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Cuomo: Reopening economy will be a 'delicate balance'

 

New York Gov. Andrew CuomoAndrew CuomoOvernight Health Care: Testing capacity strained as localities struggle with vaccine staffing | Health workers refusing vaccine is growing problem | Incoming CDC director expects 500,000 COVID deaths by mid-February Health workers refusing vaccine is new growing US problem Governors say no additional vaccine doses coming, despite Trump admin promise MORE (D) on Monday described any reopening of the U.S. economy, shut down due to the coronavirus, as a gradual process, while also expressing cautious optimism of the possibility.

Cuomo described the process as requiring a “delicate balance” and noted the challenge of never having done it before.

“As much as we have this emotion, we want it to happen and we want it to happen now [and] we can’t take this anymore, it is a delicate balance,” Cuomo said at his daily press briefing, citing red flags in nations that have reopened.

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“I want to learn from those other countries and I want to make sure that we know from our studies and assessment of what’s going on in those other countries what worked and what didn’t work,” he added.

Cuomo said a return to the status quo would be a multistep process involving an easing of isolation, an increase in economic activity and a recalibration of which workers are considered “essential workers,” using the metaphor of a valve being turned “very slowly” while more testing is conducted and more precautions are taken, all while continuing to monitor daily hospitalization and infection rates.

“If you see that infection rate start ticking up … you know you’ve opened the valve too fast,” he said.

Cuomo added that he was “not interested in political opinions” in determining the process, saying he would consult public health experts who could use parts of China and South Korea that have begun reopening as a model.

The governor added that in New York in particular, any reopening plan must account for how various institutions that have shut down and slowed as a result of the pandemic, such as public transportation and public schools, interact.

“These systems work in coordination. They’re big gears and each gear intermeshes with the other gears,” he said, adding that robust federal support and a ramping up of the state’s already-aggressive testing would be key.