Gov. Andrew Cuomo reiterated during his daily coronavirus press briefing today that he believes major government-funded infrastructure projects will be critical in the effort to rebuild the economy in the wake of the significant financial fallout caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
"I think you’re going to see corporations use this as an opportunity to in their words restructure to get lean to show the analysts they can," Cuomo said during his briefing, which took place at the New York Stock Exchange after he rang the bell to signal its official reopening.
"…We’ve lost thousands of small businesses that are just not going to reopen their doors," the governor continued. "You’re going to see pain in this new economy. And let’s start to anticipate that and let’s start to deal with that now. We know that government can stimulate the economy. This country has done that in the past where we have engaged in major public works that made the nation better."
Cuomo specifically cited projects like the Hoover Dam and the Lincoln Tunnel, both of which were funded by the New Deal's Public Works Administration, which was a key element of the Roosevelt administration's response to the Great Depression.
The effort put millions of Americans back to work, creating thousands of infrastructure projects, new buildings and public artworks across the nation.
Cuomo said New York will accelerate some of its own infrastructure projects, including rebuilding Penn Station and LaGuardia Airport - both in New York City. The lone upstate project mentioned was a cross-state transmission line to bring renewable power - including some generated in Canada - to downstate where demand is highest.
The governor said he plans to bring his infrastructure idea up with President Donald Trump when the two meet in Washington, D.C. tomorrow.
"Let’s do something creative; let’s do it fast," Cuomo said. "Let’s put Americans back to work and let’s make America better. It is common sense."