As the state continues to navigate the coronavirus pandemic, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a proposed reimagined education blueprint by the Gates Foundation, discussed new death toll projections as some states begin to reopen and addressed the ongoing disagreement between the state and federal government during his daily press briefing today.
Overall numbers in New York are continuing to go down, and the state is beginning to plan a phased reopening.
However, with states across the nation reopening, new projections are reflecting higher death tolls. The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), “the preferred model by the White House,” released first-wave death projections that show the potential number of deaths by August 4.
On April 7, IHME predicted 60,415 deaths and on April 17, IHME predicted 60,308 deaths. However, on May 4, IHME’s projections changed dramatically with 134,475 deaths, correlating with the widespread reopening plans in nearly two dozen states.
“When you accelerate the reopening, you will have more people coming in contact with other people – you’re relaxing social distancing,” Cuomo said. “The more people in contact with other people, the higher the infection rate of the spread of the virus. The more people get infected, the more people die. We know that. And that’s why the projection models are going up. There’s a cost of reopening quickly.”
Despite an undecided reopening date for New York state, Cuomo has begun discussing a better public health system, better tele-medicine and a better public transportation system.
For the first time in history, New York City’s entire subway system will be shut down on Tuesday night for complete cleaning and disinfection.
Governor Cuomo specifically is looking at how New York can now reimagine its education system to better utilize technology. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is developing a blueprint to aid rethinking the state’s education system for a new normal.
It will convene experts and leaders to jumpstart a plan while considering key questions like how can the state provide educators more tools to use technology, how can technology reduce educational inequality and how can the state use technology to meet educational needs of students with disabilities.
“Bill Gates is a visionary in many ways and his ideas and thoughts on technology and education he’s spoken about for years,” Cuomo said. “But I think we now have a moment in history where we can actually incorporate and advance those ideas.”
In response to further comments made by President Trump, Cuomo continued to call for federal support, as he has been for weeks, and pushed the importance of bi-partisan agreement.
“I wasn’t asking for anything from the federal government before the coronavirus,” Cuomo said. “The federal government wasn’t giving New York anything for years.”
According to the Tuesday press conference, New York has paid the federal government $116 billion more than received in federal spending and is the number one donor state.
“You have to get out of this Democrat, Republication, it’s red or it’s blue. It’s not red or blue – it’s red, white and blue,” Cuomo said. “This coronavirus doesn’t kill Democrats or Republicans, it kills Americans.”
In addition to coming together from different political parties, Cuomo said “each of us must do our part,” in containing the virus by wearing a mask.
Mariah Kennedy-Cuomo and the governor introduced a campaign for New Yorkers to encourage others to wear a mask. Those interested can post a 30-second video on the importance of wearing a mask using the hashtag #NewYorkTough by May 30 for a chance to have it used as a Public Service Announcement.