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Homeland Security

New York State

Rush Transcript: Governor Cuomo Updates New Yorkers on State's Progress During COVID-19 Pandemic

August 9, 2020

A rush transcript of the Governor's remarks is available below:

Hello. Good morning, happy Sunday. It's a beautiful day, and it's great news. Maybe that's why it's a beautiful day. I'm joined by Melissa DeRosa, Robert Mujica, Jim Malatras and Alexander Cochran, my Washington representative. Today is day 162. New York conducted 65,812 tests yesterday and we had the lowest one-day positive rate since we started: 0.78 percent. We are normally about 1.0, a little below or a little over, but 0.7 is the lowest rate since we started. Congratulations New Yorkers. Incredible. Really an incredible achievement by New Yorkers. 7 New Yorkers passed away yesterday, they're in our thoughts and prayers. 548 hospitalized, down 25. And 131 in ICU, that is the lowest number of people we've had in ICU units since this started. So, that's also great news.

Protect the progress, protect the progress. Local governments do the enforcement. I know I repeat myself, but I'll repeat myself until they hear me. The State Police and the State Liquor Authority are continuing to try to fill the vacuum left by local enforcement in some parts of the state. They issued 26 violations yesterday for bars and restaurants that were violating the rules: 1 in the Bronx, 2 in Brooklyn, 5 in Manhattan, 16 in Queens, 2 in Nassau. Come on, Queens. We need the NYPD to step up and help in New York City and we need local governments across the board to also be doing their job.

On schools, I announced the other day that by the viral infection rate all school districts in the state can open. If and how is left to the local school districts. The point I made about the consultation with teachers and parents was not just a helpful hint, that is required. I had some school districts that said well do we have to talk to the parents. Yes, you have to consult with the parents. That is a requirement that every school district must have at least 3 online zoom, however they want to do it, consultations, discussions with the parents explaining the plans and answering questions. The big 5 school districts have to do at least 5 by August 21, and they have to have a separate one just with the teachers. I don't get what people or school districts could be confused by. If the teachers do not agree to come back, it is extraordinarily difficult, if not impossible, to operate school. If the parents don't agree to send their children back to school, I don't know how you have school without students.

Even in this new COVID crisis creativity you still need teachers and you still need students to operate a school, best I know. And you're not going to get them back just because the school district says this is what we're going to do. I'm telling you that. I talk to the parents and I talk to the teachers. They have real issues, and real concerns, and there has to be a dialogue, and there has to be a discussion. These plans were not sent down from the heavens. They're constructed by the local school district. I applaud the local school districts for their activity, and their work, and their creativity but they have to have the consultation with the parents and the teachers, and time is short. Several school districts have sent in plans. Several school districts have updated their plans. New York City sent in a second supplemental plan and the Department of Health is working over this weekend going through that. We'll have a status tomorrow.

President Trump announced some executive orders. The executive orders will not be a substitute for legislation just by law you're not going to be able to do what you have to do by executive order. Take it from someone who understands the power of executive orders and has often considered an executive order when he can't get legislation. He can't do it with executive order. It's on shaky ground legally but even to the extent that he's executed executive orders they aren't going to meet the demand.

The concept of saying to states you pay 25 percent of the unemployment insurance is just laughable. The whole issue here was getting states funding, state and local funding. You can't now say to states who have no funding, and you have to pay 25 percent of the unemployment insurance cost. I mean it's just, there's no funding for schools that are now trying to reopen and according to the White House they want them to reopen so they need legislation. It's the only way to do it. If they don't get it passed, if the President is not willing to get it passed, it is just an additional failure in a series of failures in the handle of this COVID crisis and my advice is when you are in a hole stop digging. When you are in a hole stop digging. It is good advice.

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