New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the state has “done the impossible” by controlling the coronavirus, going from the epicenter of the disease to one of the leading states containing it.
Cuomo made the comments in what he said was his final daily briefing. He has delivered 111 straight days of comments as the pandemic struck the region, beginning with the first case discovered on March 1. New York City was particularly hard hit, but it now enters Phase II on Monday, with many, but not all, pandemic restrictions eased.
“Over the past three months we have done the impossible,” Cuomo said. “We are controlling the virus better than any state in the country, any nation in the globe. I am so incredibly proud of what we all did together and as a community. We reopened the economy and we saved lives — because it was never a choice between one or the other. It was always right to do both.”
Cuomo did throw in a partisan dig, referring to Europe as the major source of the virus, rather than China.
New York has officially had 24,686 lives lost to the coronavirus, though officials acknowledge the actual toll is likely much higher.
“I thought about it every day as climbing a mountain. The Mount Everest of social challenges,” the governor said.
New York now has daily deaths in the low double digits.
“We all benefit when we work together. We showed that in the end, love does win — that no matter how dark the day, love brings the light. That is what I will take from the past 111 days,” Cuomo said “If we could accomplish this impossible task of beating back this deadly virus, there is nothing we can’t do. And we will be better.”
Phase II will see outdoor dining resume for bars and restaurants, as well as the opening of barbershops, hair salons, and offices. All will be at half capacity with strict testing and social distancing requirements.
“It includes the single biggest piece of our economy. We’re all in agreement this is the right thing to do,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said. “It’s time to move forward.”
Watch the video above for Cuomo’s complete speech.