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Governor says partying is driving up COVID-19 numbers among the younger New Yorkers

FILE PHOTO: New York Governor Andrew Cuomo speaks during a daily briefing following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Manhattan in New York City, New York, U.S., July 13, 2020. (REUTERS/Mike Segar)

While Governor Andrew Cuomo respects the “right to party,” he says that young people are putting themselves and others more at risk for COVID-19 while doing so.

In his July 23 press conference, Cuomo stated that New York’s coronavirus numbers continue to be good. On July 22, New York had 706 hospitalizations, the lowest amount since March 18, and 13 deaths. Out of the 69,698 tests performed, 811 came back positive, giving the state an infection rate of 1.16%.

While the numbers are looking good in New York, Cuomo says that the increased COVID-19 numbers in other states could put New York at risk for a second wave.

“We know that if we don’t control the virus in the other states, we are then in danger of dealing with a second wave,” said Cuomo. “Not the second wave they talked about, which was a mutated virus comes back, it’s a second ricochet of the first wave.”

Cuomo said that in New York, there is an uptick in COVID-19 cases in those aged 21 to 30 years old. While the other age groups have flattened down, the 21-30 age group jumped from a 9.9% infection rate to a 13.2% infection rate in a matter of one week. Cuomo stated that the increased number of gatherings that are driving the number of cases up.

“It is not hard to understand what is going on,” said Cuomo. “You get groups of young people – it’s warm, they’ve been locked up for a long time, they’d like to socialize, I get it. You don’t socially distance, you don’t wear masks — the virus spreads.”

As a result, the state will be launching a new video ad campaign targeted towards the younger demographic to show them that they are just as vulnerable to COVID-19 as anyone else.

“This is not the time to fight for your right to party. I respect your right to party, I would enshrine it into state law if you want to know that you have the right to party,” said Cuomo. “But let’s be smart about it. There is an attitude that young people are immune — you are not. The virus can kill you. And if it doesn’t kill you, you can bring it home and give it to someone inadvertently and it can kill them.”

During the briefing, Cuomo acknowledged that he had a conversation with President Trump about sending federal troops into New York City. While Cuomo said that President Trump agreed to not send troops at this time, the president claimed he would talk to Cuomo should anything change.

“It was a good conversation and I am going to hold him to his word,” said Cuomo. “I have no reason to believe anything other than that. But I will stay on top of this and monitor it.”

Should Trump go back on his word, Cuomo said that New York would sue, stating that constitutional law is clear about leaving policing up to the states. However, Cuomo noted that a lawsuit might not be the most effective short-term plan for retaliation.

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