Different press conferences, different calculations for tracking the coronavirus, different messages about whether the city’s public schools are closed for in-person learning amid rising COVID-19 rates.
“If by the state’s numbers you hit 3%, the schools close," Governor Cuomo said. "What’s going on here is nothing that the law hasn’t said over a month.”
But according to the state, the city's seven-day positivity rate is 2.5%. And according to the city, its rate is "exactly 3.0% and as a result, we do need to close our schools for the coming days," Mayor de Blasio announced.
Wednesday was another day in the six-year saga that is the complicated Cuomo-de Blasio relationship.
And even as de Blasio insisted he and Cuomo were on the same page — he described “very good, very productive conversations" — their actions said otherwise.
At 10 a.m., de Blasio was a no-show to his regular press briefing.
No updated city numbers on COVID-19 were released and as rumors of a decision on schools grew, parents, teachers and the media waited.
At 1:30 p.m., after short notice, Cuomo held his own press conference.
He was hostile when asked about city school closures.
When a reporter insisted, "Parents are still confused as well," Cuomo snapped, "They’re not confused; you’re confused.”
Cuomo made no mention of calls or talks with de Blasio.
At 3 p.m., de Blasio finally held his news conference.
He said repeatedly that he was delayed because he and city advisers were checking the data informing their big decision.
“And also, I wanted to have a thorough conversation with the state, including several conversations I had with the governor because it was about what happens immediately as a result, what does it mean for getting schools back and how are we going to get schools back quickly.”
But then, at 3:30 p.m., while the mayor was in the midst of his announcement, the governor conducted a radio interview.
Cuomo said state law overrides local law but he also told WAMC Radio: “Mayor de Blasio set 3%. He hit 3% today. He closed the schools at 3%. That is totally within his prerogative.”
The mayor — for his part — was complimentary toward the governor and stressed they’re working together to establish a threshold for the eventual reopening of schools.
“When you look at the whole history of the coronavirus and the whole country, New York City and New York State have been amongst the most cautious, data-driven, science-driven entities, jurisdictions in the whole country," de Blasio said.