ALBANY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – With New York City on the verge of Phase 2 reopening, Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Friday gave his final daily address of the coronavirus pandemic.

Cuomo, from his executive office, confirmed Phase 2 will start in the city on Monday, June 22.

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“The state experts have gone over all the data and they will allow New York City to begin Phase 2,” said Cuomo.

That means restaurants, armed with outdoor eating plans, hair salons and barbershops can get back to business.

The governor remained cautious about monitoring local infection rates and watching out for infections from other states, while urging people to continue to wear a mask.

He said while hospitalizations and weekly infection rates remain at the lowest levels of the pandemic, social distancing and other precautions should continue in order to prevent a second wave of COVID-19.

Cuomo’s update on Friday, unlike his previous briefings, was not a press conference – he spoke alone at his desk without a slideshow presentation.

It was an address to the state, highlighting New York’s successful turnaround from one of the worst COVID-19 outbreaks in the world.

“When this started, we had more cases per capita than any state in the country, or any nation on the globe,” said Cuomo. “Today, we have done a full 180, from worst to first. We are controlling the virus better than any state in the county and any nation on the globe.”

CORONAVIRUS: NY Health Dept. | NY Call 1-(888)-364-3065 | NYC Health Dept. | NYC Call 311, Text COVID to 692692 | NJ COVID-19 Info Hub | NJ Call 1-(800)-222-1222 or 211, Text NJCOVID to 898211 | CT Health Dept. | CT Call 211 | Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The governor thanked essential workers, lawmakers, neighboring states, specifically New Jersey and Connecticut, and the people of New York for taking action to stop the spread.

Cuomo spoke for less than 10 minutes, making a plea to the rest of the country to reopen intelligently.

After the address, the governor’s office played a video montage set to music with audio clips from past briefings.

“In 12 minutes he delivered, what I thought, was a pitch perfect ending,” said Lawrence Levy, executive dean of the National Center for Suburban Studies at Hofstra University.

Levy told CBS2’s Alice Gainer many people planned their days around those briefings, including some who watched from other states.

“The way I know this is so impactful is not from polls, but in talking to my neighbors, the sort of moderate suburban swing voters who aren’t all that tied to politics,” said Levy. “They have just been gaga over Cuomo’s briefings…his delivery, both style and substance, make a mark in such a way I wouldn’t have believed possible.”

Performance aside, there has been strong criticism over the governor’s handling of nursing homes and mixed messaging between his office and Mayor Bill de Blasio during the pandemic.

Comments
  1. joanna jomichaels says:

    i’m from texas, never missed watching gov. cuomo-he really was cleared about the
    cornavirus 19 all the way. . good man!

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