ALBANY, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — During a conference call on Saturday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo talked about a variety of things from the Pfizer vaccine to President Trump’s comments about New York State.
Cuomo started the call by talking about current numbers in the state. Among those numbers, he highlighted the number of tests done on Friday, which was 184,000.
He said that the overall state positivity rate with the microclusters throughout the state included is 2.9%. Without the microclusters included, the state positivity rate is at 2.5%.
Cuomo talked about people in the state and said they want to have no restrictions but they also don’t want to take any precautions. “That’s not an option in life,” he said.
When asked about the new restrictions on bars, restaurants, and gyms, Cuomo said the first night went well. He did remind everyone that those who don’t comply could lose their state liquor license.
He said that he understands COVID fatigue and the fact that the holidays are coming and a potential vaccine is coming. According to Cuomo, Trump said we could have a vaccine by April.
“Now, he’s not going to be here, so take that with a grain of salt,” Cuomo said.
Despite a vaccine coming, Cuomo said we cannot allow cases to continue to rise until that vaccine is available.
Even though New York State has fewer cases than other states, Cuomo wants to keep more aggressive restrictions so that we can keep cases low, but also keep the economy going.
“I think the numbers are going to get worse,” Cuomo said. “I think the holiday season is going to be a natural accelerant.”
If cases increase during or after the holiday season, Cuomo said that New York State is ready to “tighten the valve.”
Cuomo also responded to a lot of Trump’s comments on New York, including what he tweeted on Saturday morning:
Cuomo said that if Trump thinks he loves New York, “then he just has an abusive personality.” He went on to say that Trump has been “nothing but hostile since day one” of taking office.
Cuomo also said that he understands Trump is unhappy with New York State.
Among other things, Cuomo said that Trump is unhappy with the state because “the prosecutors in New York are investigating him and there’s a chance he could be indicted for tax fraud by New York prosecutors.”
He also said that Trump was upset when they painted Black Lives Matter in front of Trump Plaza.
I’m not going to allow New Yorkers to be bullied. I’m not. I wouldn’t be doing my job… That is how this president operates, he bullies… New Yorkers don’t back down to bullies.Gov. Andrew Cuomo
He also highlighted the fact that local and state governments are struggling because the federal government doesn’t have a stimulus package in place.
When talking about the vaccine, Cuomo said the main thing we need to do is “develop confidence in people to take the vaccine.” New York State, among other states, have set up independent panels that consist of experts who can review the FDA’s approval and build confidence.
Cuomo stressed that these independent panels would not mean that it will take longer for a vaccine to be distributed. The panels won’t be doing any tests on the vaccine. They will only review what the FDA approved.
“We are ready now to receive the vaccine,” Cuomo said. He also said that if a vaccine were to be given to New York today, he would distribute it the same day.
Cuomo also stressed that the vaccination process would be “the hardest operation we have undertaken.” He believes it will be much harder than testing operations.
“It was mayhem and chaos and should’ve been coordinated with the federal government,” Cuomo said, referencing how testing was done across the nation.
The distribution of vaccines will be a massive undertaking and Cuomo said, “The federal government is once again saying that the states will do it… With what resources?”
He is concerned with how New York State, and other states, will pay for the distribution of vaccines.
According to Melissa DeRosa, secretary to Cuomo, Pfizer didn’t accept any federal money to develop the vaccine. They weren’t part of the federal government’s Operation Warp Speed.
Cuomo will continue discussing with governors in other states throughout the weekend. They will discuss issues with airports and travel, bars and restaurants, private gatherings and more.