Day one of Phase One of the reopening was Monday, and that meant some 400,000 more New Yorkers flooded into the trains and buses to go to work.
Ten days ago, I asked Gov. Andrew Cuomo on the phone if it was going to be safe amid this coronavirus pandemic:
Torre: Governor, in ten days’ time, would you be comfortable riding a subway in the city?
Cuomo: How about this? I won’t open the city if I’m not comfortable, and when I open the city I will ride the subway.
And he put his MetroCard where his mouth is and invited me to join him on a subway ride, from Court Square in Long Island City to Grand Central.
“I’m not going to say something is safe for you unless it’s safe for me. I’m not going to recommend you do something with your kids unless I’d do it with my kids,” the governor said. “So is the subway safe? Of course.”
He was very eager to prove that the trains are cleaner and safer to ride than ever before.
Everyone has to wear a face covering, and if you don’t have one, each station will give them out for free along with hand sanitizers.
Monday was a celebratory day for the governor after three months of struggling to contain a deadly pandemic that claimed the lives of thousands of New Yorkers. In a wide-ranging interview, he told me he was frightened to the core.
“I was processing all of that also. It’s just not you who’s scared, I’m scared. And that’s ok,” Cuomo said. “You’re scared, the governor’s scared. It’s a frightening situation, and anyone who tells you it’s not is lying.”
As for what happens next, the governor says it’s all up to the people of New York.
“No guarantees. It depends on what we do. And that’s not a trite answer, that is 100 percent right,” the governor said. “It’s the same thing the global experts said to me when we started on Day One. It’s true on Day 100. It’s all a function of how people behave.”
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