New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo was reflective during his final daily novel coronavirus (COVID-19) briefing, claiming that the state has “done the impossible” by controlling the virus amid "111 days of hell."
Rather than holding a standard news COVID-19 conference in which he was joined by staffers and took questions from reporters, Cuomo delivered a pre-recorded speech of just under 15 minutes that had the look and feel of traditional presidential addresses from the Oval Office.
Cuomo wrapped up his daily briefings on the virus on Friday, June 19 in Albany, citing continued good news as the state curbed the spread of the virus.
“If you care for me and I care for you, we showed that in the end love does win,” Cuomo said during the briefing. “Love does conquer all. That no matter how dark the day, love brings the light.
“That is what I will take from the past 111 days,” he added. “It inspires me and energizes me and excites me. If we could accomplish together what we did here, this impossible task, of beating back this deadly virus then there is nothing we can't do.”
During his final briefing, Cuomo said that there are now 1,284 New Yorkers hospitalized with COVID, the lowest number since the pandemic hit in mid-March. The state also conducted more than 79,000 new tests for the virus in the past 24 hours, a new record, as the weekly infection rate remains below 1 percent statewide.
Despite the positive data, Cuomo cautioned that New Yorkers should not rest on their laurels, and should continue to practice the protocols that have made the state the leader in battling COVID-19.
“COVID isn't over," Cuomo said. "We still have much more to do.
"We have to monitor the local infection rate, local governments must ensure compliance and do the tracing, we have to watch out for a second wave, we have to watch out for possible infections coming now from other states, and many people need help to get their lives back to normal.
“But with all of that, it's clear that over the past three months, we have done the impossible.”
With Cuomo becoming a national figurehead at the forefront of battling COVID-19, he reiterated that he has no current intentions to run for higher office, and that he will continue serving as governor until the public votes him out.
“I'm not going anywhere," said Cuomo. "Someone said to me, they were concerned because she relied on me to know what was happening.
“I will still do what I do. We just don't have to do it every day. And that's a good thing, and let's hope it stays that way.
“I know this period has been incredibly hard on all of us,” he continued. “I thought about it every day as climbing a mountain, the Mount Everest of social challenges, 42 days up the mountain and 69 days down the other side. Every step, every day, hurt and was hard. It was frightening and sad. But I really believe we will be the better for it. I believe we are.”
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