Cuomo stops the reopening of phase 2 in New York State and lets the experts from London and Minnesota decide
Cuomo on Thursday night suddenly changed the rules to suddenly prevent five regions of New York from entering the second phase of reopening
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has suddenly halted the second phase of the reopening in New York State, allowing office workers and hair salons to resume business, and is now deciding when to restart from two “experts” Minnesota and London.
The entire state of New York is now in the first stages of reopening, apart from New York City, which is shutting down completely despite declining infection and death rates.
On Thursday, only 61 people were admitted with suspected cases in NYC hospitals.
The infection rate in New York has now fallen to 5 percent and fewer than 100 people die each day.
But despite the low numbers, Cuomo and de Blasio still refuse to give a reopening date and instead rely on a string of numbers that they say the city must meet before it can be brought back to life.
Friday morning, De Blasio flatly declined to give a reopening date and repeated his earlier, vague mention that it happened “sometime in the first two weeks of June.”
“I am confident that we can go to phase one in the first two weeks of June. This will be based on the tangible indicators and thresholds of the state and the city, “he said, refusing to acknowledge Monday June 1.
“I’m just saying it like that. I am convinced that we will enter phase one in the first two weeks of June. I’m not going to refine it more than that because all of these conversations are setting the correct start date, ”he said.
The Blasio further announced that the city is hiring 375 “ social distance amplifiers, ” although not enough contact tracers have yet been hired to reopen the city and despite the city having a $ 9 billion deficit. De Blasio has begged both the state and the federal government to rescue the gap, but has not yet received any money.
The lack of action encourages residents and businesses who are crying out for a detailed plan to get back to work.
Five regions in upstate New York thought they would enter the second phase of reopening on Friday, as suggested by Cuomo. They are Finger Lakes, Mohawk Valley, North Country, Central New York and the Southern Tier.
The second phase allows office workers to return to work, resume hair salons and barber shops along with real estate. Local officials say on Wednesday that the state has told them to prepare for Friday reopening.
But Cuomo suddenly stopped it on Thursday, saying he handed the decision over to “international experts” who would review the numbers and then decide if the areas were ready. He did not indicate how long that would take.
They are Dr. Michael T. Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, and Dr. Samir Bhatt, Senior Lecturer at Imperial College London.
Cuomo first announced the new step in the process in a radio interview. Subsequently, local officials were quietly told late at night that they would not be able to reopen as planned.
“The reopening of the first five regions will end tomorrow when the reopening of phase 1 ends.
‘We provide the experts with all the data. It was posted on the internet, but let them analyze it. And when they tell us to move forward, we move forward, “Cuomo said WAMC-FM on Thursday.
Local leaders reacted angrily. Some said they hadn’t received the news that it was delayed. Some promised to reopen anyway, despite the fact that they never received precise guidance for reopening while it was still planned to proceed.
“Look, the governor can make that comment to someone on the radio, but we can’t get a call from the governor’s office? You know what, we’re going to open tomorrow, “said Chris Moss, director of Chemung County, angrily on Thursday.
Elise Stefanik, the Rep. Congressman representing the 21st District of New York, the furthest north of the state, released a statement condemning the decision as “arbitrary.”
“I have heard of hundreds of frustrated and disturbed local officials and small businesses understandably outraged at Governor Cuomo’s unacceptable and arbitrary decision to move the target posts for reopening.
Small businesses are barely holding on and have invested in COVID-19 preparations to safely update their operations.
“Our North Country companies and communities have worked hard to meet the New York state standards for Stage 2, and our region should enter Stage 2 reopening as planned,” she said.
Protests in Albany on May 16. New Yorkers are increasingly impatient to return to work, but there is little or no guidance from elected officials on when and how it will happen
On Thursday, Cuomo brought celebrities Chris Rock and Rosie Perez to talk about face masks and social distance – but he still hasn’t given a reopening date for NYC
Every region of New York, except New York City, was admitted to phase one of reopening
Representative Tom Reed said Cuomo “moved the goal posts in the middle of the night.”
The change of rules from one day to the next is the last in a series of moves by Cuomo that have been criticized.
On Thursday, he turned up celebrities Rosie Perez and Chris Rock to tell New Yorkers to wear masks and practice social distance.
It was considered “pathetic” and an attempt to distract people from the lack of planning to get people back to work.
The only piece of advice that has been released so far is for first-stage businesses, including curbside shopping, manufacturing, and construction.
De Blasio says that between 200,000 and 400,000 people can get back to work, but there is no public plan for how to get started on the metro or buses.
Some guidelines have been issued by the state on enforcing social distance in the workplace, but not all.