ALBANY — In a Wednesday press conference, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said local governments are not doing their job of enforcing COVID-19 compliance, which is creating a threat of more people becoming infected.
“We’re in the middle of a national crises. We have to be careful. We have dark clouds on the horizon,” Cuomo said, predicting COVID-19 deaths could surpass 100,000 per day nationally.
“Citizen compliance is slipping. That is a fact,” Cuomo said. “I get why the compliance is slipping, but it is a very real problem.”
Cuomo noted that young people are not wearing masks and practicing social distancing.
“So, even if you want to risk your own young life, you’re immune, you’re a super hero, why would you want to infect older people,” Cuomo said.
He said local governments need to step up enforcement of COVID-19 related measures.
“Local governments don’t have any legal authority to determine opening, reopening schools, businesses, restaurants, that’s a function of state government,” he said. “Their job (is) testing, tracing, enforcement of compliance, that is their main job.”
“They had one job, testing, tracing and enforce the compliance, they must do it. If you have local compliance dropping and you don’t have local enforcement, you see the citizen compliance slipping, you see local complaince slipping. Citizens slip, local government doesn’t comply, we’re back to the mountain, that’s going to happen.”
If everyone does what’s needed, the virus can be defeated, Cuomo urged.
“I’m not making these decisions, we are making these decisions, it depends on what we do. Local government has to step up and do their job. If citizens comply, if businesses help us with it and local governments step up, we’ll be in good shape.”
Signs are indicating a troubling future if action isn’t taken immediately, Cuomo cautioned.
“We are seeing troubling signs across the country that we should be concerned about and I am concerned about,” he said. “The situation across the country is getting worse. All these models are doing is they are extrapolating from the facts they see today. By where you are today, this is going to happen.”