ALBANY — Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday he was concerned that mass protests over George Floyd’s death like those in New York City could imperil the long, hard fight to contain the coronavirus pandemic in a worldwide hotspot.
“You turn on the TV and you see these mass gatherings that could potentially be infecting hundreds and hundreds of people after everything that we have done,” Cuomo said in the city at his daily briefing. “We have to take a minute and ask ourselves: ‘What are we doing here?’”
The Democratic governor said he agreed with demonstrators fighting racism and societal inequality. But he expressed frustration about possibly compromising more than two months of social and economic sacrifices. New York City is set to begin phasing in economic activity June 8.
“New York City opens next week. It took us 93 days to get here. Is this smart?” he asked.
Although many demonstrators are young, they could be spreading the virus to their mothers, fathers and grandparents, Cuomo said.
Western New York is expected to be able to reopen hair salons, retail shops and offices on Tuesday under strict guidelines.