New York Governor Andrew Cuomo was one of the fierce critics of the former US President Trump’s campaign to reopen the economy amid Covid-19 between May and June 2020. On Thursday, the 7th of May, 2020, Cuomo, in his daily press briefing, maintained that he could not trade people’s lives to reopen New York’s economy. Cuomo argued that it is irrational for leaders to argue over the number of deaths worth reopening the economy (Higgins-Dunn & Jasmine, 2020).
In another press briefing, on Wednesday the 8th of July, 2020, Cuomo blasted the then United States President Donald Trump’s pressure on the states to reopen schools. In early June, the former US President issued a directive that all the states reopen schools, even threatening to withhold federal funding from schools that fail to resume in-person classes. Nevertheless, Cuomo contradicted Trump’s order arguing that “School reopening is a state decision…it is not up to the United States president,” Cuomo told the press in a daily briefing (Jasmine, 2020).
Nonetheless, Governor Cuomo seems to have a change of heart on opening things up. In a daily briefing on the 16th of January this year, Cuomo stated that New York State must reopen its economy despite most people not having received the Covid-19 vaccine. Cuomo argued that there would be “nothing left to open” if the state delay reopening the economy. “We simply cannot stay closed until the vaccine hits critical mass. The cost is too high…We will have nothing left to open,” Governor Cuomo wrote in a tweet on Monday 11th of January 2020 (McArdle, 2021). According to the governor, the cost of continuing to close the economy for another six months as projected for the vaccine to take hold would be too painful (Wrobleski, 2021). The statements depict a change of heart from Cuomo’s earlier stand on opening up things
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Higgins-Dunn, N., & Jasmine, K., (2020 May). NY Gov. Cuomo says he won’t sacrifice human lives to reopen the economy: The argument is ‘absurd.’ CNBC. https://www.cnbc.com/2020/05/07/ny-gov-cuomo-says-he-wont-sacrifice-human-lives-to-reopen-the-economy-the-argument-is-absurd.html
Jasmine, K., (2020 July). New York Gov. Cuomo blasts Trump on school reopening: ‘It’s not up to the president.’ CNBC. https://www.cnbc.com/2020/07/08/new-york-gov-cuomo-blasts-trump-on-school-reopenings-its-not-up-to-the-president.html
McArdle, M., (2021 January). Cuomo Says New York Must Reopen Economy. https://news.yahoo.com/cuomo-says-york-must-reopen-223303731.html
Wrobleski, T., (2021 January). Cuomo looks to micro-manage the reopening of New York’s economy. What could go wrong? (Opinion). https://www.silive.com/news/2021/01/cuomo-looks-to-micro-manage-the-re-opening-of-new-yorks-economy-what-could-go-wrong-opinion.html