New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the ‘worst is over for New York if we continue to be smart’ as hospitalizations, deaths and ICU admissions all slowed on Monday and he announced he and the governors of New Jersey and Connecticut will decide on a reopening plan in a slapdown of President Trump.
While deaths continue to rise – the new death toll across the state is 10,056 – it is rising at a slower rate. On Sunday, there were 671 new deaths as opposed to more than 700, which was the figure over the last few days.
The number of new cases across the state rose by another 6,129 to 195,031.
There were 18,825 new hospitalizations on April 12 which was an increase of more than 100 from the previous day but when taken as a three-day average, shows the curve flattening.
‘I believe the worst is over if we continue to be smart and we can start on the path to normalcy and we can have a plan when you start to see some businesses reopening understanding the balance.
‘We have to understand on the reopening, as much as we have this emotion that we want it to happen and that we can’t take this anymore, it is a delicate balance,’ Cuomo said.
He also teased a 2pm announcement that would be made along with the governors of New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Rhode Island surrounding a gradual reopening plan.
It flies in the face of what President Trump tweeted earlier in the day – that it was his decision and not the governors’ as to when states reopen.
Trump tweeted: ‘For the purpose of creating conflict and confusion, some in the Fake News Media are saying that it is the Governors decision to open up the states, not that of the President of the United States & the Federal Government. Let it be fully understood that this is incorrect.
Gov. Cuomo on Monday morning. He said the worst is over ‘if we continue to be smart’
‘It is the decision of the President, and for many good reasons. With that being said, the Administration and I are working closely with the Governors, and this will continue. A decision by me, in conjunction with the Governors and input from others, will be made shortly!’ he said.
Cuomo has not directly criticized the president for his handling of the crisis but has repeatedly called on the federal government for more help.
On Monday, he said he was ‘not interested in politics’ but only in experts and data.
When asked if the pandemic peak had been and gone in New York, Cuomo clarified: ‘I’m not confident the worst is over.
‘If you look at the numbers, the numbers suggest a plateauing.
‘That’s what the numbers say I also say whatever those numbers say is a direct result of what we do,’ he said.
He went on: ‘Facts are facts and numbers are numbers,’ and added that he would not ‘gloss’ or ‘sweeten’ any of the data he receives.
While Cuomo said that some cities will be able to reopen to varying degrees, he does not believe the crisis will be completely over until a vaccine has been found which will take between 12 and 18 months.
First, he said, people could ‘start on the path to normalcy’.
‘[Then] there’ll be an announcement that we have a medical treatment that they found an antiviral medication that can treat the disease so take another deep breath when we get to that point, then we’ll get to the point where they announce we have a proven vaccine.
‘That’s when it’s over. That’s really when it’s over. But there will be points between now and then when we should feel more confident. I want it to be over tomorrow. I get it.
‘That’s not the reality so let’s calibrate our expectations and, in the meantime, stay the course,’ he said.
Cuomo said his plan would not involve a ‘hallelujah’ or ‘epiphany’ that would let people suddenly get back to work and socialize again.
Instead, he said he would look to widen the scope of what are deemed essential businesses to allow some workers back into their jobs, but that it would have to be done gradually and while monitoring the rate of new infections.
‘People want it to be over so badly. It’s not going to be over like that.
‘I’d love to say it’s going to happen.
‘It’s not going to happen that way. It can’t happen that way. Is that going to happen here?
‘Is that going to happen in any community that has a significant issue? There is going to be no epiphany. No morning where the headline says “hallelujah it’s over.”
‘That’s not going to happen. That will happen is there’ll be points of resolution over time,’ he said.
Cuomo said he will announce, along with the governors of New Jersey and Connecticut, a regional plan later today.
‘We are talking to a number of states and we want to coordinate as much as possible but focusing primarily on our tri-state area, the more we can.
‘You have to balance the complexity and the unwieldiness with coming up with a plan relatively quickly that we can agree on.
‘You have different states in different situations and you have to prioritize where you need coordination. We need it from New Jersey and Connecticut,’ he said.