New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo delayed indoor dining in New York City indefinitely, urged President Donald Trump to “put a mask on it” and warned of “storm clouds” as infections rise in 35 states.
Eating inside restaurants is the latest casualty in the phased reopening. Two weeks ago, the governor yanked movie theaters as well as malls and gyms from Phase 4 statewide pending more study of large enclosed gathering places.
Meanwhile, New York has announced a travel advisory for people arriving from 16 states with rising COVID rates as it seeks to safeguard its dramatic turnaround from being the epicenter of the pandemic to a state with one of the best metrics in the country. A frustrated Cuomo acknowledged that a required quarantine will be hard to enforce, focused on gathering information from travelers arriving at airports and spot checking their whereabouts during the quarantine period.
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New York has tested 4 million people out of a population of 19 million, more testing per capita than any country in the world, he said.
He saidd President Trump could help contain the national spike. “He denied the reality of this situation from day one. ‘Reopen right away. Liberate those states. You are artificially keeping the economy closed. There is no reason.’ That came from him.”
“At least have the courage to admit what everyone else already knows, that you were wrong … and put a mask on it, Mr. President.”
Gov. Cuomo also let loose on COVID-challenged Texas (“’Oh, there’s no problem. This is just a Democratic delusion.’”) and on NYC youth who “do the chin move” — congregating with masks drooping below mouth level, “which doesn’t really do anything.”
He said citizen compliance and local enforcement of social distancing and mask wearing are both particularly lacking in New York City — a dig at Mayor Bill de Blasio — among all of the state’s regions, part of the reason it’s been singled out to disallow the in-restaurant dining that should have been part of the city’s Phase 3 starting next week.
There are reports of significant spread of the virus from bars and restaurants in states that reopened earlier. He said New York is setting up its own enforcement department to bolster local police departments.
He noted the “great irony” of a European travel ban. ”They had it first. We got it from them and now they …. have a travel ban agains us.” The EU losened travel restrictions today, opening the block to 15 countries including Canada, but the U.S. is not on the list.
The governor, whose outspoken, folksy daily press conferences during the pandemic have turned him into a budding media star, also let slip that he’s held 300 hours of briefings with 59 million online views since they started.
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