N.Y. Gov. Andrew Cuomo: 'There's a cost for reopening too quickly'

A woman walks on an empty Wall Street in New York City on Monday. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Tuesday governments must not rush to reopen and risk greater loss of life. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI
A woman walks on an empty Wall Street in New York City on Monday. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Tuesday governments must not rush to reopen and risk greater loss of life. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

May 5 (UPI) -- A day after he outlined criteria for New York state to begin reopening, possibly this month, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Tuesday the primary factor he will weigh is the value of human life.

Cuomo outlined several criteria Monday he said regions must meet to reopen, possibly when his stay-home order expires on May 15. At his daily briefing Tuesday, the governor said growing pressure to reopen the state's economies must be judged against the ongoing reach of the deadly coronavirus pandemic.


"There's a cost to staying closed, no doubt -- economic cost, personal cost," Cuomo said. "There's also a cost to reopening quickly. Either option has a cost.

"The faster we reopen, the lower the economic cost. But the higher the human cost because the more lives lost. That, my friends, is the decision we are really making. What is that balance? What is that trade-off?"


Cuomo mentioned that federal projections have changed over the course of the outbreak, and they estimate as many as 134,000 people in the United States could potentially die from the virus.

"When you accelerate the reopening, you will have more people coming in contact with other people. You're relaxing social distancing. The more people in contact with other people, the higher the infection rate of the spread of the virus. The more people get infected, the more people die. We know that. And that's why the projection models are going up."

New York state and New York City have been the U.S. epicenters for the disease. Nationally, there have been 1.18 million cases and almost 70,000 deaths attributed to COVID-19, according to Johns Hopkins University.

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Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio each criticized remarks from President Donald Trump that dismiss financial aid to Democratic states as "blue state bailouts." Trump made the comments to the New York Post.

"I don't think the Republicans want to be in a position where they bail out states that are, that have been mismanaged over a long period of time," Trump said.


Congressional Democrats have asked for as much as $1 trillion for state and local governments in the next relief bill to help them address the impact of the outbreak.

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"What kind of human being sees the suffering here and decides that people in New York City don't deserve help? What kind of person does that?" de Blasio asked while holding a copy of the newspaper.

Trump departed the White House Tuesday for Arizona, where he will visit the Phoenix facility of Honeywell International, which is producing protective face masks for Americans and front-line workers.

Trump was scheduled to speak at the plant at 4:30 p.m. EDT.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced salons, barbershops, nail salons and tanning salons will be able to reopen on Friday.

Additionally, Abbott said gyms will be able to open with a limited number of patrons wearing gloves and non-essential manufacturers can resume production at 25 percent capacity on May 18. Showers and lockers in gyms will be required to remain closed and both gymgoers and workers at manufacturers must maintain 6 feet of distance.

Texas will also plan to allow graduation ceremonies including vehicle processions and outdoor events.

In Connecticut, Gov. Ned Lamont on Tuesday canceled the remainder of the 2019-20 academic year.


"I know how important it is for so many students and teachers to finish out the school year," he said. "But given the current circumstances and to protect everyone's safety, it has become clear that it's just not possible."

Lamont has extended the shutdown order twice since it was imposed in March, most recently to May 20. Schools, he said, will continue distance learning and meals to children.

COVID-19 pandemic alters life in New York City

Mannequins with face masks and designer clothing fill a window at a Diane Von Furstenberg store in New York City on September 8, 2020. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

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