Cuomo Says Some People Could Start Going Back to Work with a Modified Public Health Strategy

Cuomo Says Some People Could Start Going Back to Work with a Modified Public Health Strategy


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Janet Ybarra
Former Washington Journalist
Contributor on The Bipartisan Press

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It seems as though Donald Trump’s message to reopen the country for Easter may be getting through, after all.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) announced Thursday that perhaps younger people and those who have already recovered from COVID-19 may be encouraged to get back to work as part of a “modified public health strategy.”

Trump this week has been repeatedly encouraging the country to throw off the restrictive social distancing and quantining measures its been under, in the name of restarting the nation’s battered economy.

A number of public health professionals have called Trump’s Easter deadline premature from a perspective of the spread of the novel coronavirus outbreak and COVID-19 pandemic.

There have been more than 550,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 worldwide. The virus has killed more than 25,000.

In the United States, there have been 93,151 reported cases, including 1,382 deaths, according to the most recent figures.

Trump has faced harsh criticism for his Easter deadline. Cuomo didn’t mention Easter specifically, but his state has been the site of the largest number of cases in the nation, so his announcement now is significant.

“It’s something the nation is working on, something that we’re working through. And I think the smartest way forward is a modified public health strategy that dovetails and complements a get-back-to-work strategy,” Cuomo said in his press conference. “What we did was we closed everything down. That was our public health strategy. Just close everything. All businesses, all workers, young people, old people, short people, tall people, every school, close everything.

“If you rethought that or had time to analyze that public health strategy, I don’t know that you would say quarantine everyone. I don’t even know that was the best public health policy,” Cuomo added. “Young people then quarantined with older people was probably not the best public health strategy. Because the younger people could have been exposing the older people to an infection.

“So how do you modify the public health strategy to make it smarter from a public health point of view, but also starts to get you back to work? Younger people can go back to work. People who have resolved can go back to work. People who — once we get this antibody test, show that they had the virus and they resolved can go back to work. That’s how I think you do it. It’s not we’re going to either do public health or we’re going to do economic development restarting. We have to do both. We have to do both. We’re working on it. And I think that’s the same thing the federal government is working through,” he said.

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