During his “state of the state” address, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo told residents he intends to safely reopen the state’s economy despite an increasing number of confirmed coronavirus cases.

The Democratic governor put a heavy emphasis on planning the state’s “economic resurgence,” even as it faces a record-setting budget deficit.

“We simply cannot stay closed until the vaccine hits critical mass – the cost is too high,” Cuomo said in his address. “We must reopen the economy, but we must do it smartly and safely.”

Cuomo added that the plan was to use COVID-19 testing to enable the reopening of restaurants, arts centers, and theaters.

Without making moves now, Cuomo gravely forecast that the state would have “nothing left to open.”

Sadly, the move comes nine months too late for many of New York’s smaller businesses. But few lockdown skeptics are likely surprised at the timing, which corresponds to President Donald Trump’s administration’s official end.

The focus of Cuomo’s grand and new vision is vaccination.

“First, we must defeat COVID and beat back the assault as the virus rages in these next few months. It will not be easy. High-performing hospital system as well as the diligence of New Yorkers are the keys to stop the spread,” he said.

“Second, the vaccine will end the COVID crisis. We must vaccinate 70% to 90%, and we must do it safely and fairly. We must also learn the glaring and costly lessons of America’s failed public health system, so we are better prepared for the next time … Third, we must deal with the short-term economic crisis. A record $15 billion state deficit,” he continued.

The social media commentary focused on the tardy nature of this conclusion and the political nature of the announcement.

Sadly for the Empire State’s remaining residents, the other priorities are green energy and social justice.

“Fifth, we must seize the opportunity to make New York the global leader in the long overdue, economic shift to green energy. That is the smart thing to do. That is the right thing to do and it will create thousands of good, secure jobs,” said Cuomo.

“Sixth, we must be the first to anticipate how COVID will transform our society and economy and we must capitalize on those coming changes,” said Cuomo.

“Seventh, we must address the systemic injustices exposed during this year’s low-tide in America: the inequity, the racism and the social abuse. And my friends, if that wasn’t ambitious enough, all of these plans must move forward simultaneously,” said Cuomo. “It will be hard. It will be the greatest test for government since we mobilized to fight World War II. It will be the greatest opportunity for advancement since post-World World II. Today, I will address the first steps we must take.”

Karol Markowicz, a columnist at the New York Post, recently visited Florida. She gave her view of the more sensible and economy-friendly approach of the Sunshine State.

Stepping off the plane, we noticed something odd: Everyone was, in fact, masked. And keeping their distance. There was hand sanitizer everywhere. The COVID “Mad Max” world was nowhere to be found. Yes, everything was open, but precautions-wise, southern Florida looked a lot like New York.

The main difference: Masks aren’t worn in no-risk situations. In Gotham, it’s very common to see people masked even when all alone on empty streets. Small children wear masks outside. In Florida, we saw maskless children playing together outside. It looked like the Before Times.

…It’s a lie, though, that Floridians aren’t taking the novel coronavirus seriously. What they have done is discard the policies that don’t work, while retaining the ones that do.

Given Cuomo’s complete list of 2021 priorities, I sense many New Yorkers will be voting with their feet and heading to Florida on a more permanent basis.

 

 
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