tv New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo Holds Coronavirus Briefing CSPAN December 11, 2020 8:49pm-10:19pm EST
f. to talk about the results. watch the electoral college vote monday, live starting at 10:00 a.m. eastern on c-span come online and c-span.org, or listen on the free c-span radio app. new york governor, andrew cuomo, announced a ban on new york dining -- on indoor dining in new york city starting monday along with other restrictions. some congressional democrats also joined the briefing virtually to call for congress to pass additional coronavirus relief aid. gov. cuomo: good morning. thank you all for being here today. the former secretary to governor paterson is back and helping us with the hospital surge in flex
plan and the vaccination plan, which are major operations, as you know. commissioner zucker to my left, the secretary to the governor to our left, robert made -- robert meade. i'm going to speak quickly today, number one, i'm from new york, and we have some special guests were joining us. we want to be on time for them. 286. is day we are doing through covert operations at the same time. number one, managing hospital capacity and surge influx. number two, trying to slow the spread of the virus, and number three, being as aggressive as we can on vaccinations. we want to be the most efficient and most effective state in the u.s. in terms of vaccinations. as we said, we will have the new york state panel review the
actions and recommendations of the fda to give new yorkers more confidence in the vaccination process. dr. zucker met with the new york state panel yesterday, last night, and the clinical advisory task force approved the fda decision to go forward with the vaccine. we notified the fda of that. there was no delay in the timing and new yorkers will have more confidence. we are now we are talking about a winter plan. when you are talking about a winter plan, you have to take the whole context into consideration. where we have been, where we are going. and it has been quite the journey, and the journey isn't over. it is not really going to be over until the summer, and we hit critical mass with the vaccination.
and we have to calibrate our way through the journey. you change strategies as the virus changes, the season changes, the growth pattern changes. and where the growth is occurring. the current numbers in new york state, the statewide positivity without what we call "micro-clusters," 4.5%. with the micro-clusters, 4.9%. we did 212,000 tests, 87 new yorkers passed away. they are in our thoughts and prayers. hospitalization, 5300. icu, 1007. intubations, 546. finger lakes has the highest rate of hospitalization by population.
western new and york, which we happen focusing on for quite some time. we have actually seen a flattening in western new york. not a reduction, but a flattening in the increase. that is good news. but you see the varied picture across the state of new york. we have said from day one that that for us, this is a constant calibration. we want as much economic activity as possible, and respect public health and the cost of the virus. right? so that is always the calibration. yes, economic activity. yes, as much as we can, social activity, balanced with public health. some states have had dramatic openings and closings. full open, full close. full open, full close. i think that is highly
disruptive and not the best way to go through this. our approach has been different, where we have always been following the data and the metrics. and we have more data than any other state. maybe new yorkers have ptsd, but what we went through in the spring, with all these experts giving us advice and the advice turned out to be wrong, we very heavily in doing covid testing. we are doing more testing than any state in the nation. but that gives us actual facts we can base our information on. -- base our actions upon. we have now done 21 million tests. more have actually done tests then we have people in the state of new york now. on the facts, what we are seeing are almost without
exception safer than local communities, in terms of infection rate. this was not what was initially expected. experts said schools are like mass gatherings, and if you allow students together, there's going to be a spread. that is not what has happened. that is not what the facts say. the facts say the schools are actually following the rules and guidance. the children are following the guidance. the teachers follow the guidance. and in the schools, the positivity rate tends to be lower than the positivity rate in the surrounding community. my point is, if it is safer to have the children in school, then have it in school. if it is safer for the teacher to be in school, then have the teacher be in school.
it is less disruptive. the children get the education. if you don't have the same issues you have with remote learning. now, this is a decision that has been left to the local school districts. and we have had a discussion back and forth. we had this discussion with new york city. my advice, although it is their decision, is, unless you have data that says the schools are at a problematic infection rate, the school should be open. the city of buffalo recently announced they are going to keep their schools closed. i respect local governments, i respect the prerogative of local governments, with education. i understand the balance. but, my advice, and if you look across the nation and the world, most informed experts will say test in the schools, but if the schools are safer, then
leave the schools open. by the facts, hospitalization rates are increasing across the world, across the nation, and across this state dramatically. you see where we are now, you see how quickly the increase has been. and this is the ultimate cause for concern. right? the ultimate cause for concern is the overwhelming of hospitals. with the hospitals, the situation in the hospitals is better than it has been in the past. compared to the spring, we have 30% fewer people in icu. we have 50% fewer people intubated. the length of stay and hospitals -- in hospitals has dropped dramatically.
it was 11 days in the spring. it is now down to five days. the medical community has made the most progress over the past few months. not only the development of the vaccine, but therapeutics and how they deal with this disease. that is what you see in the reduction of the length of stay. and that is what you see in the death rate. we had a 23% death rate in the spring. that is now down to 8%. this is probably the most informative data. where are the new cases coming from? you want to know what is generating the new cases, so you know where you can stop them. the troubling information is 74% of the new cases are coming from household gatherings, living room spread. in many ways, you can understand
what happened. you close the bars, you close the restaurants, you close the risk, stadiums, mass -- you close feeders, stadiums, mass gatherings, where do people go? they go home. come to my house. they are over robert's house, we will invite our friends and families. it is a compound with the holiday season, which is natural -- my family, my friends, i know we will be safe. that is what is driving these numbers. this is partially college
students who at that stage in life are superheroes and they don't believe they're going to get infected. and if they get infected, they are going to be able to deal with it. colleges, education employees, restaurants and bars, 1.4%. you are now down to small numbers basically, right? travel vacation, we had , quarantines but we have people coming in. that is an imperfect system on travel, about 1%. sector police, , fire, ems, military. a big part of this are people who are exposed to the situation by their job. ems workers, national guard people who have been helping. police and fire are out there all the time. i have said repeatedly that
police especially, they need to wear masks. it is the law and it is smart, it is both. transportation private , transportation, people in limo cars or calling cars as well as public transportation, manufacturing, religious activities, construction, retail , elementary schools, high school, middle school, correctional, point 14. rentals, .16.car we are getting to small numbers here. auto dealers, car rentals, and then hair and personal care which was much worse earlier on. , wholesale trade, building estate, gymnasium
, agriculture, forestry, media production. we are now in very, very small numbers. so stop the spread where it exists and stop it where it is being generated. don't waste time on areas that are not generators. indoor dining, -- , which many people have spoken about is a generator. we have made strides on indoor dining by the restrictions we put in place and the safety protocols be put into place. it is still an issue but it is better than it was. gyms are one of the lowest known spreaders now by the facts. we have increased testing, we have reduced capacity, gyms are
now down to .06 percent. hair salons, barbershops, .14 and again, , small gatherings are the greatest individual issue and we believe this is going to continue to increase over the holidays. in general, you see compliance by people down. it is the holidays, the vaccine is coming, i am tired of dealing with it. and government enforcement is down. one of the more troubling points in the data is the rt is up. we have not spoken about this in a while. rt is the rate of transmission. 1.3 means one person will infect 1.3 additional people. once that number is over one, you are in a problematic state.
and this is a problematic situation. we want to calibrate to the moon -- to the new material. the criteria the metrics we use, , what is the positivity rate, what is the hospitalization rate, what is the hospital capacity in that area? you do not want to overwhelm hospitals. considering the rt rate, what is the density and crowding which is a factor we have not been considering because the rt was below one for some time. and then the risk level of economic activity going back to the chart shows where cases are coming from. so you are calibrating the risk level of the economic activity, the density level, the rt rate, and the hospitalization rate. and the positivity rate.
a red zone is new york on pause, it is stop all but essential services and business. it is where we were. we don't have any red zones in the state, we don't want to go back to a red zone. other states have come back to closure, we don't want to go here. the only reason we will close the economy is because you're going to overwhelm the hospitals. and if you get to 90% of hospital capacity, you are effectively at the point where you're are going to overwhelm the capacity. capacity here includes staffing, equipment, etc. if we see we are on a glide path to overwhelming hospitals, you have no choice but to close down the economy. you cannot overwhelm the hospital system. short of that is the orange zone which is 4% positivity over 10 or 85 percent of capacity
or the rate of growth in hospitalizations is dramatic as determined by the department of health. yellow zone is 3% positivity and you are one of the highest percentage growth clusters in the state in terms of hospitalization. we are calculating the data of this week and this weekend. by the data, new zones will be announced monday. zone or ana yellow orange zone, this is all determined on the facts. what it is saying is that in your community you have a problem. it's not somewhere else, it is your community. it is your grocery store. it is your church. it is your temple, your mosque,
your block. and you can make a difference in your community. it means you have to take it seriously. yes, i am tired have been doing this for a long time. i feel it myself, i get it. but we can't relax until covid relaxes. covid is not relaxing. we have the vaccine, we are going to beat it but we have to finish the game and finish the war. we don't want to lose people who we don't need to lose. god will take people, we are not going to stop death. but we should make sure we are doing everything we can to protect every life we can. and that is the goal of all of us going through this. staten island, 26 deaths on staten island. staten island is 25% of all the
deaths of all the city even though they are 5% of the population. staten island is one of the highest growth hospitalization rates in the state today. and these are deaths, 26 people. we talk about numbers, statistics. you have to remember behind every statistic is a family, a mother, someone who will go through the holidays with a lost loved one. for me i feel it, i have the , conversations, i talked to the families. it is painful and we need people to understand that to the extent it is preventable, we really must prevent it. this is not a political issue.
there is no politics to these -- the guidance or rules. it is the one issue that the trump team and the joe biden team agree with. the rules that we follow are basically cdc rules. advisors are saying the same thing so there is no politics to this. i have no politics in this. i represent every person in the state of new york. i don't care what party you are, what ideology, whether you are short or tall or sexual orientation, it makes no difference. these are rules that make sense for everyone and it is basically all common sense. this is not high science we are applying here. these are commonsense rules. where the virus is highest, you have to take action.
we are also changing rules for hospitals in the state. have hospitals have to have a already announced hospitals have to have a 25% increase in staffed beds. remain under 85% capacity by getting additional 25% of beds or reducing elective surgeries. or both, they have that flexibility, but we want every hospital to remain under 85% occupancy. if over 85%, that hospital is a critical situation. as we said 90% triggers a red , zone and every hospital has to have a 90 day ppe supplied. the increasing rt is a problem. rate of transmission. it is more of a problem in the most dense areas. we learned this lesson in the
spring the hard way. the new york times saying that the virus is most lethal in densities. density, which is the asset of the cities becomes a reliability. the crowding is a problem. cdc last week did a caution on indoor dining. in new york city, you put the cdc caution on indoor dining together with the rate of transmission and the density and the crowding, that is a bad situation. the hospitalizations have continued to increase in new york city. we said we would watch it if the hospital rate did not stabilize and we would close indoor dining. we are going to close indoor dining on monday. outdoor dining and take-out continues. outside of new york city and in
the orange zones, we are going to watch the indoor dining data. the numbers are down in the chart. but we are going to watch over this weekend and we will make adjustments next week if the data suggests. the federal government must provide relief to these bars and restaurants in this next package. covid, iand battling understand you are wiping out evictions. -- wiping out businesses. we will do what we can in new york. we are going to extend the commercial eviction moratorium so if a business cannot pay their rent because of the situation, they will be evicted. gyms and salons, you see they are not the problem they were. we have restrictions. the restrictions made a difference. we are going to allow them to operate in orange zones with reduced capacity and additional testing. now.are at 33%
we go to 25%. they do biweekly testing, it would be weekly testing, but they can operate in an orange zone. the winter plan i went through with dr. fauci. i did it publicly at a briefing very kind to give me a lot of time to talk it through privately. we are planning basically december and january. everyone is expecting, dr. fauci expects, dr. redfield expects, the cdc director, that you are going to see a bad december and a bad january. we understand that. how bad is the question? we hope you will see a stabilization mid to late january. why? because thanksgiving started, we may be seeing the tail end of
, if youksgiving surge will, but we are about to walk hanukkah surge and christmas surge and the christmas week surge and the kwanzaa surge and new year's eve and new year's day, and by the time that tails off, you are talking mid to late january. when does it end? it ends when the vaccine hits a critical mass. it could be june, it could be september, but between today and june, that is a long six months and we can't get complacent, well the vaccine is here, everything is fine. that is not the reality. we have only been at this nine or 10 months and we have another six months to go. if the facts change, we will adjust to the facts. we will look at the data over this weekend for determinations of zones. we will look at it for indoor
dining, we will look at it for all those categories we were seeing on the chart. facts change, opinions change, facts change, we adjust to the facts and we will continue to do that. what is the optimal goal? to remain one of the lowest spreads in the nation. the tide is coming up. the boats are going up, you're not going to stop the tide, but you can do as much as you can and this state has one of the lowest infection rates in the united states of america. our highest infection rate in the state is lower than 40 states. our highest infection rate is lower than 40 states. so god bless the people of new york because this state, with its density, with its diversity is really doing an extraordinary job and we have to continue to do it because we determine our future, right? we determine the curve.
last point is the vaccine. that is the weapon that ends the war. we are going on a public education campaign to battle skepticism. we have to hit 75% to 85% of the population for the vaccine to be effective and we have 50% of the population saying they will not take the vaccine. that's a problem. we have to do outreach to the black, brown, poor communities. that is basic social justice and it has been overlooked. i will speak to that in a moment. and we have to have the most aggressive distribution program and we are starting that right now. the good news is the 170,000 doses from pfizer that we announced should be here imminently, sunday or monday. we also will get 346,000 doses and they will be here
the week of december 21 and the vaccine is coming and we are ready to administer it. part of the vaccination has to be the fairness of the vaccination process. i believe during covid, many inequities were disclosed. health care disparities were disclosed. that is why the death rate for blacks is twice what it is for whites, why the death rate for latinos is one and a half times what it is for whites. we have to learn from that and correct it when it comes to the vaccine. i don't believe this hhs administration has provided for a fair distribution to black communities and brown communities and poor communities and world communities and native american communitarians --
communities across the state. i think they are basically leaving it to the private sector. they haven't given the states any resources to do anything else. we sent a letter to secretary a r, who is theaza political head of hhs. 110 leaders signed on from the state don't continue the discrimination we have seen through covid where black, communities were left behind with higher death rates, higher infection rates. covid doesn't discriminate, neither should the united states of america and we are all anxious to do the vaccine. let's do the vaccine fairly, let's to do it justly. and new york state is going to make sure it makes that point loud and clear because we are not going to allow this federal administration to proceed with a plan that leaves out certain communities and the communities that actually need the vaccine most will get at least.
-- get it least. that would be the cruelest irony an added injustice. i believe to leave out those communities is illegal, is unconstitutional, and is discriminatory by effect if not intent. i believe this administration --president biden i believe this administration knows that. i believe the incoming administration of president biden will correct it. but we don't want this administration program to start discriminating against people and we are going to start sending out the vaccine. let's make sure we send it out fairly with the first vaccine. that is our goal and we are joined by some special guests today. it's a pleasure to have them with us. we have congressman hakeem jeffries who needs no introduction in the state. we have congresswoman karen bass. good to see you, congresswoman.
[audio difficulties] pleasure to be with you. [audio difficulties] i was speaking with your governor yesterday. so much for being with us today. i know you are all busy. we wish you all success on the package you are working on. state and local, state and local, state and local. not that we only have one agenda here, i want you to know but , thank you so much for bringing attention to this issue and pushing it forward in washington because we want to make sure we correct the injustice and working together we can do just
that. let me turn it over to congressman hakeem jeffries who has been spearheading this effort and partnering with us. thank you so much for being here and thank you for helping assemble today. jeffries: thank you governor for your tremendous leadership in this state throughout this pandemic and as your capacity in the chair as national governors association and all you have done to address these issues on the public health side and economic side throughout the nation. it's great to be joined by an all-star lineup of my colleagues in government and the house really a congressional , dream team and they have done so much for the caucus, the congress and the country. only andrew cuomo could assemble such a great team outside of the halls of congress. and so this is a critical issue for us. the covid-19 pandemic has
brought pain and suffering and death to the american people. disproportionally to communities of color, immigrant communities, low income communities and throughout indian country. that is unconscionable in a country that promises life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness to everyone regardless of race, regardless of ethnicity, regardless of region, regardless of zip code. so we have to continue to press the case together to make sure that as the vaccines become available that they are disseminated in equitable, efficient, and effective fashion to everyone. let the dissemination be driven by the data and the need. we know that that, in fact, is going to be in communities of
color and immigrant communities and throughout indian country. i want to work with my colleagues to make sure the resources are provided here in new york state and throughout the country, to make sure this can be done. it's going to take about $8 billion to do it. the government under this administration has only provided million.th about $200 that's barely a drop in the bucket and we are going to work on this issue together. thank you to my colleagues and thank you, governor cuomo. gov. cuomo: thank you so much. thank you for organizing your colleagues. i know they are very you are busy. right, they are the dream team. i've never seen them on one screen together like that and i am glad to have them here in new york. let's go to congresswoman karen bass, the chair of the congressional black caucus. she's just a superstar for all
of us and she is fighting the good fight and winning. so great to be with you. a pleasure. thank you. rep. bass: thank you so much, governor. let me join in and thank you for your leadership. nationcated the entire at the start of the pandemic. we are all very grateful to you. the way covid has impacted communities of color has been devastating. one of the things that is most devastating is that we really don't know all the impact because -- we do know given the underlying conditions our communities suffer from -- one of the things that is going to
be done before the dissemination of the vaccine is massive public education to get people to understand the virus because -- [audio garbling] -- until we have national leadership that understands their needs to be a centralized strategy. we are going to have to fend for ourselves. one of the things in that strategy is to concentrate on communities of color. we need to do everything we can to make sure we have state and local funding and make sure we have all that is needed for vaccine distribution and we need to think about frontline
workers being first and foremost in that line. thank you again for your ongoing leadership. gov. cuomo: thank you so much , congress member and keep up , the good fight. we are going to get there together. we have new york's own congress member the chair of the asian , pacific american caucus. so good to be with you. thank you. rep. meng: thank you, governor cuomo -- [audio difficulties] in new york and across the country. your efforts have been such a model for other states and i commend and thank you for all your tireless work to help americans come back after this pandemic. i think during this past year of uncertainty and the lack of sometimes accurate information, nationally, i can thank many of my colleagues and my constituents that you're up
-- updates daily and weekly have provided a very important and reliable source of information in helping us to save lives. thank you to my good friends and our caucus chair, hakeem jeffries, for his tremendous vision and steady leadership you have provided during this pandemic and that you have brought to our caucus. it is exciting to be here with this dream team, congresswoman karen bass, one of my favorite people in congress, if i can say that. deb holland,star, it's an honor to be with you. my congressional district is actually in queens, new york. we were at one point a few months ago, one of the epicenters of this pandemic. elmhurst hospital, which was one of the hardest hit hospitals in
this country is in my district and the facility was at the heart of this epicenter. the effect covid-19 has had on communities of color throughout this country has been really troubling. asian americans were impacted early on not just by the coronavirus, but by the virus of discrimination and hatred. i stood with this exact group of leaders nationally as they stood shoulder to shoulder with a api community to condemn discrimination against asian americans. the cdc says the rate of hospitalization is one and a half times more than whites, so pandemicis
exacerbating existing vulnerabilities, particularly in access to health care and including language barriers, financial obstacles, etc. we must work together, as our governor said, to ensure immigrant and minority communities have equal access to the covid-19 vaccine, that there is a fair, effective and equitable distribution, that communities of color know when and how to get this vaccine, and there must be engagement and outreach with local grassroots organizationspace organizations, and nonprofits to assist with getting this information out. one of the things i was concerned about -- he really led the charge -- working with
health and human services and the cdc director to ensure information, private and personal information that identifies recipients of the vaccine would not be shared unnecessarily with other agencies in the federal government. i am proud to announce, as you already know, that governor cuomo was successful in ensuring this result here in new york, but we must continue to work with the cdc and health department to ensure every other state achieves the same solution and protection. finally, there must be adequate federal funding to implement vaccine distribution. states cannot do this alone. the federal government must be there to support the distribution efforts of states. i have continuously urged with my colleagues, senate majority leader mitch mcconnell to pass much-needed coronavirus money like the house has done repeatedly.
we know that governor cuomo and his team are working nonstop to ensure access to the vaccine for every new yorker, to knock down barriers that have allowed disparities to exist in the past. we commend him, stand with him and continue to be partners with him as we continue to save lives here in new york and throughout the country. thank you, governor. gov. cuomo: thank you, congress you for thethank help. you are right about stopping the policy that would have identified the undocumented community. i think that would have been an exclusion of the undocumented community and we raise that issue, and with the help of this dream team, hhs actually changed their position and the state can do the vaccination without identifying them. that is a big step forward and i think they are going to hear us on this issue. let me turn it over to congress
member castro. pleasure to be with you again and the chair of the hispanic caucus. thank you for being with us and thank you for your good work on all these issues. representative castro: [audio difficulties] my connection is a little choppy. [indiscernible] as has been said, we need to make sure that [indiscernible] for the distribution of a covid-19 vaccine, especially for the most vulnerable americans --
i think it is safe to say that every american [indiscernible] for some communities, especially devastating. [indiscernible] they comprise a great deal of essential workers and have been hit especially hard with higher infection, higher hospitalization hospitalization -- [indiscernible] getting information out to the it isity [indiscernible]
going to be imperative on all of us to make sure we do everything possible and spend the money that we need to get that vaccine to all of our communities. making sure we get it not only to frontline health care workers, but essential workers like teachers and grocery store workers -- endangering their lives to make sure our country [indiscernible] -- so thank you for bringing us together today. gov. cuomo: thank you, congress member and thank you for your leadership. don't worry about the presentation being a little choppy. i'm always a little choppy and it has nothing to do with the technology.
it's my presentation. let's go to the cochair of the native american caucus. i was former hud secretary and as congressman castro knows from his family, i spent a lot of time working with the native american community and their needs are desperate and they have been made more desperate from covid. thank you for being with us. >>rep. haaland: thank you for your tremendous leadership and allyship. for your it's always a pleasure to stand in solidarity with our chairman, hakeem jeffries, and with the caucus leaders fighting for equity for our communities of color. it is a simple truth -- the federal government has failed on its promises to native americans for generations.
there are places in indian country where there isn't running water. how can they expect folks to follow handwashing guidance without water? there's not broadband internet to ensure access to telehealth and for kids doing homework virtually. and in some places, there is no electricity. over the course of this pandemic, history repeats itself and the spotlight has been put on the disparities that have existed for far too long. the virus has ravaged our communities and the trump administration has once again failed to provide the resources needed to protect the health of indian country. for example, the navajo nation had infection rates higher than any state. in new mexico, native americans are 11% of the population but have been up to over half the state's covid-19 cases. and like my colleagues have discussed here today, american
indians and alaskan natives suffer disproportionately from health conditions that exacerbate covid-19. the federal response to covid-19 in indian country is unacceptable. far too many people have died and the white house has gone out of its way to fight against providing direct aid to native nations. and now vaccines are here, but again, a comprehensive plan that will serve all people is missing. we have the opportunity to correct the history of the federal government toward native americans. robust information and education to increase confidence, research to make up for gaps for generations and the flexibility to develop their own distribution plan. thank you again, governor, for having me and having us and i'm very proud to be here today. gov. cuomo: thank you very much. thank you very much, all of you. and, look i believe we will get
, changes to this vaccination program. i think it is important we articulate it and design it. if the trump administration doesn't make the changes necessary, i believe that is illegal and we will pursue that course. because we don't want to get off to a bad start and it shouldn't be that newly elected president joe biden is going to have to correct a mistake so early. so we will do it right and then focus on the disparities we learned through this covid situation and health care deserts and the inequities that existed in the first place that manifested through covid and the agenda will be to make sure not only covid never happens again but we answer those inequalities once and for all. god bless you, thank you so much for taking the time to do this, congressman jeffries, thank you so much for organizing today, and to all of you on a personal level, i miss you and can't wait until we are together in person.
god bless you for the fight you are fighting. keep going. ok. that was a packed presentation. operator, we will take questions. >> thank you, governor. if you would like to ask a question, please use the raise hand function and we will take a moment to compile the q&a roster. you have kate from johnson newspapers. kate, your open.s now
reporter: hello? gov. cuomo: hello. reporter: governor, can you hear me? gov. cuomo: i can hear you -- we are having some technical difficulties, but i can hear you. so myer: ok, great, question, if you can still hear me, is about when you discussed that we are not in a second or third wave of the virus, how that would be caused by a
mutation, so what i would like to know is what are you hearing about a mutation, the possibility of that, especially as we are looking to the vaccine which would be for this version of the disease. so how is the state preparing of worst-case scenario and what does a mutation mean? gov. cuomo: that's a good question and i'm going to ask dr. zucker for some backup. but on your first point, you are exactly right. we early on spoke about a second wave. the second wave at that time referenced a mutated virus that came back after the first wave. that was the 1918 flu pandemic. there was one virus, it mutated and came back. that is what they meant by second wave. the language has gotten a little sloppy here. this is not really a second wave.
it's still the first wave, still the first virus. we just haven't defeated the first virus. we haven't starved the first virus, so it is a continuing surge of the first virus getting worse for the holiday season. dr. fauci would say surge on surge, holiday season plus winter plus covid fatigue. as far as the vaccine, the vaccine is for this specific virus. your question is what if you vaccinate against this virus and then the virus changes? we take a flu vaccine every year and it's a different vaccine every year because the virus changes somewhat every year for the seasonal flu. my guess, and i will ask dr. zucker, if the virus changed, they would develop a new vaccine for the mutation in the virus. but i don't know the likelihood or what that timing sequence would be.
doctor? dr. zucker: thank you for the question. we've been in touch with the who on a regular basis and they are tracking whether this virus is mutating anywhere in the world. the virus always has a little mutation, that is common with viruses but we have not seen , that in the united states or anywhere globally for that matter. if the virus were to significantly mutate, you would have to address that regarding the vaccine, but at this point in time, that is not what they are seeing. gov. cuomo: thank you. operator, next question. >> you have andrew from nbc new york. andrew your line is open. , please unmute your microphone. reporter: good afternoon, governor. hope you can hear me. gov. cuomo: i can hear you. good to be with you. reporter: you too. with regard to your decision to close indoor dining in new york city, we have heard from the hospitality alliance and small business owners here that this
decision will knock many businesses out of business for good. is there any state bailout or anything you can do to prevent the loss of many of these restaurants? gov. cuomo: yes. andrew, let's -- first, on the decision. you have the coincidence of two facts -- you have the cdc, which issued warnings on indoor dining last week and then you have the particular situation of new york city, which is one of the dense locations in this country with crowding. and you have an increased in the rate of transmission, which, to me, has always been one of the seminal factors in this whole conversation. you can talk about positivity rate, hospital capacity, but that rt rate, that is the bottom line. that's how fast the virus is
spreading. and the rt rate going up in a dense environment is a compounding problem. now new york city is already only at 25% of indoor dining, so they are going from 25% to zero. we have compensated, in many ways, especially in new york city where outdoor dining is not only allowed but it has been aggressively expanded. even though the weather is colder, the restaurants have really adapted and new yorkers have adapted to doing outside dining. and the take-out is an entirely different business line. so, yes, there will be an economic hardship from 25% to zero. but we have compensated in other ways. and this is a situation that has affected every business
community, not just restaurants. every business community and every family and we are all doing what we can. i said i believe the federal government should include subsidies for bars and restaurants in their relief package. today, we will extend the commercial eviction moratorium so a landlord cannot evict a commercial enterprise because they haven't paid the rent. we are asking everyone to hold on. the end is in sight, but we still have to get there. if we are in a situation in the state to provide business relief and we have any funds and resources that would allow us to do that, i would be 100% supportive of it and have advocated for it. we have to find out from the state point of view the situation we are in after the
federal government decides the package of statewide relief they are doing. state and local. >> governor, you now have michael from newsday. michael, your line is open. please unmute your microphone. reporter: hello, governor. are you getting businesses trying to jockey or influence to become among the first to get the vaccine? if you are, how are you going to deal with that? might secondary question and , have you made a decision on winter sports yet? gov. cuomo: we are not talking about a distribution that would do businesses that i am aware of. we have nursing home residents,
nursing home staff, health care workers, in the most urgent capacity, than essential workers, then general public. i don't know that there is a category for businesses, per se. larry or robert would know better. >> it is by population and high-risk population but it is unrelated to that unless there's a high risk activity where the likers are at high risk you talked about. gov. cuomo: anything going on with sports? >> nothing on the sports guidance. as the numbers continue to increase across the state, those high-risk sports activities remain on hold until we see a change, until we see a decline, and that is not happening. gov. cuomo: michael, if you look at that chart, you see sports way up toward the top on areas
of spread. right? that is 1.04. that cluster of sports. restaurant, bars is 1.4. sports is 1.04. sports is higher than religious activities, gyms, any of it. look at that. reporter: we could not hear rob's answer over the microphone. we look at the clusters, there are increasing clusters related to sports activities which puts them in the high categories for infection. actually in the top 10%. that is where they are. there is no change right now in allowing the high-risk sports
activities to begin and we don't expect that to happen until you start to see the rates going down. what we are seeing is them actually going up. reporter: thank you. gov. cuomo: thanks, michael. >> governor, have zach with city and state. your line is open. please unmute your microphone. reporter: hello, governor and thank you for taking my question. you have given a lot of details about your thinking of why nursing home residents and staff should go first with this 140 140,000 doses this week. i was talking to an ambulance driver earlier today and he wants to know why ambulance workers specifically were not included in this first delivery. what are your thoughts? gov. cuomo: we basically followed the federal guidance , which basically recommended
the same thing in their advisory panel. nursing home residents and nursing home workers i think almost all across the country were designated as the first priority, right? if you look at where the virus has spread, where the deaths have spread, all the arrows point to nursing homes first and foremost. then it goes to health care workers and essential workers. the ambulance -- let me go to rob. >> workers across the state are actually in the very front of who gets the vaccine. you have hospital workers, high-risk hospital workers, then you have ems workers. they are in the first 500,000 of doses, which we already have. so we already have between moderna and pfizer, approximately 500,000. ems workers across the state
will be in that first 500. gov. cuomo: let's get the numbers right -- 170,000 from pfizer and the moderna shipment starting december 21 is 360? >> 346. gov. cuomo: 346. so that's it. so roughly over 500,000 doses and that is the distribution. how far down the list will the 500,000 doses get us? do you know? >> high-risk hospital workers, ems, as rob pointed out, long-term nursing home residents, nursing home staff, the federally qualified health centers are on the list. opwdd residents and their staff,
rnh and their staff medical , examiners, health care workers and some oasis staff also fall into health care worker definition. >> you are looking at a total of about 1.5 million, which is all health care workers, all congregate care settings, workers, thevice first category. that gets us through the first third of that entire section. by the time you start we expect to get more vaccine and we will get through the first 1.5 million. gov. cuomo: operator, next question. weaverknow have terry
from the syracuse post standard. your line is open. please unmute your microphone. gov. cuomo: hello, terry. >> terry, your line is open. please unmute your microphone. reporter: hi, governor. can you hear me? gov. cuomo: yes, i can. good to hear your voice. reporter: thank you. i was hoping you could explain what's going to happen on monday as the states electoral college meets and i guess are required to meet in person. is there any last-minute remedy you might seek from the court to avoid that? if not, how is that going to proceed? gov. cuomo: you raise a good question. i have asked the same question. i did not get an answer. melissa thesk question now. the law specifically says meet
in person at the state capital. there has been so much litigation about the election, we don't want to test the law, if you will. you could say as a matter of common sense, the law says in person at the capitol, but we are in the middle of a pandemic and everything is now virtual and why don't we have a virtual meeting? that would be common sense. i don't want to create any issue for litigation where someone tries to invalidate the new york election because of this specificity about the in person in the state capital, so our plan is to do it in person. we plan to use the assembly chamber. there are about 30 people in the room and the assembly chamber is a much larger room as you know. 30 people, there will be a lot of social distancing space, all the ppe, and do it as quickly as possible.
but i don't know that there is a legal way around it. let me ask melissa if she knows anything more up-to-date. >> no, the governor is exactly right. we have looked into it and it's something we don't feel comfortable given the stakes and high rate of litigation we have seen from president trump's team. we are doing it in the assembly chamber. we traditionally do it in the senate chamber. there are 29 electors and 29 people for it 1045 person occupancy room. and we will test everybody before they get into the room. they will be more than socially distance and we will truncate the program to get everyone out with the constitutionally mandated things achieved in under 30 minutes. gov. cuomo: operator? >> your next question comes from dan clark from new york now.
your line is open. please unmute your microphone. reporter: can you hear me? gov. cuomo: yes, sir. how are you? reporter: i am doing well, thanks. on the contact tracing data, these data points -- we know 100,000 cases were diagnosed from september through november, so those remaining cases, have we identified them more as community spread? gov. cuomo: i don't think they identified a source. some people don't identify any source at all when you ask where do you think you got it from, they have no idea. i'm assuming that. rob, do you know >> that's ? correct. we look at all the cases that occurred between september and november 30. there are some still in the interview process or have not been able to be reached for
contact tracing purposes. and then there are others where they do not know the source of their infection or they know the source but did not communicate that to the contact tracers. so this information specifically is where we know contact tracers have identified the source, they know what the source is, and it is traced back. gov. cuomo: you have to or -- remember that is 46,000 data points. it's a large sample of data points. right? because we test so much, we do contact tracing and i don't know any state that has as large a databank they can turn to. can i ask you a question, dan? are you still there? dan is gone. reporter: [indiscernible]
i'm sorry. gov. cuomo: why are you working today? i thought they would have even you off for your birthday. reporter: i love to work, as you know and this is what i wanted to do today. gov. cuomo: happy birthday. 21 again. reporter: exactly. gov. cuomo: happy birthday, dan. reporter: thank you. >> you now have luis from the new york times. your line is open. please unmute your microphone. reporter: the contact tracing data released today is very interesting. i'm wondering how can the state be absolutely sure where the infection rate is coming from? it seems difficult to determine the infection came from one setting and not another. and people are wondering if bars
and restaurants account for 1.43% of cases, why shut down indoor dining? gov. cuomo: the 1.4, i asked rob about how a person in an interview, if a person identifies multiple sources, you can't really identify multiple sources in a way that is helpful. that's why not every interview winds up in a data form that you can use. a person has to be able to say with some certainty, and you are right, it is all from them, so it's only as good as their recollection and beliefs. but it is their identification of where they believe they got it from.
it can be supplemented with other data the contact tracers have. in other words sometimes they , find the infected person. they get someone from a gym who is infected, they go through the list of people who were there and call you up and say we heard you were in the acme gym, we want you to take a test. then you take a test and you know it is from the acme gym. but on that point, larry, howard, does anyone have any additional points? >> the governor is absolutely right. the data of the 46,000 was cases where the person was asked where -- were you exposed to someone who is covid positive? happen?d that exposure we know with certainty of what that person is saying based on the interview questions that that is where the infection occurred. as the governor also mentioned
there are extrapolations done , because this is where the person works and then they do the contact tracing. that part is not included in this data because they are going through that. that theetective work contact tracers are going through. these cases are specifically, they know they were exposed to somebody. the contact tracers follow-up and we know with more certainty on these 46,000. gov. cuomo: and your other point -- you do what you can. so look at the top of the list. your first point is right -- focus on the household, social gathering spread. we are and we are doing everything we can. it's limited what we can do. most states have a 10 person rule for social gatherings. some states have an eight person rule. the cdc's guidance is even less, it is only your immediate household.
every time i speak, i speak about that. health care delivery -- that is within the health care system itself. they are doing everything they can to keep hospitals safe and doh is working with them. higher education, i don't know what else there is to do there. we have the chancellor who is with us who has taken extraordinary efforts. you have a lot of private colleges that are basically closed now. education employees, those are people who work primarily in higher education. then you have restaurants and bars. restaurants and bars are the cdc recommendation and restaurant and bars inside, indoors, 25% to zero is one of the few areas we
think we can make a difference. travel, vacation, we have the quarantine in place. we have the national guard in the airports. sports, we are not opening up any additional high risk sports. then to the public sector. police, fire, ems -- i wish i had a dollar for every time i said police should be wearing masks. these are basically people doing their job -- ems workers, we have national guard, people working on the covid task force, you have fire department people -- these are essential people who are out there doing their job. you then get transit, public-private. we have disinfected buses and trains. so you do everything you can do
to slow the spread. reporter: and if i could follow a timeframe when dining will be allowed to resume in new york city? gov. cuomo: jim, do you remember the designation? >> we are going to be looking at cases and hospitalizations over at least two weeks to start to see what the general trends are. gov. cuomo: remember, it's 25% of indoor dining goes to zero. i understand that and i understand the hardship. remember the addition of the outdoor dining that did not exist before and you have all sorts of accommodations now that restaurants have done and the city has been a willing partner in building these outdoor capacities. there is a takeout business that did not exist before. so i understand the economic hardship. and look, i suffer every lost dollar with these businesses.
they have a deficit, i understand that. we have a deficit and we are living with the economic consequences also. it's not that i don't understand or appreciate literally every dollar a business loses. we lose a percentage of that dollar. so our calibration is as much economic activity as you can in respecting the public health and the risks. and then the reason this guide is so helpful is then when you are doing the calibration of economic activity, factor in the risk level of the economic activity and you look at restaurants and bars and you know we are doing everything that we can, every source that is a greater numerical source
than restaurants and bars, right? we basically closed higher education. we are on the theory of do everything that you can do within reason and i think 25% to zero in new york city, with that density, with that crowding, with that transmission rate, i think that is reasonable. and it's not forever. we have to get through this period. the faster we get through this period, the faster all businesses can open again. >> one of the things the cdc did on friday in the revised guidance was they said specifically people should be avoiding any situation where you are indoors and cannot be wearing a mask. so what they advise is if you are indoors, you should be wearing a mask unless you are in your own home.
the thing about indoor dining or drinking is that by definition of what the activity is, you cannot be wearing a mask. you are sitting at the table for a prolonged time in a closed air place along with other patrons and by virtue of what you are doing, you have to take your mask off. that's why the cdc raised the alarm as it relates to indoor dining. and to the governor's point, when you add the rt factor and the crowding intensity of new york city -- people talk about san francisco. they have a population of over 800,000. when you put it in perspective, when we consider this factors, that is why indoor dining made sense. gov. cuomo: on the balance, the cdc is the trump administration, which if anything, has been very conservative in business restrictions. even the cdc says no indoor
without masks. and indoor dining, by definition, you cannot eat and wear a mask and you cannot drink and wear a mask. by definition, you could probably drink and wear a mask. i shouldn't say that, but it would be hard. next question, operator. >> you have heather from wgrz. your line is open. please unmute your microphone. reporter: thanks for taking our question. in regard to the covid vaccine and how quickly it's going to be coming to new york and western new york can you provide any , details as to distribution plans, what systems might get it here in western new york, how many doses, things of that nature? gov. cuomo: the way the vaccine is distributed is we have the priority list of who should receive the vaccine.
it is then allocated by the state. federal government delivers pursuant to a state plan. the state allocation is by percentage of population in that priority tranche. health care workers, western new york has -- pick a number -- 7% of the health-care workers in the state, they get 7% of the allocation. whatever that actual percentage is. we did it on a numerical basis. let me check with rob and larry -- western new york, what did we say? we put out the numbers yesterday -- wednesday for the allocation of pfizer's 170,000. we put those numbers out on wednesday.
i believe by region. we now have the additional moderna vaccine. i believe we did that allocation wednesday -- was it wednesday we did the map? for the pfizer vaccine? >> that was just the pfizer. gov. cuomo: there is. ask and you shall receive. this was wednesday on the pfizer vaccine. 14,500 for western new york. let's take one more, operator. >> your final question comes from pete haskell at wcbs. pete, your line is open. please unmute your microphone. reporter: can you hear me? gov. cuomo: not only can i hear you, i can picture you taking down your mask to ask the question. reporter: thank you. not to belabor the point on the indoor dining, but you've got a very low percentage.
the restaurants argue they have the ability to keep safe. -- with air. fires and all of these things to keep people safe. do you not drive the number higher when it comes to household spread now? and secondarily, you say sit outside but it is winter now. it's not as if it is september or october. gov. cuomo: i get it 100%. there's no perfect answer on any of this and i understand everyone argues everything both ways. so look at the areas that are generating cases and you do what you can within reason in those areas that are generating cases. and you are in new york city. new york city is different. a high transmission rate in a
dense environment is different and we lived through this in the spring and we saw the virus take off in new york city. theret had already been and we did not know and really, the federal government fell down on its responsibility to monitor the virus. mass gatherings, in places of concentration of people, it moves faster. 25%, you cannot eat and drink and keep your mask up. the cdc put out that guidance clear.s no one accused the trump administration of being overly aggressive on shutdowns. if anything, they say that trump administration has been too slow on economic restrictions. plusut the cdc guidance
the density of new york city plus the increase in the hospitalization rate in new york city and the increase in the rt rate at 1.3% and that says -- because ships. do what you can. zero, aback to reduction of 25%. to dos, fewer people want outdoor dining. i understand that. but i also understand the restaurants have made remarkable adjustments and the heat lamps they have etc. are working and they have partial enclosures that are working. and hopefully come it is for a short period of time. i understand they are going to sustain economic damage and i think the federal government should reimburse them for it. the -- if the state is in a place to reimburse them for it, we well. we are stopping evictions in the
meantime so they cannot be affected. during this period. but it is in everyone's interest to get the virus under control. don't overwhelm hospitals. don't overwhelm the positivity rate. and let's get through this without having to give a shutdown. here is the alternative. life has options. spread, andslow the we overwhelm the hospital system, we get to a red zone which if you look at this line, you can factor this line out to 90% hospital capacity and close down. then every restaurant goes to zero, indoor, outdoor, zero. bad is the word -- that is a worse case scenario. and if we don't do something, we could wind up at that worst-case
scenario. and you could say to the restaurant, you want to go from 25% indoor 20, keep takeout, keep outdoor dining, we are running the risk of total balance, we are not living in a perfect world here. it is not, do nothing and life continues fine. it is do nothing and we may go back to close down. and that hurts every business. anything else on that point, guys? thatoints that i stated were not exactly clear or were misleading? moderna, that
is people. 346,000 doses twice. thank you very much. with coronavirus cases increasing across the country, use our website, c-span.org/coronavirus to follow the trends, track the spread with interactive maps, and watch updates on demand any time at c-span.org/coronavirus. getsbraska governor peter held a briefing on the vaccine distribution plan within his day and he says he will loosen restrictions soon if numbers continue to decline. he also talked about nebraska joining the texas lawsuit challenging the presidential election. >>