New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday said he believes the economy will not quickly return to how it was before thepandemic. "I don't believe that the economy just bounces back," he said.
"We've lost thousands of small businesses that are not going to reopen their doors," Cuomo said at his daily press briefing, held at the New York Stock Exchange in Manhattan. "So you're going to see pain in this new economy."
On Wednesday, Long Island will be allowed to begin phase one of the state's reopening process. The region's reopening marks the ninth out of 10 regions to reopen since the statewide pause began in March. New York City is the only region that has yet to meet all of the metrics — such as hospital bed and testing capacity — set for each individual region to reopen.
The governor said he believes low- and middle-class residents will be the most impacted as the state reopens. "I don't think the economy comes back for everyone everywhere the same way," he said. "I think you're going to see American workers who are laid off… I think you're going to see corporations use this as an opportunity to, in their words, 'restructure.'"
In anticipation of those losses, Cuomo urged the state and federal government to accelerate infrastructure projects that can provide jobs and take advantage of the low volume of traffic.
"Now is the time," he said, citing both the existing Empire station project to revive Penn Station, and the LaGuardia Airport project. Cuomo also noted long-discussed plans for the state to invest in renewable energy, and build an "air train" from one of the city's airports.
"The time to fix the hole in the roof is when the sun is shining," he said.
There were just 73 coronavirus-related deaths on Monday, the governor said, the lowest number since the state started recording that data.
"We went up the mountain very quickly, that spike took us up very quickly, and it took a long time to come down, but we're still coming down," Cuomo said.
Cuomo spoke a day after announcing that public employees who worked on the front lines of the pandemic and died from COVID-19 will receive thethat are normally reserved for people who die in the line of duty.