New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) on Monday announced plans to form “The Reimagine New York Task Force” aimed at determining how to reform state policies after the Chinese coronavirus pandemic subsides.
In his daily press briefings, Cuomo said he wants to use the task force to “reimagine what we want society to be” with a focus on “better” public transportation, healthcare, housing, and public safety.
“Let’s use this as a moment to really plan change that we could normally never do unless you had this situation,” the governor told reporters about the plan.
Gov. Cuomo wants to “use” the coronavirus crisis not to ask about reopening but to "reimagine what we want society to be."
“Let’s use this as a moment to really plan change that we could normally never do unless you had this situation.” pic.twitter.com/n6qzGuPy5O
— Charlie Spiering (@charliespiering) April 20, 2020
Cuomo also provided an update on the daily coronavirus death toll, stating that 478 New Yorkers died from the illness on Sunday, showing the daily total has fallen for three straight days. As of Monday, New York has 242,786 confirmed infections and 13,869 deaths, according to data tracked by Johns Hopkins University. New York City, the nation’s leading hot spot, has 134,436 cases alone and 10,022 deaths.
“That number is still horrifically high,” said Cuomo. “If you’re looking for the optimist’s view, it’s not as bad as it was.”
“Emergency rooms are still at or over capacity—but it’s better than it was,” he added.
Cuomo also warned that cuts of 20 percent to schools, hospitals, could happen unless the federal government provides aid to fill the budget gaps.
“The state budget is going to be a function of what the federal government gives us,” the New York Democrat said. “I’m worried.”
Cuomo also proposed a 50 percent bonus in hazard pay for frontline workers, saying: “Thanks is nice, but also recognition of their efforts and their sacrifice is also appropriate.”
Cuomo’s remarks come as New York begins the state’s largest-ever antibody test with 3,000 residents.