Coronavirus infection and hospitalization rates in New York appear to have slowed, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday.
"The worst is over," he declared, but only "if we continue to be smart."
Cuomo's tone was in direct contrast to that of President Donald Trump, who tweeted Monday that re-opening states was within his sole discretion.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday that the worst of the coronavirus pandemic is likely behind the state, so long as there's no rush to reopen the businesses and the economy as hospitalizations slow, which could trigger another acceleration.
"I believe the worst is over if we continue to be smart. And I believe we can start on the path to normalcy," he said at a press conference in Albany.
"Do not reverse the progress we have made in our zeal to re-open," he said. "That's our challenge going forward."
671 new deaths were reported in New York on Monday, bringing the state's death toll to above 10,000 for the first time. New hospitalizations slowed to 1,958, the lowest number in two weeks, according to The New York Times, signaling a potential slowdown in infections.
Still, it could take an approved vaccine to fully end the virus' spread, something Cuomo estimated could take 12 to 18 months. And any "reckless" actions to prematurely restart the economy could prove devastating, he warned.
We are in a situation that never has occurred before.
Reopening the economy is a delicate balance.
The objective is to ease isolation & increase economic activity without increasing the infection rate.
We must do it slowly & intelligently & with every precaution.
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) April 13, 2020
Cuomo, whose daily briefings have reached celebrity status in their drastic opposition to those of US President Donald Trump's White House briefings, also hinted at a forthcoming plan in conjunction with Connecticut and New Jersey later on Monday about re-opening businesses. Many commuters from those neighboring states make up a significant percentage of New York City's workforce.
"There is going to be no morning where the headline says 'Hallelujah it's over,'" Cuomo said, adding that there will be "points of resolution" as the virus' spread ebbs and flows.
Trump took a different tone, tweeting Monday that "it is the decision of the President" to "open up the states." However, he also noted that any plan will be formulated "in conjunction with the Governors."
Overall, the United States has confirmed more than 558,000 cases, according to researchers at Johns Hopkins University.
Cuomo's second press conference on a multi-state plan is scheduled for 2 pm Eastern on Monday.
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