Gov: Don ‘in de­nial’ over virus

Hits feds’ hands-off stance

New York Daily News - - NEWS - BY SHANT SHAHRIGIAN

Gov. Cuomo ac­cused Pres­i­dent Trump and top White House of­fi­cials of be­ing “in de­nial” about the coro­n­avirus out­break.

“They’re say­ing what they said three months ago,” the gov­er­nor said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “They’re ba­si­cally in de­nial about the prob­lem. They don’t want to tell the Amer­i­can peo­ple the truth.”

The com­ments came as coro­n­avirus cases are surg­ing through­out the coun­try and as New York City read­ied to en­ter Phase 3 of its re­open­ing as soon as July 6.

The coun­try had about 40,000 con­firmed new COVID-19 cases on Fri­day, the high­est num­ber to date.

The Em­pire State had 869 peo­ple hos­pi­tal­ized for the virus and five new fa­tal­i­ties on Satur­day — the low­est numbers since the out­break be­gan — ac­cord­ing to the gov­er­nor’s of­fice.

There were 616 new pos­i­tive cases, bring­ing the state’s to­tal to 392,539. The num­ber of fa­tal­i­ties was 24,835.

“I’m dili­gent about stay­ing after New York­ers and lo­cal gov­ern­ments that have to po­lice it,” Cuomo said, dis­cussing the numbers.

“I’m now afraid of the spread com­ing from other states be­cause we are one coun­try, and peo­ple travel, and I’m afraid the in­fec­tion rate in the other states will come back to New York and raise that rate again,” he added.

Last week, New York, New Jer­sey and Con­necti­cut an­nounced they would re­quire any­one trav­el­ing from coro­n­avirus hotspots like Florida and Texas to self­quar­an­tine for 14 days or re­ceive steep fines.

Cuomo slammed the White House for ef­fec­tively telling states, in the gov­er­nor’s words, “You’re on your own.”

“It’s not a good feel­ing, but it’s sort of lib­er­at­ing,” he said.

“This is a virus, it doesn’t re­spond to pol­i­tics,” Cuomo con­tin­ued. “You can’t tweet at it; you have to treat it. And we never did that.”

The gov­er­nor also went on the de­fen­sive about deaths in nurs­ing homes, which he or­dered to ac­cept COVID-pos­i­tive res­i­dents, pro­vided they could do so safely, in the spring.

“I’ve taken po­lit­i­cal heat,” he said, adding that New York ranked 46 out of all states in a New York Times rank­ing of places with the high­est per­cent­age of nurs­ing home deaths.

“You have 45 other states to point fin­gers at first,” Cuomo added. “You could ar­gue that they are safer than a se­nior ci­ti­zen at home, who is re­ceiv­ing care at home.”

Look­ing ahead, the gov­er­nor said school re­open­ing was still up in the air. The state has yet to re­lease guid­ance on the is­sue.

“We’re pre­par­ing to open schools. We have plans to open schools,” Cuomo said. “It’s two months away. Any­thing can hap­pen in two months.

“I want to see what the in­fec­tion rate is and what the dis­ease is do­ing be­fore we pull the trig­ger and make the de­ci­sion,” he added.

Gov. Cuomo on Sunday crit­i­cized Pres­i­dent Trump’s ef­forts on the coro­n­avirus.

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