“If those states are going up, they could spread the virus to New York,” he told reporters at his daily press briefing on the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, also known as the novel coronavirus, on Thursday.
“They have a higher rate of infections than New York,” he continued. “What happens if those people get on planes and fly to New York? That’s how we got here in the first place, right? People landing on our airports.”
“So we do have a selfish interest, the same interest that so many states expressed when we were at the beginning of this and they were worried about New Yorkers going to their states. We lived through that. Well, now it’s the inverse,” he added.
Cuomo pointed out a number of states have seen recent increases in CCP virus-related hospitalizations. Among 20 states he says have been on the increase, Cuomo called out Arizona, Texas, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Utah, Montana, and Alaska.
“It’s 20 states are on the increase, and then compare that to New York where we are on the decrease,” he said. “We’ve been on the decrease for the past 60 days. Two months of decline, then going up now, how do you explain that?”
Cuomo said earlier this month that people who have been participating in rallies and marches to protest following the death of George Floyd should “get a test” for the CCP virus. He said the state would open 15 testing sites dedicated to protesters so they can get results quickly.
“I would act as if you were exposed, and I would tell people you are interacting with, assume I am positive for the virus,” Cuomo said at the time.
The call is similar to those made in Seattle, San Francisco, and Atlanta following massive demonstrations, with free testing for protesters.
New York has been the epicenter of the U.S. outbreak, with black communities hit especially hard.
White House officials had announced in late March that anyone who leaves New York should self-quarantine for 14 days. At the time, White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Debbie Birx said that about 56 percent of all the CCP virus cases in the United States, including 60 percent of all the new cases, were from the New York metro area.
President Donald Trump announced in mid-April a 3-phase set of guidelines designed for governors to reopen their states. Trump said at the time that the final decision was in the hands of governors as every state is different with regard to the CCP virus situation.
“Governors will be empowered to tailor an approach that needs the diverse circumstances of their own states,” he said at the time. “If they need to remain closed, we will allow them to do that and if they believe it is time to reopen, we will provide them the freedom and guidance to accomplish that task and very quickly, depending on what they want to do. We are also encouraging states to work together to harmonize their regional efforts.”
Cuomo said on Thursday that New York state has reported the lowest number of hospitalizations—1,358—since March 19, and said that there had been 29 CCP virus-related deaths on Wednesday across the state—an increase from 17 deaths on Tuesday.
Most of New York state is in Phase 3 of the state’s reopening plan. Mid-Hudson and Long Island are in Phase 2, and New York City is set to move to Phase 2 soon. Cuomo said that New York City is “on track” to move to Phase 2 of reopening on Monday.
The governor also said on Thursday that “businesses that violate health guidelines can face the immediate loss of their liquor license or a shut down order.” He also said he will issue an Executive Order to hold bars responsible for overseeing the sidewalk or area in front of their establishments.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.