The governor met with President Donald Trump on Wednesday and it appears the discussion went well, because, according to CBS2’s Marcia Kramer, they are planning to meet again soon.
But that didn’t stop Cuomo from speaking directly to the president. Speaking at the Madison Square Boys and Girls Club in Brooklyn, the governor said the federal government needs to provide support immediately, and do so without falling into the trappings that have plagued the country for decades.
“Washington has passed, numerous pieces of legislation, and they’ve successfully bailed out big corporations. They passed pieces of legislation that have a lot of benefits for the rich and the powerful,” Cuomo said. “Now, the question is, what is Washington going to do in terms of passing legislation that helps working Americans? Right? Police officers, firefighters, school teachers, hospitals, unemployed people, businesses that are struggling?”
He also pointed out that New York, which has more positive cases than any state has received roughly $23,000 per positive coronavirus case, while other states have received millions.
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Cuomo specifically asked that the feds to “end their proclivity to make every piece of legislation pork barrel legislation.”
“I understand they have to get senators to vote for it and they have to get House members to vote for it, but that doesn’t mean they have to make it a gravy train of pork, just to pass it,” Cuomo added. “Maybe you can just pass a bill on the merits of a bill. … This is supposed to be specifically targeted piece of legislation to help restore the economy and repair the damage of the COVID virus. Well, then make the legislation about funding to repair the COVID virus.”
The governor also asked Washington to:
- Be smart about the funding
- Have a plan to revitalize the economy, not just reopen it
- Plan and have a vision for the future
- Stop corporate layoffs
- Create jobs by rebuilding America
“What’s the plan going forward? We went through The Depression, but there was a plan afterwards. We went through World War II, but there was a plan to restore the economy. Where’s the plan? Where’s the vision?” Cuomo said.
“We’re going to get lean. You know what that means. That means you’re going to lay off workers. That means they’re going to boost their profits and their stock price by laying off workers and not rehiring people after the pandemic. Now, that’s a corporation’s right. But you don’t have to subsidize that with government money. You shouldn’t be giving them government cash. And then they lay off workers, and then the taxpayer has to pay unemployment for the workers they laid off,” Cuomo added.
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The governor said the focus going forward within the state will be on reopening New York City, adding it will have to achieve the same metrics as all the other regions.
“I’m not going to open any region that I don’t believe is safe,” Cuomo said.
He then zeroed in on testing, imploring New Yorkers, especially those in hard-hit hotspot communities that in some cases have double the percentage of positive COVID-19 cases compared to the general population of the city, to get tested.
New York City currently has 225 testing sites, but Cuomo said many of them are not seeing the numbers of people coming in to get tested that they have the capacity to serve.
“There is no cost to the test. It does not hurt. … I did the test on live TV, didn’t flinch. It’s just a nasal swab. There’s no needle,” Cuomo said. “You can go to the website coronavirus.health.ny.gov and find the site near you. Get tested. Get tested if you have a symptom. Get tested if you’re exposed to a person who’s positive. It’s no cost. It doesn’t hurt. And there are sites, literally, everywhere throughout this city.”
He also stressed the use of masks, saying that more people need to adhere to the safety guideline. In fact, Cuomo said he is signing an executive order that authorizes private businesses to deny service to those who do not wear a mask or face covering.
“That store owner has a right to protect themselves. That store owner has a right to protect the other patrons in that store. You don’t want to wear a mask, fine, but you don’t have a right to then go into that store,” Cuomo said.
As for the daily virus data, Cuomo said all significant metrics continue to fall. New York had 163 new cases on Wednesday, the lowest number since the state started recording the stat. He also said there were new 74 deaths, the same amount as Tuesday.