‘We have dark clouds on the horizon’

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New York Governor Andrew Cuomo speaks during a news conference at LaGuardia Airport’s new Terminal B, during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in New York City, New York, June 10, 2020.

Brendan McDermid | Reuters

The coronavirus outbreak across the U.S. is getting worse and could threaten New York’s recovery after stringent lockdowns across the state helped suppress the fast-spreading infection, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on Wednesday. 

“We have to be careful. We have dark clouds on the horizon and we’ve made tremendous progress,” Cuomo said at a press briefing. “We’ve been through Hell and back, but this is not over and this can still rear its ugly head anywhere in this nation and in this state.”

Cuomo pointed to states like Texas, Florida and Arizona, which have all seen new cases and hospitalizations surge in recent days, as places that reopened too fast and now have to close again.

“Now they’re all singing a different tune,” Cuomo said. “Now they’re all starting to say, ‘We better take this seriously. We better start wearing masks.’ They’re going backwards on their reopening plan.” 

He cited comments Tuesday from White House health advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci, who projected that the U.S. could surpass 100,000 new infections per day, as a sign that current reopenings have exacerbated the outbreak. 

Last week, Cuomo criticized other state leaders’ responses to the pandemic, saying some states that rushed to reopen their economies were playing politics. 

“I say to them all look at the numbers,” Cuomo said last week of mostly Republican-led states that are now seeing a rise in Covid-19 cases. “You played politics with this virus, and you lost. You told the people of this state, you told the people of this country, the White House, ‘Don’t worry about it. Go about your business. This is all Democratic hyperbole,'” he said. 

Cuomo also criticized President Donald Trump, who in recent weeks has downplayed the virus, saying the pandemic is near its end in the United States. “He denied the reality of the virus,” Cuomo said Wednesday.

“Well you know what Mr. President? Reality wins,” Cuomo said. 

New York City is one area of the state that has dark clouds on the horizon, Cuomo said. He said he supported Mayor Bill de Blasio’s order that delays resuming indoor dining at NYC restaurants as scheduled next week. 

Cuomo criticized local leaders for not enforcing compliance of the state’s face covering requirements and social distancing measures. 

“Citizen compliance is slipping. That is a fact,” Cuomo said. “Look at pictures. Look at any street in Manhattan, go to the East Village, go to the West Side, go to Brooklyn, go to Queens, go to the Bronx, citizen compliance is slipping.”

This is a developing story. Please check back later for updates. 

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