New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Sunday blasted New York City residents gathering in parks and other venues across the city amid the coronavirus pandemic as “arrogant” and “disrespectful.”
Cuomo’s admonishment came as he requested the federal government help build a makeshift 1,000-bed hospital at the Javits Center in Manhattan.
“There is a density level in new York City that is wholly inappropriate. You would think there was nothing going on in parts of New York City,” Cuomo said at a press conference.
New York City has seen a dramatic spike in coronavirus cases over the past week, stoking concerns that hospitals there will soon run out of supplies and hospital beds needed to treat sick patients. Cuomo said that New York City now has 6,211 cases of coronavirus, while the state has 15,168 cases and 114 deaths.
Cuomo said at a press conference last Sunday that New York state had 729 total cases. New York City now has around 23% of the 27,000-plus coronavirus cases in the U.S. The state has approximately 56%.
Cuomo leveled his criticism of New Yorkers after he saying he observed residents hanging out in large groups in parks there on Saturday.
“I don’t know what I’m saying that people don’t get,” Cuomo said. “I don’t know what they’re not understanding. This is not life as usual. None of this is life as usual.”
“This is just a mistake,” he continued.
“It’s insensitive. It’s arrogant. It’s self-destructive. It’s disrespectful to other people. And it has to stop and it has to stop now. This is not a joke. And I am not kidding.”
Cuomo said that he told New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio that the lack of social distancing was “a problem” in the city, especially in parks.
“New York City must develop an immediate plan to correct this situation.”