whether he feels responsible for the New Yorkers who died in the pandemic, Cuomo said that the New Yorkers who died from COVID-19 “did not die because we failed them.” Cuomo said that the New Yorkers who came down with disease were provided a hospital bed, nurses and doctors with PPE and a ventilator.
“Everyone who died we did everything we could,” Cuomo said.
Later Wednesday morning, Cuomo tweeted that he is “thankful” for the lowest number yet of COVID-19 fatalities in his state.
Yesterday there were 17 fatalities due to COVID. We mourn those we lost.
But we are thankful this is the lowest number since the pandemic began.
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) June 17, 2020
Watch Cuomo’s remarks below:
FULL INTERVIEW: @NYGovCuomo sits down one-on-one with @arobach and opens up about what he’s learned as New York’s governor 100 days into lockdown, what he thinks of the federal government's response to the pandemic and what he hopes for as America starts to reopen. pic.twitter.com/QIh5rAqBoi
— Good Morning America (@GMA) June 17, 2020