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State officials confident NY can take on pandemic if Cuomo leaves office

If Gov. Andrew Cuomo leaves office, will New York still be able to handle the pandemic? State officials say they have confidence.

News 12 Staff

Aug 4, 2021, 9:40 PM

Updated 1,053 days ago

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If Gov. Andrew Cuomo leaves office, will New York still be able to handle the pandemic? State officials say they have confidence.
Officials on both sides of the aisle say there is no doubt in their minds they can handle COVID-19 without Gov. Cuomo, even though it was under his leadership New York went from having one of the highest hospitalizations and death rates to a state with some of the lowest numbers nationwide.
Officials say they are confident that they and Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul have what it takes to take the reins.
“The lieutenant governor, Kathy Hochul, is abundantly qualified to step in,” says Sen. Pete Harckham. “She's well respected in both chambers of the Legislature and she'll do a terrific job.”
Earlier this year, state officials revoked Gov. Cuomo's expanded executive powers, meaning he could no longer single-handedly enforce anything.
"I have no interest in revisiting that issue, whether it's Gov. Cuomo or Gov. Hochul, or whoever it is,” says State Sen. James Skoufis.
Many recent COVID-related decisions have been left up to smaller municipalities. Despite cases more than quadrupling this month, statewide action from the Legislature remains to be seen.
However, officials say they can pass new COVID-19 restrictions within three days.
"We can be called back immediately...today, tomorrow, to vote on anything that would need to come before the Legislature,” says state Assemblyman Michael Lawler.
So far, it appears there's no movement yet on a mask mandate despite recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
"If it seems that we're definitely at that moment where it has to be mandated, we will not have any problem mandating it,” says state Sen. Andrea Stewart-Cousins.
It is unknown when officials will be called in to address new statewide COVID-19 restrictions.


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