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Cuomo: Economy Can Restart While Still Protecting Public Health

Gov. Andrew Cuomo today weighed in on President Donald Trump's comments about wanting to try to re-start the economy after a 15-day pause to try to slow the spread of the coronavirus, saying that it's possible to both protect public health AND get Americans back to work.

Cuomo said that the initial response to COVID-19 - a massive shutdown of schools and businesses that all-but shut down the American economy - was "a blunt instrument" that was "not the most refined strategy."

"But if you ask the American people to choose between public health and the economy, then it’s no contest," Cuomo said. "No American is going to say: Accelerate the economy at the cost of human life, because no American is going to say how much a life is work. Job one has to be save lives; that has to be the priority. And there’s a smarter approach to this. You don’t have to choose between the two."

Cuomo suggested that people who are younger and therefore less in danger if they are infected with COVID-19, and people who have already had the virus and test negative for it, and those who had no symptoms but test positive for antibodies should all be allowed to return to work.

"Restart the economy with our younger, recovered and tested workers," Cuomo said. "Don’t make us choose between a smart health strategy…it’s not the economy or public health it’s restarting the economy and protecting public health. It is both."

The governor has tapped two of his former top aides - Bill Mulrow and Steve Cohen - to spearhead a plan to restart New York's post-virus economy.

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