New York Governor Andrew Cuomo appeared to reference a fringe movement protesting widespread COVID-19 shutdowns on Wednesday while reasserting his state's commitment to a safe, calculated reopening.
After delivering the latest data in his state's battle against the pandemic virus, Cuomo addressed increasing political pressure for states to reopen.
The facts on the virus's transmission and the correlation social distancing has on flattening the proverbial hospitalization curve is clear, Cuomo said.
"We can't make a bad decision," he said. "Frankly, this is no time to act stupidly. Period. I don't know how else to say it. And I've said it innumerable times to local officials on the phone."
People opposing stay-home orders had planned protests throughout the nation this week. There were demonstrations planned Wednesday in all five boroughs of New York City.
Non-essential businesses in New York have been shuttered for more than 50 days.
While not all regions of the state are hit equally hard by the virus, Cuomo says the state is concerned that reopening certain areas would flood them with potentially infected people, eager to get out of their homes. That could create new outbreaks and new problems.
The governor vowed not to make any decision on reopening based on political pressure.
"This is not going to be over anytime soon," he continued. "I know people want out. I get it. I know people want to get back to work. I know people need a paycheck. I know this is unsustainable. I also know more people will die if we are not smart."
By Wednesday morning, there were over 826,000 coronavirus cases in the nation and more than 45,000 deaths blamed on complications from the respiratory disease. New York had confirmed over 251,000 coronavirus cases and an estimated 19,000 deaths due to COVID-19.
Officials have repeatedly pointed to enhanced and expanded coronavirus testing as being the key to reopening. With more widely available testing, states can identify positive cases, trace recent contacts and isolate outbreaks to reduce the probability of a second wave of infections.
Cuomo said he and President Trump reached an agreement on Tuesday on how the federal government can help states scale testing. He says New York, New Jersey and Connecticut will raise with "army of tracers" to reduce the infection rate to a safe-enough level that the Tri-State area can return to some semblance of normalcy.
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