‘This country is better than this’: Cuomo weighs in on Minneapolis during COVID-19 briefing

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo holds daily briefing during outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Valhalla
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. (REUTERS/Mike Segar)

Governor Andrew Cuomo expressed his support for protesters in Minneapolis during his daily coronavirus briefing.

After offering his thoughts and prayers to the family of George Floyd, Cuomo urged that we should make “the same mistake we always make” and treat this as an isolated incident.

“This is not an isolated incident, it is a continuum of cases and situations that have been going on for decades and decades and decades,” said Cuomo. “These are just chapters in a book, and the title of the book is ‘Continuing injustice and inequality in America.’ And these are just chapters.”

Cuomo stated that he understands the frustration and outrage over the situation because there have been multiple incidents since the early 90s where black people in America had been unjustly killed.

“It is not about one situation. It is about the same situation happening again and again and again and again,” said Cuomo. “And seeing the same thing and not learning the lesson.”

While Cuomo said he does not stand behind the criminality that comes from the protests, he stated that he stands behind the protesters.

“I stand, figuratively, with the protesters,” said Cuomo. “I stand against the arson, the burglary, the criminality, I stand with the protesters. And I think all well-meaning Americans stand with the protesters. Enough is enough. How often do you need to see the same lesson replayed before you do something? This country is better than this.” 

During the briefing, Cuomo noted that New York City is on track to start reopening on June 8. Cuomo also stated that five regions in upstate New York can begin phase two of reopening: North Country, Finger Lakes, Central New York, Mohawk Valley and Southern Tier. Phase two would allow the regions to begin the opening of office jobs, real estate, barbershops and hair salons, and other retail stores, but with strict guidelines.

During phase two, businesses must operate at 50% capacity, with barbershops and hair salons taking in clients by appointment only. Face masks or coverings must be worn at all times and stores will be required to put signage and distance markers on the premises. Office jobs will have to conduct mandatory daily screenings for employees, while employees at hair salons and barbershops must get tested once every two weeks.

For a full list of phase two guidelines, visit forward.ny.gov.