'You have to control it': Cuomo criticizes Trump administration for chief of staff's comments on controlling COVID-19
-The governor began by criticizing the federal government's response to the pandemic. He referenced comments made by White House chief of staff Mark Meadows over the weekend, who said in an interview, "We're not going to control the pandemic. We are going to control the fact that we get vaccines, therapeutics and other mitigation areas."
-Cuomo says New York is controlling the virus as it spikes in other states. He says we must continue to "control" the virus until the vaccine process is complete. "You have to control it -- otherwise too many people are going to die. And you can control it," Cuomo says.
-He says the micro-cluster strategy the state is using is like "COVID whack-a-mole," where clusters are attacked as they emerge.
-Cuomo criticized the federal approach and the president's comments about testing. He says doing less tests, in places like Florida, does not mean that there are less cases. "It's giving up before you fired a shot, it's giving up before you knew whether or not you could make a difference... Too many people are going to die by the time you operationalize a vaccine. This could be one year -- easily, one year."
-Cuomo says it's not a red vs. blue issue, and that wearing masks is not a political statement. He says it's about taking the right approach based on the evidence and the facts.
-On the numbers: 12 people passed away. The positivity rate in the red zone focus areas is at 3.25%. The statewide positivity rate without red zones is at 1.18%; the statewide rate with the red zone rate is 1.45%.
-Cuomo says the state's red zone strategy is working, as infection rates come down in areas with targeted restrictions.
-Gov. Cuomo calls on the president to issue a mask mandate; he notes NY was the first state to do it and he says he wishes he "did it sooner."
-Cuomo says NY is partnering with The RealReal and dozens of NY fashion designers to launch "Mask Up," a campaign to benefit COVID-19 relief efforts and encourage everyone to wear masks. The designers are donating their designs, RealReal.com will sell the masks and profits will go to COVID-relief organizations. Designer Public School is releasing a "New York Tough" mask today. And there's a Mask Up challenge, to post a selfie on Instagram with the hashtag #MaskUp, challenging 5 followers to do the same, with a message of why mask wearing is important.
-Asked if there will be an update on red zones soon, Cuomo says "yes, there probably will be," but does not give an exact date.
-On lines at early voting locations, Cuomo says he thinks the NYC Board of Elections did a "terrible job" and says he's open to an "entire redesign" of the city's BOE system to "redesign from the ground-up" and that he'd be open to anything the city proposes. Cuomo and aides note that additional state funding was given to the city for elections but says the state is not responsible for the city BOE's "failures" in management.