Video, Audio, Photos & Rush Transcript: Governor Cuomo Announces New York City Indoor Dining Can Reopen Early on February 12


Governor Andrew M. Cuomo at present introduced that New York Metropolis indoor eating can reopen at 25 % capability on February 12, Lunar New Yr Day. The reopening was beforehand scheduled for Valentine’s Day, however eating places requested an earlier reopening date to permit workers to organize and the request has been granted. The reopening is topic to strict state steering, which will be discovered here.


A rush transcript of the Governor’s remarks is accessible under:


VIDEO of the Governor’s remarks is accessible on YouTube here and in TV high quality (h.264, mp4) format here.


AUDIO of at present’s remarks is accessible here.


PHOTOS can be out there on the Governor’s Flickr page


Good morning. Comfortable Monday. From my far proper, Larry Schwartz, former Secretary to the Governor who has now volunteered to assist us throughout COVID. We thank him very a lot for his public service. Commissioner Howard Zucker to my proper. To my left Melissa DeRosa, and to her left Kelly Cummings, Director of State Operations. Comfortable Monday, once more. Day 345 of Groundhog Day.


Congratulations to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. I might have appreciated to see a New York workforce within the Tremendous Bowl, clearly, however that didn’t occur this yr. Subsequent yr is a special story. It was an incredible recreation and what’s proper is correct. Congratulations to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. They received, they received large, they deserve it. Mr. Tom Brady who has lengthy been a nemesis to New York groups, performed with the New England Patriots and we had a fantastic New York rivalry with the New England Patriots for a lot of, a few years. And he’s sensible and gifted and goes to go down within the historical past books simply as an undeniably nice participant and a fantastic workforce. Gronkowski. It was a enjoyable recreation to look at, however there’s subsequent yr and we stay up for subsequent yr.


In the meantime we’re specializing in our three priorities – three tracks, proper. You might have to have the ability to stroll and chew gum on the identical time. Authorities has to function on a number of ranges now and it has to function nicely and effectively and produce. Management COVID unfold; Vaccinate New York; Reimagine, rebuild, renew, which is the reopening. All three tracks should proceed concurrently.


On COVID unfold, COVID numbers are down. Congratulations to New Yorkers as a result of their conduct, their actions, their duty, their self-discipline, their sacrifice is what introduced the COVID numbers down. Positivity fee: 4.2 %. Statewide deaths: 114, they’re in our ideas and prayers. Hospitalizations plus 67, ICU down 5, intubations down 18.


Lengthy Island. Lengthy Island. Lengthy Island has the best hospitalization fee, not dramatically increased however increased, and we have been seeing this for the previous couple of weeks. Highest positivity is Lengthy Island and Mid-Hudson. We have been seeing this for the previous couple of weeks. Once more, it is relative, all of the numbers are coming down, however we give attention to the best numbers in our state.


In New York Metropolis, the best quantity is the Bronx and getting increased. So, the Bronx is an issue. We opened the Yankee Stadium mass vaccination website, however the Bronx continues to be an issue. The numbers- 4.4 on the seven-day common is method down from the place we began. Publish-holiday surge is over. We see it within the positivity, we see it within the hospitalizations, and we reply to the information. We reply to the information that we face at present. The information might change tomorrow after which we are going to change with the information. The enemy adjustments ways, we alter with the enemy, however the numbers are down now.


We have been planning to open the eating places in New York Metropolis, 25 % indoor eating on Valentine’s Day. They’ve made the purpose that they’d prefer to open a few days earlier to allow them to be prepared for Valentine’s Day, get the workers oriented, get provides into the eating places, and that is an inexpensive request. So, we’ll begin indoor eating on Friday at 25 %. That can go into impact on Friday. They will go to 25 % on Friday they usually’ll be prepared for that weekend and for Valentine’s Day. Crossing out Valentine’s Day isn’t actually correct. Valentine’s Day must be a giant restaurant day however we’ll open 25 % indoor eating in New York Metropolis on Friday earlier than Valentine’s Day so that they’ll have a giant Valentine’s Day.


We, total, are in a footrace with the COVID unfold. We’re anticipating variants. We’re anticipating elevated an infection from variants. We’re watching vaccine effectiveness with a few of these new variants of curiosity as they name them, however the footrace is evident. It is fee of vaccination versus fee of an infection. Vaccinate. Vaccinate. Vaccinate. Vaccinate. Total statewide 2.465 updating at 11:15, clearly that did not occur.


We’re at about 90 % of all doses allotted utilized in arms and it is solely Monday, proper? So, we get an allocation through the week, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. Relying on location you may get the deliveries Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. It is Monday and we’re already at 90 % in arms and that is what I have been attempting to speak. We get a provide on a weekly foundation. It is available in Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. It is Monday, already 90 % of that allocation is completed. So, we go week to week and by the tip of the week we’ve got principally exhausted your complete week’s allocation after which we look forward to the subsequent week’s allocation.


What has been useful with the Biden administration is we all know what we will get for the subsequent two or three weeks. So at the very least we are able to plan and we are able to inform the native governments, that is the quantity you are going to get subsequent week, you do not have it but, however that is what you are going to get, so it has moved out the scheduling but it surely’s nonetheless week to week.


Now we have a a lot bigger distribution community than we’ve got provide. Now we have many extra distributors than we’ve got merchandise on the cabinets. That is the strain that we’re going through and that is why you might have so many individuals chasing vaccines each week and vaccine appointments.


However at one level the provision will enhance and we wish to be prepared when that offer will increase. Now we have prioritized well being care employees, medical doctors, nurses, our frontline heroes. We centered on hospitals administering to these nurses and medical doctors. They’re uncovered most. They’d be tremendous spreaders in the event that they get it and in the event that they get sick the hospital capability comes down. We went from 63 % on January 18. We’d like a giant push. We have to 72 %. Between the 25 and at present we’re at about 75 % so we’re actually hitting the refusal fee or the utmost fee that these hospitals can get accomplished.


Since we’re at that most peak quantity there are nonetheless hospitals which are slower than different hospitals which I am going to point out in a second. I’ve advised the native well being departments 4 weeks to get after these low performers however we will take the surplus allocation from the hospital employees and use it for folks with underlying situations, comorbidities. This week they’ve the vaccines to vaccinate their employees and end. However that is it. It should have been over two months that that they had the vaccine for his or her hospital employees they usually have been charged with the duty of constructing positive each hospital workers one that would take it has taken it. Hospitals cannot say to a nurse, “it’s essential to take the vaccine.” The nurse has the proper to say no however I wish to make certain each nurse had the choice, each physician had the choice to take that vaccine. If they do not wish to take it at one level we perceive and we’ll give it to any person else. So that is the final week for that.


There may be nonetheless a gross disparity within the high-performing hospitals and the low performing hospitals. And once more, I requested the native well being departments to look into this, however how do you might have some hospitals at one hundred pc and a few hospitals at 40 %, 50 %? One thing is simply not proper someplace. I have been on the calls with the hospitals myself. I perceive that there is a declination fee. I perceive that there are racial variations in declination charges. I get that but it surely nonetheless does not add up in my e-book since you nonetheless have some hospitals in the identical area with the identical demographics of the identical workforce and you’ve got a gross disparity.


So, the New York State Division of Well being goes to assessment these gradual vaccinating hospitals. We wish to perceive why and the way however we’re additionally going to make use of the surplus provide for these with pre-existing situations. That can begin on February 15. Now we have an inventory on the web site of what the comorbidities are. That is principally a clarification of a number of the specifics of the federal CDC pointers and these can be statewide rules defining comorbidity for any website on this state.


Individuals with comorbidities can start making appointments on the State’s website February 14, to open February 15, on the native well being division websites. The appointments can begin on the fifteenth. We’ll go away it to the native well being departments about once they begin scheduling. However they can not schedule an appointment to be carried out earlier than February 15. Native well being departments wish to coordinate with their hospitals, with the native physician networks, that’s as much as them how they try this. You do need- that is for folks with comorbidities as outlined by the CDC and State pointers and the State pointers are only a refinement of the CDC pointers.


There can be validation of the comorbidity. Individuals might want to convey a health care provider’s letter or medical info that evidences that they’ve this comorbidity, or they now signal a certification once they get the vaccination. They’d must certify that they’ve a comorbidity. These three choices are all out there. We’ll go away it to the native well being division to find out what precise validation they need, however they must validate, and the state will audit the native validation system in coordination with a system referred to as Tiberius, which is the federal knowledge system that all of us signed on to that really paperwork the place the doses went. This can be a valuable useful resource. There can be fraud, there can be errors, there can be inefficiency. We perceive that. However, we may also audit to verify the foundations are adopted. New Yorkers are honest. When you have a comorbidity, they get that 94 % of the deaths are folks with comorbidities. Additionally they understood the prioritization of nurses, medical doctors, important employees. So New Yorkers are honest minded, and all people needs this vaccine, however the guidelines must be adopted. We do not need folks abusing the system.


New York State Division of Well being will do a name with the county executives, native well being departments to speak by way of and clarify the comorbidity validation course of, however it’s nonetheless clear, and let’s simply perceive the scope of the place we’re, we’d like a rise within the federal provide as a result of we nonetheless have many individuals chasing a really uncommon and valuable useful resource, the out there doses. The Biden administration has elevated the federal provide. Once more, they don’t seem to be making it within the basement of the White Home. They’re shopping for it from the drug firms. We perceive that. However, they’re the one ones who should purchase from the drug firms, so actually they management the spigot on the provision. They’ve elevated it over 10 % already in only a few weeks. They usually have advised us what the longer term allocations have been, as I discussed, which actually helps our administration. However we’d like extra. And I mentioned on day one, when this began, everybody goes to say the identical factor, “I would like extra.” Each governor in america will say “I would like extra”. Each County Govt on this state will say “I would like extra”. Each politician will say “I would like extra, and we should always assist this group, and this group, and this group, and this group.” I get it. Everybody understands the dynamic. However, you might have a valuable useful resource, and solely Jesus may determine learn how to feed lots of with restricted loaves of bread and fish, proper? So, we must be honest within the allocation till the provision will increase.


What may make a giant distinction within the provide? Johnson & Johnson. They filed for emergency use authorization. That may very well be a recreation changer. Single dose, no tremendous chilly refrigeration chain wanted. That would make a significant distinction. So we’d like that main distinction. We’d like that bump within the provide. Second doses now are allotted by the federal authorities. This is your first dose, here is your second dose. The Biden administration is towards utilizing the second dose for the primary dose. They’re towards delaying the second dose. Clearly we observe federal steering and we’ve got the added luxurious of really partnering and trusting this federal authorities relating to the professionalism. So we’re following the federal steering.


There may be nonetheless a query on extra doses. There is a Lengthy-Time period Care Facility program, this system that does nursing properties by way of pharmacies, et cetera. There can be extra second doses. Some folks won’t come again for his or her second dose for one purpose or one other. However there can be some falloff. We wish to make certain we’re utilizing each dose, so extra within the nursing house program, or extra within the pharmacy program, or extra in second doses the place folks do not come again. How will we reallocate and use these? And people are points that we’re working by way of with the federal authorities. However backside line, which is the underside line on this slide, you might have 15 million New Yorkers who’re finally in want of the vaccine. The provision continues to be about 300,000 per week. That takes one yr at this fee. One yr. So only a sober observe, but in addition a sensible observe, “Effectively, why do not I get a vaccine at present? Why do not we do all of the police at present? Why do not we do all of the lecturers at present? Why do not we do all of the developmentally disabled at present?” You do not have the provision to do it. And if you wish to prioritize somebody, nicely then it’s a must to deprioritize somebody. Now we have 15 million complete inhabitants. Now we have about 10 million now at present eligible. “Effectively, I believe we should always add this group.” Okay, then inform me who you wish to take out. You prioritized nursing properties. You prioritized nursing house workers. you prioritized nursing house workers and police. Who do you wish to take out if you wish to add somebody? These are all troublesome troublesome choices. However you want an elevated provide, as a result of you’ll have months and months simply to get to the people who find themselves now eligible. That is only a truth we’ve got to remember.


On the identical time, a number of tracks. Maintain the COVID unfold down, get the vaccinations going, and on the identical time begin to reopen the financial system. You must rebuild and renew this financial system. Sure, the vaccine is a light-weight on the finish of the tunnel. There is no doubt about that. However we’ve got to create that mild. Now we have to make it occur. It is not going to be a scenario the place the financial system will simply come again, we’ve got to make it come again. And we’ve got a possibility, as a result of COVID brought on a worldwide disaster. You might have states all throughout this nation, you might have cities all throughout this planet that went by way of this, and the query goes to be who adjusts to the brand new dynamics quickest and greatest. And there is a possibility in that.


No matter financial system most rapidly adjusts to the brand new dynamics, that would be the financial system that thrives probably the most, proper? So, the first step, we’d like Washington to truly present state and native aid. President Biden has proposed it and promoted it with $350 billion in state and native help. The Home has agreed, the Senate has agreed. Now the query goes to be the equity within the distribution of the $350 billion. And our level is, I do know the federal authorities needs to assist many sources, however our level is, present the state with state aid that it wants, so we are able to stability the wants on this state. And our wants are $15 billion.


Equity additionally means repeal the unfair SALT assault, which, when the Trump administration handed the SALT tax proposal, that was focused at this state, and value this state greater than every other state, everybody mentioned it was unfair. Everybody. We sued the federal authorities, the litigation continues to be open. Everybody mentioned it was unfair.


Okay, now you are in cost. So undo the unfair legislation, the SALT tax reform beneath Trump, and cut back New Yorkers’ taxes in a single day. Daily SALT stays in place prices the folks of this state $34 million. $34 million {dollars} every single day. Now we have so many wants that we wish to maintain, and bona fide wants, and it is all about sources, and every single day we spend $34 million extra to Washington due to this SALT legislation.


Anyway, the financial system isn’t going to come back again by itself quick sufficient. It is not about taking the posture of, “Effectively the financial system will come again when the financial system comes again.” No. Now we have to convey the financial system again. It is how briskly we reopen. How we reimagine. How we rebuild. This isn’t a passive time in life. This can be a time the place our actions will dictate the implications. So we wish to be aggressive in regards to the reopening.


Cities have taken an actual blow throughout COVID, that is true internationally, for a confluence of occasions. However, what makes a metropolis a metropolis, and the explanation that folks stay in a metropolis, quite than a house in a rural setting, is {that a} metropolis supplies cultural and artistic synergies. That is what makes a metropolis a metropolis, that is why folks wish to be in density, as a result of they need that power, they need that stimulation, they need that sharing.


A giant a part of that’s the arts, and the tradition, and that has been shut down all throughout this nation. It is taken a horrible toll on employees, actors and performers. We will speed up that with one thing referred to as New York PopsUp. And that is actually cool and artistic. It is the primary initiative within the nation that is going to speed up the restoration of the humanities, and performances, and artistic power.


You might have a whole sector of the financial system that has been out of labor. We speak in regards to the restaurant employees and individuals who have been damage at work, if you shut down Broadway, if you shut down film theatres, you cease a whole business. Everyone understands why, however we’ve got to now nurture that business to convey it again. And once more it is important for our cities to outlive.


The humanities business employees, lots of them have been out of labor since March, so we will speed up that reopening with 300-plus pop-up arts occasions all throughout the state. 300 occasions in 100 days of pop-up performances. And these are simply pop-up performances. They’re free. They don’t seem to be designed to be pre-scheduled and draw a crowd as a result of we really don’t need the group, however we will have the pop-up occasions occurring all throughout this state — over 300 — and they are going to be occurring over 100 days and it is going to be thrilling. These will then be in-person pop-up entertainments with actually nice entertainers after which they are going to be proven on-line so there is usually a social media presence to those on-line performances. Once more, we’re attempting to string the needle. We would like the performances. We do not need mass gatherings. We do not need massive crowds, so pop-up performances that can shock folks and produce the humanities again — it should interact the performing and artist group that may be very enthusiastic about this after which it should have a web based presence — is an natural effort. It is being pushed by artists themselves who’re organizing the group and organizing the occasions they usually’ve already put collectively an inventory of actually nice performers who, lots of whom, have been idle for months they usually wish to be a part of restoring the humanities. They wish to be a part of restoring New York and bringing pleasure to folks, so that they’ve already enlisted fairly a powerful record of people that can be collaborating within the on-line pop-ups. Opening day is February 20. There’s going to be a particular efficiency on the Javits Middle as a tribute to healthcare employees who actually have been phenomenal heroes all by way of this. That is who’s going to carry out on the opening weekend. We’re additionally going to have a particular collection of occasions in Brooklyn, New York, so that is going to be thrilling. Sunday Garth Fagan’s firm could have a particular efficiency on the MAGIC Spell Studios at RIT, Rochester Institute of Know-how, as a tribute to the workers at RIT, which simply did a powerful, magnificent job.


So, that is thrilling, it is completely different, it is inventive — however these are completely different instances and we’ve got to deal with them. Pops-Up will begin with these pop-up performances after which migrate to the reopening of venues for arts. Once more, our speedy testing, our testing protocol: opening websites with testing is one thing the place New York needs to prepared the ground. You might have venues just like the Shed, the Apollo, Harlem Stage, Alice Busch Opera Theater that we are able to begin to reopen with testing. So we’ll begin with the pop-ups. We’ll then transfer in direction of reopening venues with testing on a restricted foundation and this may crescendo by way of the summer season with the twentieth anniversary of Tribeca and the opening of Little Island at Pier 55. That is déjà vu: twentieth anniversary of Tribeca. Tribeca began out in New York Metropolis post-9/11 to get folks snug with downtown Manhattan post-9/11 and reintroduce them in some methods to downtown Manhattan post-9/11. And now the growth of the Tribeca idea is to reopen the financial system total within the state and reopen it by way of the humanities. So, what Tribeca did so nicely 20 years in the past, we now want on an enormous scale statewide.


Additionally, Little Island at Pier 55 is on the west aspect of Manhattan and it’s a nice improvement that’s accomplished on the Hudson River Park by Hudson River Park Belief, which is a state company, joint state metropolis company and the Barry Diller Basis, which has created an architectural marvel and it is a fantastic venue for the humanities. So, that can, it should construct as much as that in the summertime months. I wish to thank Jane Rosenthal and Scott Rudin, who’re unbelievable New Yorkers and unbelievable professionals they usually’ve been very useful in organizing this and as I mentioned, it is thrilling and it is completely different, however it is going to make a distinction and New York leads and we will lead in bringing again the humanities as a result of we’re at a time limit the place the longer term, my associates, is what we make it. The long run COVID fee is a operate of our conduct. How briskly does the financial system come again? How sturdy? It relies on what we do and in New York we’re superb on the doing as a result of we’re New York robust, sensible, united, disciplined and loving.

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