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Andrew Cuomo New York City New York State

Press conference with New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo (3/30/20)

LIVE FROM THE JAVITS CENTER!

ANDREW CUOMO

  • Happy National Doctor’s Day! We honor and thank all of the doctors who have fought to save lives today. They are true heroes.
  • Unlike in Trump’s speech last night, Cuomo acknowledges the fantastic staff at the Javits Center who routinely completely transform this building for trade shows under normal circumstances. This is important to note, because when Donald speaks about it you would think the federal government built the entire building from the ground up in four days. The work the federal team did on the Javits Center is phenomenal and entirely worthy of praise, but a lot of the credit that Donald forgets to hand out belongs to the local staff at the Javits Center who flip this building for trade shows all the time. Since I have worked with those people many times at the Javits in the past, I would like to take this time to say THANK YOU to the Javits staff! As Governor Cuomo says, they always do an amazing job, but this time we are really all blown away by what they have accomplished. FEMA and The Army Corps of Engineers deserve a ton of thanks as well, but let’s not forget the very real contributions of regular New Yorkers. Keep on kicking ass, New York city event professionals!
  • Again, for those of you who are not familiar with The Javits Center, I would like to give you a little more perspective on this. Here are some comparison pictures of The Javits Center over the years.
Today’s press conference vs New York Comic Con in 2019
A before and After of the inside of Javits Center’s main exhibition hall. (photo credit for the after photo unknown)
No one completes a breakdown after a large show like the crew at Javits! The second the show floor closes, the forklifts are out and everything comes down immediately. I always joke that you get exactly one warning to clear the floor before they run you over.
You see some fun things during event set up sometimes. I understand why you can’t carpet a hospital floor, but man that floor is brutal without it. Trust me, every brand ambassador, promo model, product specialist and event producer feels for those doctors and their feet right now. We’ve been there too!
Cosplayers taking a break by the bathrooms at New York Comic Con.
  • Javits now has 2,500 beds. WOW! It’s eerie for me to see this on a personal level, but it is inspiring to see what a remarkable job they did.
  • Javits will see it’s first patients TODAY.
  • In terms of the number of cases, the curve continues to go up.
  • At the time of the press conference, New York State had over 60,000 positive cases.
  • There is now only one county in New York that does not have the virus.
  • QUOTE: “Anyone who says this is a New York City only situation is in a state of denial.”
  • QUOTE: “There is no American that is immune to this virus.”
  • QUOTE: “In many ways, New York is just the canary in the coal mine. What you see us going through here, you will see happening all across this country.”
  • Part of what we hope will happen in New York, is that we will be able to learn lessons from this that we will then be able to share across the nation.
  • The exact numbers for today in New York: We have had 66,497 positive cases. 9,517 people are currently hospitalized. 2,352 of those patients are in the ICU. 4,204 patients have been discharged.
  • 632 people were discharged yesterday.
  • 1,218 people have died in New York so far.
  • New York remains the most impacted state.
  • Rounding out the top five behind us: New Jersey (13,386 positives/161 deaths), California (6,266 positives/130 deaths), Michigan (5,472 positives/132 deaths), and Massachusetts (4,955 positives/48 deaths).
  • For perspective, our problem is 10 times worse than California, and we have a much smaller population as a state than they do. (39 million in California vs 19 million in New York)
  • 253 New Yorkers died yesterday.
  • There have now been 732,153 cases of COVID-19 worldwide.
  • For perspective, New York State now makes up 9% of all reported cases worldwide.
  • Hospitalizations went down slightly yesterday from the day before.
  • Cases are now doubling every six days, which has slowed from our highest rate of doubling last week.
  • The number of people discharged yesterday was slightly lower than the day before.
  • The situation is painfully clear. There is no question that we will face grief and a loss of life. Going forward, we must focus on two missions.
  • Number one: public responsibility. Stay home. Do not engage in close proximity to others. Do not crowd together in dense groups. He is not telling us that it would be nice if we stay home, he is telling us that we NEED to stay at home. Just stay home!
  • New Yorkers have not been complying with the density rules in the parks, so he is considering closing them. This is exactly why we can’t have nice things, y’all! He’s been telling us to act right FOR A WEEK. I get that it sucks to be locked up in a tiny New York City apartment, but would you rather be fighting for a space at a hospital and in the position of hoping that we can convince President Velveeta over in the White House to send you a ventilator fast enough to save your life? I THINK NOT. There ain’t no basketball game worth that! So, stop acting like boo boo the fool and stay your ass inside! It ain’t that hard!
  • Number two: The front-line battle is in our hospital system. We have to continue to support our healthcare system. We’ve done everything we can do to social distance and flatten the curve, and now the time has come for us to make sure we do everything we can not to overwhelm our healthcare system. We need to recruit more healthcare workers. We need to share healthcare professionals both within the states, and among the states. We need to support our “troops”. We are begging the surrounding states to send help. We will return the favor when our curve passes, but we need help now. Please, please if you are a healthcare professional who can help, we need you!
  • We also need supplies desperately, contrary to whatever that idiot in DC is saying.
  • We are now in a situation where all of the states are competing for supplies against one another, in addition to competing with the federal government and individual private hospitals. This is honestly a horror movie scenario that I never expected to see in real life. Welcome to The Hunger Games, basically.
  • The price of ventilators skyrocketed from around $20k to over $50k “IF YOU CAN FIND THEM”.
  • The ventilators have not changed, the prices have gone up because everyone is outbidding each other.
  • We have been trying to plan forward here in New York. That is why we have been asking for more supplies and preparing stockpiles, DONALD.
  • QUOTE: “The word stockpile by definition means not for immediate use! It means you’re preparing for a battle to come.”
  • QUOTE: “If you wait to prepare for the storm to hit, it is too late my friends.”
  • Here in New York, we have been following the science and the data. We believe in following the advice of experts, and that is why we are planning ahead.
  • They just had “a great meeting with the entire statewide healthcare establishment”. Not just with public hospitals, or local hospitals, but with the entire hospital system in New York.
  • They have now convened, coordinated, and are working as one for the first time in decades.
  • Why? Because this is a statewide battle, and we all need to work together to save lives.
  • QUOTE: “No politics. No partisanship. No division. There is no time for that. Not in this state, not in this nation. This is a deadly serious situation, and frankly it’s more important than politics, and it’s more important than partisanship. And if there is division at this time, the virus will defeat us. If there was ever a moment for unity, this my friends is the moment.”
  • QUOTE: “In this situation, there are no red states and there are no blue states, and there are no red casualties and there are no blue casualties. It’s red, white and blue. This virus doesn’t discriminate. It attacks everyone, and it attacks everywhere.”
  • QUOTE: “The president said this is a war, and I agree with that. This is a war. Then, let’s act that way. And let’s act that way now! And let’s show a commonality, and a mutuality, and a UNITY that this country hasn’t seen in decades. Because the lord knows we need it, today more than ever before.

QUESTIONS

  • QUESTION: (paraphrasing) Trump caught a bad case of verbal diarrhea last night and accused New York of sneaking PPE out the back door. What do you have to say about that?
  • CUOMO: (paraphrasing in my own words) I HAVE BEEN TALKING ABOUT THE STOCKPILES SINCE DAY ONE, IT’S CALLED PREPARING YOU DAMN FOOL.
  • CUOMO: QUOTE “You have the scientists and the data projections showing you a curve. The curve is like this, and you’re over here. Prepare for the high point of the curve! AND DO IT NOW! When are you gonna do it, the night before? What am I gonna tell the hospitals when they call up and they say we just had an influx of 50% more people, and we need more equipment and we need more ventilators? SORRY???”
  • CUOMO: QUOTE “In terms of a suggestion that the PPE equipment is not going to a correct place, I don’t know what that means. I don’t know what he’s trying to say. If he wants to make an accusation, then let him make an accusation. But, I don’t know what he’s trying to say by inference.”
  • QUESTION: ????? (GET A MIC RUNNER!)
  • CUOMO: In New York City, we have a public and private hospital system. In this situation, they will have to be balanced in a way they have never been before in order to better distribute the patients. We need to do this now. We have discussed it, and we are going to do it. There are no legal barriers. The public system will face the greatest stress. If a public hospital starts to get overloaded, we need to be able to send patients to any other hospital that can handle that extra load.
  • KEN RASKE: The hospitals are going to work as one cohesive family system throughout New York. They will be a balanced system.
  • QUESTION: How will patients be shifted to places like the Javits Center?
  • CUOMO: Javits and the naval hospital ship (the USNS Comfort) will be handling patients who DO NOT have COVID-19. He asked the federal government to make Javits and the ship available for COVID patients, but they only wanted non COVID patients at these locations. This means their function will basically be as an overflow location for existing hospitals to send their regular patients.
  • NOTE FROM ME: I understand this in theory, but I think this won’t end well. Are you telling me that in a field hospital with 2,500 beds not one of those patients, doctors or nurses will have this virus? That seems like wishful thinking to me. All it will take is one person coming in with the virus, even unknowingly, and suddenly the whole hospital is sick. Also, it seems like a poor allocation of resources to me.
  • QUESTION: Are you unwilling to tangle with the president?
  • CUOMO: QUOTE “How many years have you known me? 20 years? Have you ever known a time in the 20 years that I am unwilling to tangle? I’m a tangler!” lol
  • CUOMO: QUOTE “I am not engaging the president in politics. My only goal is to engage the president in partnership. This is no time for politics. You know, lead by example. I am not going to get into a political dispute with the president. I’m not gonna rise to the bait of a political challenge. I’m not running for president. I was never running for president. I said from day one I wasn’t running for president. I’m not running for president now. I’m not playing politics. I just want a partnership to deal with this. And I said to the president quite clearly, look when you do good things for my state and you’re a good partner, I will be the first one to say you’re a good partner. And I have. I went to the ship, the Comfort, today. I said thank you Mr. President. When we opened up the Javits Center, I said thank you to the army. They did a great job here, the army corps of engineers. When you do help my state, I’ll say thank you. If I believe that New York is not being served, like the federal legislation that they passed, I will say that too. You know? Sometimes it’s simple. Just tell the truth. Right? And that’s where we are. Tell the truth. If he’s doing the right thing by New York, I’ll say it. If he’s doing the wrong thing by New York, or the rest of the country, I’ll say it. But, I’m not going to engage in politics. Not because I’m unwilling to tangle. But, because I think it’s inappropriate. And I think it’s counter-productive. And I think it’s anti-American. Forget the politics! FORGET THE POLITICS. We have a national crisis. We are at war. There is no politics. There is no red and blue. It’s red, white and blue. So, let’s get over it and, again, lead by example.”
  • QUESTION: ???????
  • CUOMO: No one can be evicted for non payment of rent for three months. PERIOD. But, you will still owe rent at some point when this is over. He says he will look into extending that time period when the three month is up.
  • QUESTION: ????????
  • CUOMO: Elmhurst Hospital is a public hospital, and they are struggling. He has asked other hospitals to help them out, and that sort of shifting will continue to happen as public hospitals become overwhelmed.
  • QUESTION: What do you think the death toll will be?
  • CUOMO: The White House estimates 100,000 to 200,000 as the death toll across the nation. We don’t have projections for New York at this time. We have been studying the projections to see where to best deploy our resources. He smartly stops just short of saying “ what does it matter?”, but I understand what he means. This isn’t what we should be focused on. Rather than focusing on how awful it could be, we should be focusing on how we can prevent it from becoming the worst case scenario. Any life lost is too many. Why waste time dwelling on doom, when we can use that time to fight for life?
  • CUOMO: QUOTE “the number is already staggering. A human life is a human life. We’ve lost over 1,000 New Yorkers. To me, we’re beyond staggering already. We’ve reached staggering. And the only point now is, do everything you can to save every life possible. That’s what this is all about.”
  • QUESTION: ????
  • CUOMO: No one hospital can deal with this. We have to operate differently now.
  • QUESTION: ???
  • COUMO: God bless our doctors. We all wonder if we would ever have the courage to do their job. Thank you, from all of us.

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