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Cuomo says rise of national Covid-19 cases 'vindicates what we're doing here'

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, pointing to rising numbers of Covid-19 cases outside of the New York City metropolitan area, said today that New York's approach to combating the coronavirus has been effective.

"We have turned the corner and we are on the decline," Cuomo said during his daily coronavirus briefing. "You take New York out of the national numbers, the numbers for the rest of the nation are going up.

"To me, that vindicates what we are doing here in New York, which says: Follow the science, follow the data, put the politics aside and the emotion aside. What we're doing here shows results."

Cuomo was citing a New York Times story and chart that showed a decline in new cases in metropolitan New York City, which has been the hardest-hit part of the United States during the coronavirus pandemic. Meanwhile, the rest of the country's new cases were rising.

New York has been under a "NY pause" order since March, which closes nonessential businesses, requires nonessential employees to work from home and advises social distancing measures. The order expires May 15; the state has set criteria regions have to meet before reopening.

Cuomo, speaking from the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research in Manhasset in Long Island's Nassau County, said the state's approach has been to "deal with facts and deal with data and use that to instruct you."

"That's what we're saying in New York," Cuomo said, after ticking off several categories of data the state has used, including hospitalization rates and infection rates. "That actually works. We know it works. ... Look at what’s happening in New York: Our line is going down, our number of cases is going down."

Cuomo showed the results of increased information the state has solicited from hospitals, which showed that the majority of new cases are people who were not commuting to jobs and were staying at home.

Cuomo announced last week that the state was seeking more information from hospitals to attempt to gain more information about New York's newest cases.

The survey of 113 hospitals over three days included 1,269 responses and found that 66% of the new patients had come from home as opposed to nursing homes (18%); assisted living facilities (4%); congregate care facilities (2%); homeless (2%); prison (less than 1%); or "other" (8%).

"This is a surprise," Cuomo said. "Overwhelmingly the people were at home. ... Which is shocking to us.

"It reinforces what we've been saying, which is: Much of this comes down to what you can do to protect yourself. Everything is closed down, government has done everything it could, society has done everything it could, now it's up to you."

Cuomo said that on Tuesday there were about 600 new Covid-19 cases in the state's hospitals – on a three-day rolling average, a figure that continued to decline. Other declining hospitalization numbers included new hospitalizations, the net change in hospitalizations and the net change in intubations, which essentially translates to the number of people being put on ventilators.

Tuesday's death toll due to the coronavirus was 232, up two from Monday but part of a continual descent; it was the sixth straight day in the 200-range. Twenty-five of Tuesday's deaths were nursing home residents, according to the governor.

A day after announcing that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation would work with the state on a "reimagining" of education, Cuomo announced that Northwell Health CEO Michael Dowling would work with the state on health care and that former Google CEO Eric Schmidt would chair a 15-member "reimagining" commission that would incorporate technology to these initiatives. Schmidt said he would be concentrating on improving telehealth, remote learning and broadband access.

On Tuesday, Cuomo discussed the national conversation about reopening through the question of "How much is a human life worth?"

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