Gov. Cuomo: ‘Facts don’t justify frenzy’ amid coronavirus outbreak


NORTH NEW HYDE PARK, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Governor Andrew Cuomo urged the public to stay calm as the coronavirus continues to spread through New York State.

Gov. Cuomo said there were 16 more confirmed cases of COVID-19 in New York State since his update on Saturday. This brings the total number of novel coronavirus cases across the state to 105, the second-most of any state in the U.S.

The Governor stated the biggest problem area continues to be Westchester County where there are now 82 confirmed cases.

Below is a breakdown of COVID-19 cases in New York:

  • Westchester County – 82
  • New York City – 12
  • Nassau County – 5
  • Rockland County – 2
  • Saratoga County – 2
  • Suffolk County – 1
  • Ulster County – 1
  • Total deaths – 0

The Governor also said people have more anxiety about the virus than the facts would indicate, and the biggest problem with the virus is the fear it is insinuating.

“The facts do not justify the frenzy, period. The biggest problem we have in this situation is fear, not the virus. The virus we can handle. It’s the fear, and the fear is just unwarranted,” said Gov. Cuomo.

Even though the death toll is increasing worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University, more and more people are recovering from the virus.

As of Sunday evening, more than 60,000 people have bounced back since the virus was first reported in December.

COVID-19 statistics for the U.S. (Numbers were last updated on Sunday, March 8 at 2:13 p.m.)

  • Total confirmed cases – 474
  • People who have recovered – 8
  • Total deaths – 19
  • Active cases – 447

As of Sunday, there have been no reported deaths from COVID-19 in New York State.

Cuomo added that the virus is primarily dangerous to “vulnerable populations,” meaning the elderly and people with compromised immune systems.

During the press conference, the Governor also called on the CDC to approve more labs to do testing for the virus in New York State.

We are continuing to test people and are working with hospitals and local governments to give them the resources they need to contain the spread of this virus. We mobilized quickly but the federal government has been slow off the mark and they continue to be slow. That’s unacceptable – we need them to approve these private labs today so we can stay ahead of this evolving situation. Worse than the virus right now is the fear pandemic – and getting these additional facilities online will ensure we have more facts that will help keep people calm.

Governor Andrew Cuomo

According to Cuomo, testing is the best thing New York State can do to try and stop the spread, and he wants the state to perform over 1,000 tests a day. On Saturday, Cuomo announced that six labs had been approved for testing, including Upstate University Hospital in Syracuse. 

To help slow and stop the spread, Cuomo warned people about shaking hands and said an elbow bump should be used instead.

The Governor also urged businesses to have a “liberal sick leave policy” and allow workers to work from home if they can. 

As he did on Saturday, the governor also warned the public about companies’ price gouging during the coronavirus outbreak.

Price gouging is illegal, and anyone who suspects it is happening should call 1-800-697-1220.

If you have questions about the virus, there is a toll-free hotline you can call at (888)-364-3065.

During a question and answer session at Sunday’s press conference, Governor Cuomo provided an update on how the virus has been spreading so quickly in Westchester County.

Gov. Cuomo said the man who originally contracted COVID-19 was unaware that he was infected, and attended several gatherings at a local temple.

He attended a series of gatherings at the temple with hundreds of other people, and the governor said the virus is likely spreading throughout Westchester County because of this.

At the press conference, Cuomo advised to reduce “dense gatherings” as much as possible.

To watch the full press conference, click on the player below.

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