Cuomo exhibits plans for 2020 to New York
The test balloon floated from Governor Andrew Cuomo the previous Wednesday to allow fans to play in the Buffalo Bills’ first playoff game of the year, which may or may not go down like a lead.
But the governor’s draft of the plan provided a deep glimpse of what could look like in the course of the pandemic in 2021, a vaccine rollout is on the way, and policymakers are working to keep the economy open.
“Here’s the challenge: you have an economy that is basically closed,” Cuomo said at a press conference. “They fight the COVID rate every day. The weapon that wins the war is vaccination. Vaccination will take months.”
Cuomo has pledged (and wagered) that the state’s economy will not stall even if COVID positive rates hit more than 5% nationwide and hospital admissions affect nearly 7,000 patients.
Instead of the spring hammer that was New York’s “break” earlier this year, the state has instead committed to limited openings for public meeting rooms and schools. Indoor dining has ended in New York City and has been further restricted elsewhere in the state.
Live music concerts have been postponed; Large sports teams play in empty stadiums. What is the point, Cuomo wondered on Wednesday, when people live in a city when they cannot enjoy the personal comforts?
“People couldn’t keep it up,” Cuomo said of another closure. “Forget the numbers, psychologically they couldn’t be maintained.”
The New York economy has suffered significantly this year. Unemployment is above 8%, a rebound from double-digit rates earlier this year, but still more than double what it was a year ago.
State and local governments expect billions in federal aid to be complete. Tax increases and spending cuts are likely.
But thawing the 2020 frost will require something else.
“This next chapter is not about filling a budget gap in the state budget or in the city budget,” said Cuomo. “This next challenge for next year is how the post-COVID world is realigning economy and society. What is the final effect of the COVID experience?”
The outline of the Bills plan would require the 6,700 participants in the game to receive a rapid COVID test. They would then personally watch the game wearing masks and parts of the Bills Stadium would be restricted. Contact tracking would start after the game.
It’s not exactly a normal night on the town. But as clichéd as the “new normal” is for 2020, it could be a new version of normal for 2021 as the country waits to reach critical mass of vaccinations for the general public – estimated at around 75% to 80% of all adults.
“We can’t go through a year when the economy is closed,” said Cuomo. “We’ve only been here 10 months. We couldn’t do another nine months, 12 months. How can you make up for that? How can you reopen the economy or keep it safely open while you wait to get full vaccination?” never done before, unknown water. “
This will be described in Cuomo’s State of the State address next month, which will presumably be done virtually.