ALBANY, N.Y. (WROC) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo held a conference call with media Monday afternoon to give an update on the state’s coronavirus response efforts.
The governor announced the updated statewide data:
- Day 247 of the pandemic in New York state
- 96,101 tests processed Sunday
- 1,633 new confirmed cases of COVID-19
- 3.5% positivity rate in hotspot micro-clusters
- 1.48% positivity rate outside of hotspot micro-clusters
- 1.7% positivity rate overall statewide
- 14 New Yorkers died Sunday from COVID-19
- 1,151 New Yorkers hospitalized with the virus
- 276 in ICU
- 116 intubated
“New York is in the midst of the sea of division and COVID increase,” Gov. Cuomo said. “All around us, the infection rates are going up. It’s happening across the nation and across the globe. We should be on high alert, and we should be even more diligent because the virus spreads and goes across state boundaries. All I can do is warn New Yorkers and ask them to remember what worked for us — and what worked for us is discipline and smart. We have to keep it up because these are dangerous, dangerous times.”
The governor said as difficult as the pandemic challenges have been, the distribution of an approved vaccine will prove the most challenging task to date.
“The vaccination program is going to be the most labor intensive task that we have undertaken,” Gov. Cuomo said. “It will be the greatest operational task government has done throughout the pandemic. What we’ve seen is governmental incompetence exposed. You have government leaders now who are not really government leaders. They said the right things to get elected, but they are not leaders, and now you are seeing the difference between real leaders, and people who were elected to office who are not leaders.”
The governor said the handling of the pandemic foreshadows a messy facilitation of the vaccine.
“What you will see with vaccine is a more rigorous test,” Gov. Cuomo said. “Testing, management of the hospital system, contact tracing were the most rigorous tests to date. Some states did it better than others, but vaccination will be more challenging that anything we’ve done.
“The infrastructure that did 120 million tests in eight months, would have to do twice the amount of vaccinations,” Gov. Cuomo said. “If it took that much time for tests, how long will it take to do double the amount of vaccines? Also the infrastructure will have a discriminatory effect because it doesn’t have the same effect in poor communities or black and brown communities. and those communities have the highest infection rate and highest mortality rates.”
Regarding the federal oversight of the vaccination program, the governor took issue with Washington strategy on data sharing agreement forms from the states. The governor said that the federal government wants the states to share patient data with them.
“Why does the federal government need this? HIPAA?” Gov. Cuomo said. “What info do they want from patients? Name, date of birth, address, ethnicity, gender, ID number. What’s the ID number? Normally a driver’s license of passport or social security number?”
According to the governor, the data use agreement says that info will be used by the CDC, HHS, and other federal partners. The governor this administration has been “relentless” with trying to get information on undocumented people.
“Why do you need these ID numbers before getting a vaccine?” Gov. Cuomo said.
Regarding political tension heading into Tuesday’s general election, the governor said that people should wait for results before already being upset about it.
“I understand the emotion of this election, but I would say before you get upset, wait to see what the results are,” Gov. Cuomo said. “We won’t have that, until the earliest, late tomorrow night, and it might go well beyond that given the circumstances of this election. You can demonstrate, but demonstrate peacefully.”
When asked about the potential return of Bills fans at NFL games, the governor said the state is still working on it.
“We are working at it; working on stadium designs, working with the NFL and where they have allowed fans at games in other states,” Gov. Cuomo said. “We’ve sent people to other stadiums to see what they’re doing and how they’re working, but remember the context here — we already have an issue with an infection rate in Western New York. I am a Buffalo Bills fan, they had a good day yesterday, they are having a good season, they beat the patriots, that was a big deal. I would love to see fans in the stands, I would love to be at the games, but remember the context. Western New York has one of the highest infection rates in New York, and it has been like that for weeks, and that makes it more complicated.”
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