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New York Governor Andrew Cuomo: No Political Decision, No Emotional Decisions On Reopen; New York Governor Andrew Cuomo: 606 People Died In Last 24 Hours; New York Governor Andrew Cuomo: Stay-At- Home Order To Be Extended To May 15th; New York, Los Angeles & District of Colombia Extend Stay-At-Home Order To At Least May 15th; President Donald Trump Adviser: Starting Tomorrow We Need To Let Business Open; $349 Billion Emergency Small Business Lending Program Officially Out Of Money. Aired 12-12:30p ET

Aired April 16, 2020 - 12:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[12:00:00]

GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D-NY): So, you are going to start face the reopening, you are 0.9 now. After this entire close down and if you go to 1.2, you're going to have a problem again.

So you see how narrow the window is. But New York pause has worked with close down has worked, that's how we control the beast that's how we got it down to 0.9. However, we're not there yet, we're just at 0.9.

Again, Wuhan got down to 0.3, so we have to continue doing what we're doing. I'd like to see that infection rate get down even more. The New York pause policies the close down policies will be extended in coordination with other states to May 15th.

I don't want to project beyond that period that's about one month. One month is a long time. People need certainty and clarity so they can plan. I need a coordinated action plan with the other states. So one month will continue to close their policies.

What happens after then? I don't know. We will see depending on what the data shows? What does that mean? Tell me what our infection rate spread is, is it 0.9? Is that 1? Is 0.7? Tell me what the hospitalization rate is? And then the experts will tell us the best course of conduct based on that data.

No political decisions, no emotional decisions data and science we're talking about human lives here. As relatively simple and possibly annoying as it seems wearing a mask is one of the best things that we can do. And I understand I'm getting a lot of not happy phone calls off of what I said yesterday about wearing a mask in public.

But I'm sorry it makes people unhappy. I do not consider it a major burden and it really is a simple measure that can save lives. And yes, people say it's a personal intrusion on them but again remember it's not just about you right?

I have rights also and my kids have rights and your kids have rights and you have a right for another person to take reasonable safeguards not to get infected. So the masks work. We said in public today I'm going to include public transportation systems, private transportation carriers for hire vehicles, any operator of a public system and operator of a private carrier and for hire vehicles must wear a mask at all times.

What does this mean? If you get on the bus you need to wear a mask. If you get in a train you need to wear a mask. If you get into a private car service UBER Left the operator needs to wear a mask. If you get on a private bus the operator needs to wear a mask and you need to wear a mask on a on a private carrier.

So is this inconvenience? Yes, but you're in a closed environment by definition. You're not socially distancing by definition. You're the front seat of a car to a backseat of a car. You're one seeking a bus to another seat in the bus. This is a precaution for everyone that I think balances individual liberties with a social conscience. This will go into effect Friday 8:00 pm.

Ultimately what determines the rate of infection? You do and I do that's what this all comes down to as simple as it sounds. It's not about government. It's not about anything else. It's about what people decide to do and what people have decided to do.

They have brought this infection rate down. It's that simple. Nurses, doctors did a phenomenal job first responders did a phenomenal job essential workers did a phenomenal job but that rate came down because people change their behavior. That's what happened.

It is about the behavior of our people. It's that simple. It's our behavior. It's our level of discipline. It's how we educate our children? It's how considerate we are of others? What we're willing to do to safeguard others health in our community?

[12:05:00]

CUOMO: That's what makes all the difference on what we're doing? It is the simple things it's wearing a mask. It's washing your hands. It's the hand sanitizer. It's the social distance. It's making sure your children understand what to do what not to do?

It's all of these simple procedures that seem almost insignificant but on a collective basis make all the difference in the world. And it is making smart choices. I want to get out of the house. I'm going crazy. I need to do this. I need to do this. I know but be smart. Be smart and engage what you're doing relative to everyone else and relative to the overall goal.

But I will tell you. And I don't know that people truly appreciated this. I don't know that I did of all the unique aspects that we have learned going through this. The most positive and the most surprising to me has been how people have responded.

The policies that I have communicated are not worth the paper they are printed on. I could stand up here as Governor and say we must do this. We must do this. We must do this. These are some of the most life changing policies government has ever issued.

Think about it. This is not government saying here's your tax rate. Here's age of voting. This is government saying stay in your house don't touch another person wear a mask. Government - I don't even have the ability to enforce these measures on any scale if people said I'm not willing to do it.

So these policies which are difficult which are life changing they are being implemented by people because people are choosing to do the right thing. It is that simple. And what this is all about? Today the masks on transportation I trust in new Yorkers.

You know I believe if the facts are presented to the people in this State, New Yorkers will do the right thing. What is the right thing? There's always a right thing. It is the appropriate path that is socially and morally correct.

And New Yorkers have a very strong right thing quotient. They know what the right thing is when they hear. And all I'm trying to do is give them the facts and the information to explain why I'm suggesting these actions? They decide whether or not to follow them.

I can't put a mask on 17 million people. 17 million people decide whether or not they'll do it. But they have done it. Because they have the facts they have the information they understand the risks. They understand the rewards. They understand the consequences and what they have done has worked.

And it's brought this state forward and it'll bring this nation forward. And that's New Yorkers at their best. And that's because we are New York tough and because New York tough is more complex than the word suggests. It's smart, it's united, it's disciplined and it's loving and New York. New Yorkers have proven that time and time again every day for 46 days, questions.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: 10 nursing home residents have died of COVID-19--

CUOMO: Can we do this today, that's for something new? I will listen to all talk over everyone. I'll make sure we answer I'll get to you to answer questions. And let's just start in order - all right let's go to you first, okay.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And according - New York at least 10 nursing home residents have died COVID-19. Philemon there's been at least 23 cases in 6 - one nursing home. The State Health mass has 15 residents at a New Windsor assisted living facility.

How many and which nursing homes have reported clusters, outbreaks are requested mass testing from the state and where are they? And is the state advising nursing homes phasing outbreaks to open COVID only units or transfer patients elsewhere? What do you think?

CUOMO: I will get to you. I don't know. We have hundreds and hundreds of nursing homes in the State. So I don't know of what has happened in every nursing home in the State? I don't have a firsthand knowledge of what happened with the nursing homes in Hornell New York? [12:10:00]

CUOMO: But we will get you today list of information by nursing home to the best we have. And as we get that updated we'll get it to you. Jessie?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Governor, on the economic tall of this, Mayor De Blasio was talking about at $7.4 billion hit in terms of tax revenues. Have you discussed the help for the City of New York Vis a Vis that as well as you know the 1.2 million people are now applying for unemployment in the state?

CUOMO: Yes, Jesse. It's simple. Yes, we've had multiple conversations not just New York City's Nassau County, Suffolk County, Westchester County. It's every county in the state. It's every local government in the state. And the short answer is we cannot do it.

You know I have a 10 to $15 billion hold. So I'm not in any position to help any of them. That's why I've said this is what the Federal Government has to step in. And it defies understanding that the Federal Government is going to say we passed major pieces of legislation pat us on the back to protect the economy and move the economy forward.

But you don't fund state and local governments. And when you don't fund the state or local government it means the state and local government has to turn around and cut everybody that relies on them. It's not smart. It's not right. It's counterproductive.

I understand you don't get the same political credit when you fund New York State or New York City or Nassau County or Suffolk County because it doesn't represent any voters any people. It's just a governmental entity. And I get that and I get that politically they liked to pass legislation where they can call up someone when they get home and say hey Jesse I got a check for you.

I understand that. But at one point you have to put the politics aside and say we have to do something that's actually makes a difference. And how do you can you even pretend that you're addressing this crisis when you're starving state and local governments?

And that's not a Democrat to Republicans. National Governors, Governors association headed by a Chairman whose Republican Governor Hogan great guy, a great Governor. Myself as Vice Chairman we sent a letter saying that the administration. And by the way I say it to my Democratic congressional members.

I said to Senator Schumer. I said to Senator Gillibrand you pass a piece of legislation that starves state and local governments you're not helping the country. You're just not. Well, we have to get to yes. It doesn't matter to get to yes if the bill doesn't do what the purposes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And a follow up to that question real quickly. Why has it taken so long to get specific information about specific nursing homes? That would seem to be in the public interest for people know where people are dying?

CUOMO: We are putting it - we're putting it together. You know you have. You know you have to appreciate the practical reality here. That's why I say watch this whole reporting system. You have hospitals that are dealing with hell every day. And you're basically saying make sure your report isn't light which is what the Department of Health says.

Nursing homes that are dealing with hellacious situations will make sure your report is on time. Yes. And look I've been on the phone with these types of facilities and they say I understand make sure my report is on time.

I have seven people critically ill. I'm short staffed. I don't have enough PPE and you're giving me a hard time about reports. So in the balance of things I understand the degree of difficulty but and how many nursing homes are there?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 613.

CUOMO: 613 nursing homes, right? So you're not talking about one phone call but we are getting the data. It is coming in when will we have it do we know?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Today.

CUOMO: Today.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You mentioned that there is you know obviously the flattening of hospitalization but we had yesterday the highest the day before the highest number of positive cases since testing started. Are you concerned about seeing that number tick up and why might that be while the hospitalization --?

CUOMO: The testing is not indicative of anything in my opinion. It is not a random sample. It is a function of how many tests you were doing? What has been happening is our testing capacity is going up as our testing capacity goes up the more tests you do the more positives you find.

[12:15:00]

CUOMO: Remember the testing is not random. Its people who believe they are positive because of the circumstances. They were exposed to a positive person et cetera. So you're getting people who you think are positive to test and then the more tests you take the more positive you're going to find.

The hospitalization rate of any of these rates, the most indicative is the hospitalization rate. Because what it's telling you is these are people who are infected and were seriously ill. That's what the hospitalization rate tells you. It's the only real data you now have.

It doesn't tell you the rate of infection spread and whether it's increasing or decreasing. But it tells you how many people walked into the hospital that were positive after they were tested and who was seriously ill? That's the only number you have that is statistically representative.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Governor, President Trump accused New York City of padding the death count, padding the numbers and because they changed the way that they're reporting. Now they're saying they added something like 3800 new deaths based on in home deaths. What do you say to that? Do you think that the President is correct in saying that and also when is the state going to start having that separate category?

CUOMO: Yes. Melissa knows better than I do. Look I think what you're seeing is - well, first I don't know what the President said specifically what his words were? And I don't why would New York City want to inflate a death toll? I mean it doesn't make a lot of sense.

It's bad enough as it is. It's painful enough as it is. Why would you want to inflate a death toll? Look, I don't know. I was just reading more bizarre than usual that anyone would want to do that. I think what's happening is they're changing - CDC put out different guidelines about what numbers you must report?

We've always said all we really know our deaths in a hospital or deaths in the nursing home. Could people be dying at home because of the Coronavirus and we're not counting them? Yes. Was this a rough estimate? Yes.

So now we're trying to refine the estimate. Other categories or other possibilities I think that's what it is more than anything. That's more of a reporting process but Melissa do you know anything more than that?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's exactly what the Governor said. So the CDC put out guidance on reporting. So actually it's the President's own CDC that put out this guidance. And the City was very clear they actually did not tack on that number to the total death count. They created a new category that's called probable deaths.

This gets murky right because a lot of people are dying of various things and if it's shortness of breath or you had a fever there's a lot of assumptions that could be going on behind the positive. Everybody knows in this room assemblyman Brodsky, the assumption was that he had died from COVID a few days later they discovered it actually wasn't COVID.

So the number is not precise and the city actually did not put that number into the death count number. It's a separate category. I actually believe the press misreported this in some instances and completed the two. And so that's what it was but they did not have the numbers. And this was a CDC directed category. The city started reporting that the state is actually also working to report.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What do you think another --?

CUOMO: Did you want to add something Doctor?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And it's exactly what you mentioned. It's their presumed as most that they're presumed deaths but some might died from something which may be a different respiratory illness than and they say may be it is Coronavirus.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Right. Does the post reported last week that EMS and law enforcement we're going to homes and getting that raw data and saying hey this could potentially be a much larger number. So is that the kind of misreporting?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, no, no. So what I'm saying when I say conflating, I'm saying there's probable deaths and then there's the people who we know to have confirmed died of COVID. They tested positive or after they died there was an autopsy done they tested them and they confirmed after they died that they had COVID.

So probable is the category that it's somebody who died and based on the symptoms or based on how they died they believe that it could probably have been COVID. So that's that category. The under reporting of the deaths in the home is another added complication into all of this.

But to answer your first question, the city has not pad the numbers. They created a separate category to address the probable deaths which was a directive of the CDC.

CUOMO: I think what happened. Yes. I think that refreshes my recollection. I don't think the city put the numbers together. I think "The Times" wrote a story that put the numbers together and then said they had a much higher number. I get it's a great headline but it's not totally accurate Karen?

[12:20:00]

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: --some of the COVID patients - number that have been kidney failure and that now that there's a shortage of the dialysis machines--

CUOMO: Shortage of dialysis machines?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have heard that. We are looking into this about those who need renal dialysis and to make sure the machines are available for individuals. And regarding having kidney failure as a result of having a Coronavirus often when people get ill end up in the intensive care unit with multi organ system failure multiple problems. The kidneys are in line with the organs which take the hardest hit initially.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is there shortage right now?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have heard about individual point but there are shortages that across the board now there is everyone about - they need a dialysis machine. We worked on that to get them back.

CUOMO: If they have a shortage Karen they call us. We have these daily inventory equipment sharing that's a surge flax. So if any hospital has a shortage of anything on a daily basis they let us know and then we find that and we've been able to find that equipment for the more that PPE. So nobody's had an actual shortfall. But if somebody had a problem that they couldn't do dialysis because they didn't have machines they would have more than likely let the state know.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have a few follow up questions on masks. Does the mandate apply to kids?

CUOMO: Two years - I know - it depends on different kid.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Which is what the CDC recommend?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Okay. Yesterday when referring to the mask mandate you said it's not that inconvenient. You said what's the big deal? For many people we've learned it is a big deal to wear a mask. They feel that this is a symbol of government control.

A lot of people feel that this is a symbol people are falling prey to fear and we've seen doctors on the news for weeks now saying that regular masks, regular medical masks and the cloth masks do little to protect you from Coronavirus. Do you feel like you're underplaying the impacts of your mandate?

CUOMO: No. I said I don't hardly on the plane. I said that I know there's a lot of opposition to this. I've had many people say they don't like it. So now I'm fully aware of the opposition to wearing a mask. It's a face covering right just we're all saying the same thing. It's a mask or a cloth covering of the nose and mouth.

Doesn't have to be a mask it could also be a cloth covered. But no, I understand that people do not like it and people understand some people do not like it and some people think it is an imposition. And it is a government over reach. I understand that.

By the way some people think the closed down order was government overreach. Some people think that this is all a fabrication and a political conspiracy. To them I say if you don't think 600 people died yesterday and if you don't think that's a problem. I disagree with you.

If you doubt that 600 people died I'll bring you to see the 600 people. So is it a fabrication? No, 600 people died yesterday, okay. And that's a reality we deal with every day. We want to see fewer people die. I'm asking New Yorkers to wear a mask. Not just to protect yourself but to protect other people from you.

If you have the virus you can infect other people. And you have a liability, a responsibility not to infect me because you are sick and that's what a mask would help. I understand the opposition. My phone is ringing off the hook with the opposition. I also understand what 600 deaths mean.

I understand the toll on the health care system. I understand the nurses and the doctors who are stretched to their limits. I understand the police officers who go out there every day and who are afraid and asking New Yorkers to wear a mask. At this time I think is more than reasonable. I understand that people disagree. JOHN KING, CNN HOST: The Governor of New York Andrew Cuomo giving his daily Coronavirus update briefing right there at the end pushing back against critics who oppose a new policy requiring New Yorkers to wear a mask or facial covering when they get on a bus. When they get on other public transportation, when they get into an UBER, the UBER driver must have in the like.

Some protest about that the Governor saying I'm sorry 600 people at least a day are dying. We're going to continue this. A major announcement from the Governor even as he says New York is bending the curve that it's hospitalization rate is down, intensive care use is down the Governor saying he will leave in effect what he calls New York Pause.

[12:25:00]

KING: The economic shutdown through May 15th, through May 15th. Consider the implications of that New York City part of New York State Los Angeles just yesterday said it too. What extent it shut down until at least May 15th the District of Columbia as well.

So the nation's two largest cities plus the nation's capital extending the shut down until May 15th this on a day the President of the United States plans to announce he wants to reopen the economy as of May 1st some places even sooner.

So a confrontation there and as we bring in our White House Correspondent Kaitlan Collins to discuss Kaitlan, the Governor also said he is working in concert with his neighboring states, regional states meeting we have to check in on those states.

But the way Governor Cuomo put it, it sure sounded like Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware had agreed to go along with him in this regional pact to extend the economic shutdown through May 15th not what the President wants to hear.

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes. And he also said they're going to working together on when they are going to be opening those other the business's in opening their economy and moving forward with that. And so that's really notable because just in a few hours the President has got a call with all the Governors and that's where they're expected to preview these new guidelines that they're going to put out today.

These are the first guidelines since the President has said that he wants to start reopening the country on May 1st that's something they've been working on internally inside the White House. And while they're not expected to have you know the entire country open at once. They are going to be putting out these guidelines.

And so far we've been told by sources that as they were really moving forward to put all of these together they basically had been not focusing on state specific guidelines what they were going to put up Federal guidelines and tell states that if they're ready to adopt and then they should move forward with that and if not keep doing what they're doing.

But John of course the wild card here is the President who's been insisting that he does have the authority to tell the states what to do? And just yesterday when we were talking about the concerns that even business leaders have about the lack of testing still as they are being told that reopening could happen pretty soon?

The President said that if the Governor is doing something he doesn't like that he has the authority to stop it and close it down as he told us in the Rose Garden at that briefing yesterday. So the question here is really going to be what is the President's response to this?

Because so far he's been watching these Governors really take their own steps not just in New York but also on the West Coast as well. You've see those states forming a pact for how they want to reopen the country. And New York is really one of the last targets this seems to be on the White House's list for reopening.

They've really expressed caution to the President that New York is nowhere near ready to start reopening like the President is hopeful that other states will be. But this doesn't - it is notable that this announcement that they're extending that in New York does come just a few hours before this call that the President is going to have.

KING: All right, the Governor's getting out ahead of the President's first of all Mayor of Los Angeles yesterday, the Mayor of the District of Colombia now the Governor of New York and again if that regional pact is what he is talking through at least May 15th getting out ahead of the President saying, sir we will accept your recommendations but we will make the final call on when our state reopen Kaitlan Collins at the White House on a very important day.

Another thing the President is upset about is this end of the money for the small business program right now. The administration had a new small business program, the money ran out. They want a deal done by Congress and they wanted it to done today. CNN's Phil Mattingly is with us now to talk about that.

Phil, the administration says the money is gone. Give us another cash infusion but the House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says are there some other things I want in exchange right?

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's exactly right. Look, Democrats have been clear from the start once they first got the notice from the Treasury Department that more money was needed for this $349 billion small Business Administration Loan Program and about $250 billion more.

The Speaker Pelosi Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer making clear those hospitals and state and local governments also need aid as well. They want that attached. Republicans have been firm this is supposed to be just an interim package something to plus up a program that was very clearly running out of money.

Now has run out of money. And they weren't willing to negotiate. Now here's what's going on behind the scenes. The degree we know at this point. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin who does have a good working relationship with the Speaker with the Democratic Leader in the Senate his staff and his team have been working with Democratic staff to see if there's a path forward.

But John there is a wild card here in the sense that nothing can pass the U. S. Senate or the U. S. House right now unless it is approved unanimously. Lawmakers are out of town, that's the only way they can move things through. And some of the issues that Democrats want to add on funding wise or issues that Republicans have problems with so where things stand right now?

The Senate is about to meet in about 2.5 hours. They hoped they would be able to have something to pass to give money to this SBA program during that session. Right now it appears very unlikely that would be the case. And that means this program will likely be shuttered through the weekend into next week.

And some of the concerns I'm hearing right now or that it could go even longer than that unless some type of breakthrough occurs soon. And I think one final point to make here, what this program actually is. In the midst of a month where 22 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits, this loan program is forgivable loans backed by the Small Business Administration that allows small business owners to essentially pay out their employees.