Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo in a news conference held today at the New York Stock Exchange revealed that he will be meeting with President Trump in Washington, D.C., tomorrow to discuss infrastructure projects that need federal approval, including the LaGuardia AirTrain, the train tunnels under the Hudson River and the Second Avenue Subway expansion.
“You want to restart the economy, you want to reopen the economy, let’s do something creative. Let’s do it fast. Let’s put Americans back to work and let’s make America better,” Cuomo said.
“It is common sense. So many of the things that we need to do you don’t need to be a government expert or an engineer to figure out. It’s common sense. You have an infrastructure that’s crumbling, you need to jump start the economy, you need to create jobs, do it now. Do it now.”
Cuomo announced that New York state itself will fast-track the construction of the new Penn Station to be called Empire Station at Penn and the rebuilding of LaGuardia Airport while rail ridership and air traffic is down.
To further jumpstart the economy, the state will work to increase low-cost renewable power downstate and production upstate with building of new cross-state transmission cables; expedite a power cable from Canada to New York City and increase renewable energy resources.
Cuomo had been at the stock exchange to ring the opening bell this morning, marking the reopening of the trading floor, which had been closed because of the COVID-19 outbreak.
“It didn’t reopen the way it was. It reopened smarter than before. Fewer people, wearing masks, new precautions that the stock exchange has incorporated, not because government said they had to, but because the stock exchange is smart, and they wanted to get back the business but they wanted to be smart and they’re doing it in a way that keeps people safe,” Cuomo said.
Cuomo’s daughter, Mariah Kennedy Cuomo, announced the winner of the state’s WearAMask ad contest in which New Yorkers submitted video ads about the importance of wearing a mask in public. The 600 submissions were narrowed to five finalists that were posted online so people could view them and vote for a favorite. There were 186,117 votes cast and only about 500 votes separated the first- and second-place videos. Because it was so close, both videos will be featured online by the state. The first place winner is called “We Heart New York” and the runner-up is titled “You Can Still Smile.”
Cuomo reported that 73 people died from the virus yesterday in the state.
“That’s the lowest level that we have seen since this started,” Cuomo said. “In this absurd new reality, that is good news. Any other time and place, when we lose 73 New Yorkers, it’s tragic. It’s tragic now. But relative to where we’ve been, we’re on the other side of the curve and that’s the lowest number that we’ve had. So we thank all the health care staff once again, doctors, nurses, who’ve been doing a fantastic job. And you see we went up the mountain very quickly, that spike took us up very quickly, and it took a long time to come down but we’re still coming down.”
Statewide there have been a total of 23,564 COVID-19 deaths, according to statistics obtained this afternoon from the state Department of Health.
Deaths in Westchester total 1,469. Rockland saw 492 of its residents fall victim to the virus. There were no new deaths in Putnam again yesterday, with the total remaining at 59. There have been 370 Orange County residents lost to the virus and 143 deaths in Dutchess County.
New York has had 363,836 people test positive for the virus. There were 33,107 cases identified in Westchester, 13,019 in Rockland, 1,222 in Putnam, 10,277 in Orange and 3,834 in Dutchess.