New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said 521 new coronavirus cases were reported Saturday, bringing the state “right back to where we started on this hellish journey” on March 20—when the state had around the same number of cases— sparking the shutdown of businesses and schools to slow the virus’ spread.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images
During his Sunday press conference, Cuomo said the previous day’s reported deaths, 207, brought New York back to March 27’s reported death toll, one week after he issued stay-at-home orders.
It was “a painful period of time from March 20 to May 9,” Cuomo said, referencing the state’s case count and number of deaths, which are the highest in the country.
Cuomo also said that the state is investigation up to 85 cases of children presenting with Kawasaki-like disease that could be possibly linked to COVID-19; New York’s Department of Health is issuing a notice to the remaining 49 states on this development.
Inflammation of the blood vessels or sometimes the heart have been seen in these younger patients, according to Cuomo, adding that children could have been presenting to doctors with these conditions but that they were not diagnosed as being related to COVID-19.
The governor proposed Congress pass a new federal law, called the “Americans First Law,” which would force corporations to rehire employees to pre-pandemic levels—if not, corporations would be forced to give back their federal stimulus funds.
Cuomo also renewed his call for Congress to pass funding for states, as their budgets get walloped by the pandemic: “Almost every state needs funding help.”
$66 billion. That’s the size of the pandemic’s financial hit to New York’s budget through 2024, Cuomo said. Loss of tax revenue has pummeled the state’s budget, and Cuomo has said that schools, hospitals and local governments could all see 20% funding cuts if the federal government does not provide assistance.
What to watch for
Cuomo said he will talk more on Monday about which regions of the state could begin re-opening. The state’s shutdown order expires Friday, but regions must meet a set of criteria in order to qualify for reopening. Which means some regions could have their shutdown orders extended.
The New York Times reported Sunday that New York City’s unique characteristics will make reopening a challenge. Factors like density, mass transit and tourism are likely to slow the city’s return to normalcy. Upstate New York, however, has a much lower number of cases. Cuomo has previously said upstate regions that are more likely to begin the first phase of reopening later in the week.