Offices will be able to allow workers to return from by 75%, casinos & gaming facilities can fill from 25% to 50% and stadium capacity outdoors can increase from 20% to 33% on May 15, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced at the the State Fair grounds in Syracuse on Monday.
These announcements come as vaccination rates continue to rise while infections rates continue on the decline, according to the Cuomo administration which hopes to ramp up commerce leading into the summer months which are usually the prime season for profit these venues.
But the governor also took a beating from members of the media who shot questions regarding the ongoing allegations of sexual misconduct against him as well as the U.S. Department of Justice inquiry into nursing home deaths due to policies put in place early in the pandemic which were found to be under recorded by about 50%.
Cuomo denied all accusations of sexual harassment and expressed confidence that Attorney General Letitia James’ investigation will vindicate him, rather than force him out of office.
“Yeah, the report can’t say anything different, because I didn’t do anything wrong,” Cuomo said. “[The DOJ is] doing a thorough review of the nursing home situation, the nursing homes with that is just going to come down to in my opinion, is the politics of COVID. It was always a political debate. Frankly, it started between myself and President Trump about who was responsible for COVID.”
Cuomo said he did not regret asking former staffer Charlotte Bennett to come to the governor’s mansion to assist him with technology problems involving his smartphone, claiming his administration had opened opportunities for women to gain status.
According to Cuomo, none of the state’s managing the COVID-19 in nursing homes counted the deaths the same leading there to be a considerable level of “gray” area left open to interpretation to some degree.
“The number was always going to be what the number was, but making sure the number was accurate, is what was important. Nursing homes were ground zero for COVID. We all knew that that was true of all across the country,” Cuomo said. “The finger pointing, that is just more of the ugly politics of the time.”
The state recorded 41 COVID-19 deaths on Sunday while 44.1% of New Yorkers were logged for having at least one dose of a vaccine. The loosening of restrictions coming in May is a direct result of the improved numbers, according to the governor.