Protests against police brutality could give coronavirus a chance to come roaring back, Gov. Cuomo warned Monday.
The demonstrations that have rocked New York City and other cities in the wake of the death of George Floyd “could potentially be infecting hundreds and hundreds of people, after everything that we have done,” the governor said.
“We have to take a minute and ask ourselves, what are we doing here?” he asked.
Cuomo touted huge gains against the deadly virus, noting that overall hospitalizations, intubations and new hospitalizations due to COVID-19 are down to their lowest levels since the pandemic struck the state.
The state conducted roughly 50,000 tests on Sunday with only 1,000 testing positive,
“The progress is just phenomenal,” Cuomo said.
Another 54 New Yorkers were killed by the virus on Sunday, he added, noting that “there will be a level at which that number can’t drop any lower.”
Both the Capital Region and Western New York are slated to join five other upstate areas of the state in “Phase 2” of the state’s reopening plan.
The city remains the sole region still in full lockdown, meaning all non-essential businesses are still shuttered and large gatherings are banned.
Cuomo has said that the city will be ready to enter the first phase on June 8, but warned that the protests “could exacerbate the COVID-19 spread.”
“Don’t snatch defeat front the jaws of victory,” he said. “We’re talking about reopening in one week in New York City and now we’re seeing these mask-less gatherings over the past several nights that could in fact exacerbate the COVID-19 spread”