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Cuomo Will Try To ‘Supercharge’ The Economy

Kevin P. Coughlin
Office of N.Y. Gov. Andrew Cuomo
N.Y. Gov. Andrew Cuomo hosted his daily coronavirus briefing at the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday. The floor of the NYSE had been closed to traders since March 23, 2020. It reopened Tuesday for up to 25% capacity.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says he’ll meet with President Donald Trump on Wednesday to discuss an infrastructure program with federal funds for state projects, including repairing deteriorating commuter rail tunnels under the Hudson River. Cuomo says he believes the state has finally “turned the page” on the COVID-19 pandemic for now, and it’s time to refocus on restarting the economy.

Cuomo began the day by ringing the bell to reopen the New York Stock Exchange, after a two-month shutdown.

Wall Street is not only a symbol of New York and the nation’s economy, it also generates 17% of state’s revenues.  

The governor, speaking during his daily coronavirus briefing in the board room of the stock exchange, says all areas of the state except New York City are in the first phase of reopening, or will begin later this week. He says it’s time to jumpstart the economy, and one of the ways is building public works projects.

He says New York’s ongoing infrastructure projects will “accelerate,” including the long-delayed renovation of Penn Station, the redesign of LaGuardia Airport, and building renewable power transmission lines that link Canadian power to New York. 

And Cuomo says he’ll meet with President Trump in Washington on Wednesday to discuss joint projects with the federal government.

“You want to restart the economy, you want to reopen the economy, let’s do something creative, let’s do it fast, let’s put Americans back to work,” Cuomo said.

The projects the governor is seeking funding for include a train to New York’s major airports, and the replacement of the 110-year-old commuter rail tunnels under the Hudson River from New York to New Jersey. Trump in the past has resisted providing money to what’s known as the Gateway Project.

Cuomo says the public works projects would provide needed jobs in an economy that will likely still be struggling for some time. The governor says he expect  the recovery to be “uneven,” with layoffs in some industries that will harm workers.

“I believe it bounces back, but it bounces back differently,” the governor said. “There will be winners and losers.”

Cuomo says the economic recovery will only happen if the infection rate keeps dropping. He says everyone will have to get used to wearing protective masks for a while, and he predicts it will even become trendy.

“This is cool,” said Cuomo, who said some people coordinate their outfits with the color of their masks.

“This has to be part of who we are and what we do every day,” the governor said.

Cuomo says the thousands of contact tracers being hired around the state will also be key to identifying and containing any virus hotspots going forward.

Read the latest on WSHU’s coronavirus coverage here.

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Karen has covered state government and politics for New York State Public Radio, a network of 10 New York and Connecticut stations, since 1990. She is also a regular contributor to the statewide public television program about New York State government, New York Now. She appears on the reporter’s roundtable segment, and interviews newsmakers.
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