Children in New York have been out of the classroom since March due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and it could potentially be a while longer until they return if the state isn't careful, according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
During an appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday, June 28, Cuomo cautioned that the virus has a mind of its own, and while he’s hopeful of reopening schools in the fall, “anything can happen in two months.”
“Everybody talked about the economic consequence and the President said we should reopen and that's going to help the economy,” he told host Chuck Todd. “It turned out to be exactly wrong. But there's also a social consequence.
“Children have missed schools. Children have missed the interaction with other children and that's part of the socialization process,” he said. “We are preparing to open schools, we have plans to open schools, but look, Chuck, I'll be honest with you. It's two months away. Anything can happen in two months.”
Cuomo noted that two months ago, New York, the country, and the world had an entirely different outlook as the battle against COVID-19 was raging at its peak.
“You look back two months and you see how many things have changed,” Cuomo said. “I want to see what the infection rate is and what the disease is doing before we pull the trigger and make the decision.”
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During the interview, Cuomo made note of the COVID-19-related illness that has been impacting younger people under the age of 21 that has been on the rise as the state recovers from the initial outbreak of the virus.
“We're looking at this Kawasaki-like syndrome that is an inflammatory syndrome who affects children who were previously infected with COVID,” he said. “I mean this is complicated, so let's get the facts and we'll make the decision when we have to. But we're prepared and if this continues across the country, you're right, Chuck, kids are going to be home for a long time.”
During the interview, Cuomo went on to take another shot at President Donald Trump and the federal government’s handling of the COVID-19 outbreak.
“If you listen to what the Secretary said and if you listen to what to the President says, what they said at the White House briefing, they're saying what they said three months ago,” Cuomo said. “They're basically in denial about the problem. They don't want to tell the American people the truth and they don't want to have any federal response except supporting the states... In New York, we just handled it totally differently, Chuck.
“We handled it on our own,” he continued. “Communication, clear, as you mentioned, every day. Then, we came up with a plan and did the testing and did the isolation and that makes a difference."
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