Cuomo lashes out at reopen protests as 299 die of coronavirus overnight
Governor Andrew Cuomo(Mike Groll/Mike Groll/Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo)
Gov. Cuomo insisted Saturday that he won’t tolerate rallies that put public health at risk during the coronavirus crisis that claimed another 299 people overnight.
Asked about a Long Island rally that attracted scores of protesters, Cuomo said everyone has the right to express their opinion — but not by violating rules that protect society as a whole.
“You want to jeopardize your health, God bless you,” Cuomo said. “You have no right to jeopardize my health... and my children’s health and your children’s health.”
The governor said he is as concerned as anyone about the economic devastation caused by the pandemic. But he insisted public health comes first.
“I’m not going to put dollar signs over human lives,” he said. “I’m not going to do that. Not for my family, not for your family.”
Cuomo said the death toll ticked up slightly from the day before even as the number of new cases and hospitalizations continued to dip.
About 800 people arrived at hospitals with COVID-19, a drop from the 900 average for the past few days.
New York’s death and case numbers have been steadily declining but at a painfully slow rate since reaching peaks in early April.
The rest of the country has continued to see rising cases and death rates as the virus spreads to previously untouched smaller cities and rural areas. That trend could worsen as states seek to reopen their crippled economies as soon as possible.