NEW YORK, NEW YORK — Gov. Andrew Cuomo warned of coronavirus “storm clouds” on New York City’s horizon if residents continue to ignore safety measures en masse.
“Citizen compliance is slipping. That is a fact,” he said.
And it’s not just lax mask-wearers in the West Village, Brooklyn, and Queens that Cuomo called out during an at-times scorching conference on Wednesday.
“Local government” needs to enforce compliance, Cuomo said, making clear it’s only an issue in New York City. He said the state will create its own enforcement department to supplement locals’ efforts, but provided few details.
But the biggest culprit — the one Cuomo tied directly to burgeoning COVID-19 spikes in Florida, Texas, and 14 other states whose travelers are now subject to quarantine if they visit New York — is President Donald Trump, he said.
“He denied the reality of this situation from day one,” Cuomo said.
Cuomo excoriated Trump’s actions, or lack thereof, against the coronavirus. He blasted the president for holding indoor rallies where attendees largely didn’t wear masks.
In fact, Trump should lead by example and wear a mask too, he said.
“What signals did that send to the American people?”
Cuomo said Trump should admit he was wrong on coronavirus and use it as an opportunity to lead the country. Then he briefly paused.
“Meantime, New York state is doing great,” he said, ticking off the state’s low coronavirus numbers and expansive testing regime.
Every New Yorker can now receive a test under new testing criteria updated Wednesday, Cuomo said. He encouraged all New York City residents to do that, follow safety measures, and for local government to enforce compliance.
“I’m going to bring my mountain back just to remind you of what happens,” he said of his sculpture depicting New York’s coronavirus curve.