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Homeland Security

New York State

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

September 21, 2020

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

Good morning everyone. Let me give you an update on a few issues and then I'll take whatever questions you have. Today is day 205. We did 58,000 tests yesterday, 573 were positive, that's .98 percent. Only 1 New Yorker passed away from COVID yesterday. That's the lowest number we've had since this began and I, once again, want to thank all New Yorkers for their extraordinary efforts. The spirit of community, the spirit of unity, the efforts they're making literally has saved thousands of lives. The health that you're protecting is not just yours and your families, you're protecting all New Yorkers health. It's not just a question of rhetoric, it's reality. Only one New Yorker passed away. We won't stop until that number is zero, but when you at what's going on around the country, frankly, if you look at what's going on around the world it's a really extraordinary accomplishment that New Yorkers have achieved and I congratulate them.  

Four hundred and fifty-eight were hospitalized, that's relatively unchanged; 134 in ICU, that's about where it was; 66 patients were intubated. That's up 6 from the day before. 

On the continuing enforcement, we have to keep down the infection rate and we stay disciplined. The bars, colleges have still been an issue for us. The State Police, SLA Task Force, they found 18 violations. Two in Brooklyn, two in the Bronx, one in Manhattan, eight in Nassau, 5 in Suffolk. They're been focusing primarily downstate, the task force, but overall the compliance has gotten much better because we did over 4,000 visits. I want to thank the Task Force for doing extraordinary work. Over 4,000 visits, 18 violations of those 4,000. Overall the compliance is still good, but this has always been about the bad apple. We caution New Yorkers about that on a continuing basis. 

I put out a statement on the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. It's a tremendous loss for the nation. She was a generational role model and champion. We are going to do a statue in Brooklyn for her. She is a Brooklyn native and we're very proud of that. I'm going to announce a commission that will work on the statue and exactly how we want it depicted. I'll be doing that this week. We're looking at possible locations. We're considering Brooklyn Bridge Park on a site that would overlook the Statue of Liberty so we're considering that.

Obviously I think the attempt to fill the vacancy in this rushed highly political, highly partisan manner is the exact worst thing that this nation can be doing now. It stresses the division. It further polarizes. It further politicizes. You're talking about just destroying credibility of fundamental democratic institutions which is the last thing this nation needs at this precarious time.

The President talked about the anarchist jurisdictions. This is a continuation of his political theme which is that he's the law and order candidate. I understand the politics but when you try to manipulate and distort government agencies to play politics which is what the Trump Administration has done from day one, it's what the SALT taxes were, just taking from Democratic states to give to Republicans, it's what the Trusted Traveler Program was which has been outed by the US Attorney in the Southern District, so this is more the same.

If you remember, the Trump Administration tried this once before, not a new play. A couple of years ago they said sanctuary cities would not get federal criminal justice moneys and we said it was illegal and unconstitutional. We sued them and we won. Federal court said they could not take the federal money that was appropriated by Congress.

New York City has about $7 billion in federal funding which is much higher than the other cities he's named. Seattle only gets about $365 million. Not only - it's a lot of money but compared to New York City, it's not. Portland, Oregon, $252 million. New York City, $7.4 billion. Congress appropriates funds with specific legal requirements, so New York City gets HOME money from HUD. That's affordable housing money, it's appropriated with specific laws about the administration of that money. It gets community development block grant, CDBG, from HUD. There are specific legal requirements on that funding. The President can't supersede the law and say, "I'm going to make those funds basically discretionary funds," which is what he would to do to basically say, "I control all federal funding." He doesn't control federal funding. The federal law controls federal funding, and the federal law is very specific. Jurisdiction doesn't get affordable housing money if it does this, jurisdiction gets community development money if it does this, the jurisdiction gets Title I education funding if it does this, and the President is not above the law - that's the Constitution of the United States.

Policing is a power by the Constitution that is left to the States. That's the Tenth Amendment, it's left to the States. New York City is a creature of State law and the State, New York State, has the Constitutional authority for policing power. So just like sanctuary cities when he did it a couple of years ago and lost, if they actually do this, we will challenge it legally and he will lose once again because we've seen this play before. But again, it's just for the politics and part of his campaign rhetoric.

Also, FYI, for your information, over the weekend, I signed an Executive Order extending the commercial eviction Executive Order, which extends the Executive Order that says the business cannot be evicted from a space because they can't pay the rent as a result of the pandemic. That Executive Order extends until October 20th. The residential eviction Executive Order continues to be effective. We said that is effective until the end of the crisis, and the crisis is still ongoing. 

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