A new executive order from Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued Thursday allows businesses to prohibit anyone without a mask or face covering from entering their premises. It’s designed to bolster confidence as more of New York state reopens.
Meanwhile, for the second time this week, Cuomo expressed serious concerns about a bill in Albany, requested by Mayor Bill de Blasio, that would allow New York City to borrow $7 billion to meet basic operating expenses. Cuomo said he was still waiting on a federal bailout first, a theme he has focused on repeatedly for several weeks now.
“First question is, how much money do we get from Washington? Hopefully they do the semi-responsible thing," the governor said at his daily coronavirus briefing. "The reason the state has to be concerned -- and, I think, the Senate, I spoke to some senators -- state senators -- who frankly were very smart about this and they were talking about the history. Look, we’ve been through this: when you have a local government that basically goes bankrupt, the state has to step in and then put in a financial control board.”
When it comes to aid already delivered from Washington, the governor says it hasn’t gone to where it is needed most. Alaska, for example, got more than $3 million for each confirmed COVID-19 case in the state. compared to New York which got only $24,000 per case and was hit much harder by the disease.
The next aid package has passed the House, but stalled in the Senate.
“That doesn’t mean they have to make it a gravy train of pork just to pass it," said Cuomo. "Maybe you can just pass a bill on the merits of a bill, how about that? Novel, but possible. This is supposed to be a specifically targeted piece of legislation to help restore the economy and repair the damages of the COVID[-19] virus.”
And on a much lighter note, Cuomo was joined by two Brooklyn-natives, actor and activist Rosie Perez and comedian Chris Rock, to help spread the word about getting tested for the virus.
“I want to say I got the test today," said Rock. "I just got tested before I came out here. I got a 65. So just passed, just passed.”
On the numbers, Cuomo said new hospitalizations for COVID-19 were down again: 163.
There were 74 deaths in last 24 hours in New York state. That is flat from the day before.
De Blasio and city officials have said they are expecting to ease restrictions by the middle of next month, but Cuomo insists that depends on the numbers.
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