New York Governor
‘I have called my surrounding colleagues – governors – and we’re going to have an emergency summit meeting this weekend of the six northeastern states, governors and their staffs,’ Cuomo said on a conference call with reporters Friday.
‘We want to make sure we can align policies as much as possible, or at least be aware of the other states’ policies are.’
He added that complete alignment of policies ‘is not a reality because different states do have different situations’.
‘But we believe we’re going to have to take additional steps and to the extent we can share information and align action, we will do that.’
The emergency summit comes just four weeks after Cuomo released his book bragging about how he handled the pandemic and as cases in the state reached their highest level in seven months.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has said he will hold an ’emergency summit’ with the governors of five other northeast states this weekend to ‘align policies’ in their fight against the pandemic as cases continue to surge in the region
The governor provided no further details about the meeting and did not confirm which governors he would be sitting down with.
However back in April the six states of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Rhode Island all joined forces to design a coordinated reopening plan.
Massachusetts then joined the coalition at a later stage.
Cuomo warned that ‘this situation is going to continue to deteriorate over the coming weeks’ saying ‘you cannot defy reality’.
‘You cannot defy reality, and reality is the virus transmits, and the virus is mobile, and we’re in the holiday season,’ he said.
‘These are all elements that conspire to increase COVID. That is the fact. The numbers are going up, the numbers will go up. I take that as a fact.’
The announcement comes the same day Cuomo’s new round of lockdown restrictions go into effect, with New York’s bars, restaurants and gyms ordered to shut on-premises services at 10pm from Friday.
Private gatherings are now also limited to 10 people.
In New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Friday that schools could shutter again from Monday and told parents to ‘come up with a plan’ for childcare.
The state will not be adding any further restrictions Saturday or Sunday, Cuomo said Friday, because health officials want to see if the new restrictions ‘have any effect over the weekend.’
‘We know the places of spreading are bars, restaurants, gyms, mass gatherings, and a new problem of indoor house gatherings, house parties,’ he said.
A total of 5,401 new cases were recorded in New York Thursday and 24 people died
‘And I’m sure we’re going to start to see Christmas parties, Hanukkah parties, et cetera, so that is all a problem.’
Cuomo faced a backlash this week when he announced the tighter restrictions on the state’s residents just one month after he released his book ‘American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic’ praising his own leadership during the pandemic.
Fox News senior meteorologist Janice Dean, whose mother-in-law and father-in-law both died from the virus in New York nursing homes, joined several people to hit out at Cuomo on social media Wednesday.
‘What about your book tour about great leadership, flattening the curve and all that awesome success after over 30,000 deaths including thousands in nursing homes?!???!’ she tweeted.
Cuomo describes in the book trying to placate Trump in order to get needed hospital beds, ventilators and other supplies for New York.
Meanwhile, the book falls short of addressing his own failings, including the thousands of patient deaths at New York nursing homes.
Critics said it was shameful for him to be trying to make money from the situation when New York has been the worst-hit state by far in terms of number of deaths and as the pandemic rages on.
New York now faces the possibility it will not get access to the COVID-19 vaccine after Trump vowed to withhold it from the state Friday in his first public address to the nation since his election defeat
On Friday, Cuomo reported that new daily COVID-19 cases topped 5,000 for the first time since April, back when the state was the global epicenter for the virus.
A total of 5,401 new cases were recorded, 1,737 people were hospitalized and 24 people died.
The state’s positivity rate now stands at 2.65 percent, down slightly from 2.9 percent the day before.
The governor reinforced the ‘good news’ that the positivity rate is one of the lowest of all states but said it was ‘bad news’ that ‘we are in the midst of a sea of COVID rising around us’.
However the state’s could now be last to receive the COVID-19 vaccine after Donald Trump vowed to withhold it from New York as he feuds with Cuomo.
Trump addressed the nation Friday for the first time since the election was called for Joe Biden and threatened to refuse to send the vaccine to the state.
‘As soon as April, the vaccine will be available to the entire general population, with the exceptions of places like New York state where, for political reasons, the governor decided to say: ‘I don’t think it’s good politically. I think it’s very bad from a health standpoint.’
‘He wants to take his time with the vaccine. He doesn’t trust where the vaccine is coming from,’ Trump said.
‘He doesn’t trust the fact that it is this White House, this administration, so we won’t be delivering it to New York until we have authorization to do so, and that pains me to say,’ the president said.
‘Governor Cuomo will have to let us know when he is ready for it. Otherwise, we can’t be delivering it to a state that won’t to be giving it to its people immediately. And I know many – I know the people of New York very well. I know they wanted, so the governor will let us know,’ he added.
Trump was referring to Cuomo’s comments on ABC’s ‘Good Morning America’ on Monday where he said the promising results of Pfizer’s vaccine was ‘good news’ but that it was ‘bad news’ it could be rolled out while Trump is still in the White House.
Cuomo hit back against the president in an interview on MSNBC, saying that New York was one of seven states that have said they will review the efficacy and safety of any vaccine being distributed to its residents.
‘The day they distribute the vaccine, we will be ready to start the distribution,’ Cuomo told MSNBC.
‘Our review of the FDA protocol will be simultaneous concurrent with their delivery. We’re not going to have any lag in time. But I do want to say to the people of this state, ‘trust the vaccine.”
Cuomo then added that ‘we’re excited about a vaccine.’
New York’s neighboring states are also currently grappling to bring the outbreak back under control.
New Jersey reported an alarming 12 percent positivity rate Thursday, lowering slightly to 8.06 percent Friday.
Thirteen counties recorded more than 100 new cases for the second day in a row.
Governor Phil Murphy hit back at anyone not wanting to wear a mask Thursday saying: ‘You know what’s really uncomfortable and annoying? When you die.’