NY Gov. Cuomo: ‘The Facts Do Not Justify the Fear’

Melanie Arter | March 13, 2020 | 2:47pm EDT
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(Photo by Eduardo Munoz / VIEWpress via Getty Images)
(Photo by Eduardo Munoz / VIEWpress via Getty Images)

(CNSNews.com) – New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo warned Friday that the coronavirus will not be gone next week, it will take months based on the trend in other countries, and it’s going to be everywhere, but he put some perspective on it, saying that 80 percent of those who get it will self-resolve and some may have had it without knowing and fully recovered.

Cuomo urged people to look at the facts surrounding the virus and not go off of emotions.


“I understand emotion. I also understand facts. You want to relax yourself. You want to understand what is going on. Look at the facts. They have tracked every coronavirus case - 137,000. 5,000 people have passed away,” he said, referring to the global death rate.

The number of deaths inside the United States as of Friday was 41, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“You look into that 5,000 number. You're going to see senior citizens. You are going to see people who had underlying respiratory illnesses that were pre-existing. You are going to see people with compromised immune systems. The same type of people who would be affected by the flu, but at a higher rate of infection, and at a higher rate of mortality -- 69, almost 70,000 recoveries worldwide. 62,000 pending,” Cuomo said. “We are dealing with the virus, and we are dealing with people's perception.”

The governor said that with any emergency you deal with whether it be a fire, flood, or impending hurricane, “You have the issue, and then you have the public perception of the issue, and the fear, the anxiety, the panic, can be a more difficult issue than the underlying issue you’re dealing with, and you have a lot of anxiety. I think much more anxiety than the facts would justify, but they are emotions, right?”

“Emotions don't have to be fact-based, and part of my job is to say to the people of this state what the reality is, and what they should expect,” he said.

Cuomo predicted that it will take months, not weeks, to see a decline in cases, and that there could be thousands of people with the virus walking around New York state. He also warned that you can’t protect yourself, your family or control the situation.


First, this is not going to be a quick situation. This is going to be weeks, months. I would calibrate ourselves. This is not going to be gone next week. It's not going to be a return to normal next week. Look at China, look at South Korea, look at Italy, look at the trajectory. This is months. So prepare yourself. And this is going to be everywhere. There is day-to-day count, we’re up to, we’re up 7.

My guess is that there are thousands and thousands of cases walking around the state of New York. My guess is there are thousands of people who had coronavirus, didn't even know they had the coronavirus, had symptoms, resolved, moved on, and never knew they had it. 80% will self-resolve. There could be tens of thousands of people who had it. So this fascination with how many cases today, the number of cases, we are doing to try to identify positive people. 

It is not in any way representative of the sample of how many people have coronavirus. So you have to keep that in perspective. Also, everybody wants to protect themselves. You want to protect your family. And you want to protect your children. What do I have to do? What do I have to do? People ask me 10 times a day. At one point, you can't control the situation, and that is where we are. You can't protect yourself. 

You cannot hermetically seal yourself and your family. Someone will touch your child. Someone will put their hand down, and then your child will put their hand down. That is going to happen to you. It is going to happen to your children. That’s why the facts are important. ‘What happens if my loved one, my brother, my sister, my mother –’ 80% of it will self-resolve. If they're in a vulnerable class, be careful. Be careful today, because it can be problematic, but thinking you're going to escape, coming into contact with this is not going to happen. 


Cuomo said his daughter was quarantined for 14 days as a precaution after coming into “contact with someone who was in a hot spot” and didn’t know whether or not that person had the coronavirus. He said even he had to ask himself how he could protect his daughter, but it’s impossible.

“That's my daughter. That's everything to me. That's why I get up in the morning. How could I protect my daughter? Why didn't I protect daughter? Because it's impossible. It's impossible. My daughter is a young woman, she's not in one of the vulnerable categories. So I have to talk myself through the facts. Right? You’re talking about my child, right? You want to talk about emotion it just goes up in you. So I have to talk myself through the reality of the situation and the facts of the situation to calm myself, so I understand fully the anxiety that people feel,” he said.

Despite that “the facts do not justify the fear,” Cuomo said. 

”I know more facts than anyone. I'm doing this every day, but my daughter was possibly exposed because you can't control it. Who knows where the cab driver was? Who knows where the person who sits next to you on the bus was? Who knows where your buddy was last night, who may have come into contact with a person who then finds out they were in contact with a person? You know. You can't. You can't," the governor said. "The good news is, the facts, and yes, if you are in the vulnerable population, it's different.

"If it was, ‘My mother may have been exposed,’ then I would be more concerned. So, what am I doing? I'm taking more precautions with my mother, and I talk to her about it every day, because I'm just a son, she knows better than I know, she gave birth to me, so by definition there's nothing I could ever tell her in my life that is valuable, because so she gave birth to me, so by definition I'm just inherently inferior, which I understand, and happens to be true, but that's a different situation. So all of this to say you can't, nobody is going to be immune from this. The facts say we have to do what we have to do, but we are going to handle it, and we’re going to get past it.," he added.



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