ALBANY- At Saturday's press briefing, Governor Andrew Cuomo said the number of hospitalizations from COVID-19 have plateaued, and the number of intubations is now in the negative numbers.
“We believe we have stabilized the situation in the suburbs and upstate as well,” he said.
However, for the fifth day, the number of people killed by the virus each day remains high – 783 since Friday. A total of 8,627 people have died in New York.
Cuomo cited a quote by former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill: “'It is not the end...It is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.'” The governor continued, “ I think that's a fair statement of where we are now.”
He said an announcement by New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio earlier in the day that city schools would close for the rest of the year was just the mayor's “opinion,” saying the schools were closed by the state, and any future decisions on the school year, as well as re-opening business, will be made by the state and coordinated in the metropolitan area, as well as with the rest of the state and neighboring states.
Cuomo rejected any pressure to re-open either schools or businesses while testing for antibodies and diagnosis are still not sufficient to test everyone.
“We have to think before we act,” he said. “Re-opening is a public health question and an economic questions and I'm unwilling to divorce the two.”
He praised the president for his cooperation in meeting the state's needs promptly when asked, but urged everyone to “keep politics out of this.”
“The worst thing that can happen is we make a mis-step, let emotions overwhelm logic, and we go through this again.”
The governor was asked about reports that nurses say they're not getting the PPE they need, and he said hospital administrators are getting everything they ask for, every day. He said his office will look into it, but if the problem exists, administrators are not telling the state in their daily phone calls.
Cuomo said the state court system is calling on lawyers to volunteer to help people navigate the application process for available federal relief, including SBA loans and SNAP.
A reporter said Cuomo's name has come up as a possible replacement for Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. The governor flatly rejected that possibility, or any other possibility of a federal position.
“I have no political agenda, period. I'm not going to Washington. I'm staying right here. I'm going to do what I said I'm going to do. Period. End of story.”