New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday during his daily briefing that the state will reopen better than it was prior to the coronavirus pandemic.
"Yes we went through hell, but it's actually going to be better when we reopen," Cuomo said at a press conference held at the "new" LaGuardia airport in New York City. The governor touted the nearly-completed renovations at the airport, as well as improvements made to the city's public transportation that were accelerated during the state's pause.
"Those trains are cleaner than they have ever been in my lifetime," Cuomo said of the city's subway system.
LaGuardia has been under construction for years in order to improve the airport, which first opened in 1939. Cuomo said it has gone from the "worst airport in the country" to a world-class airport befitting New York City.
Passenger volume at the city's airports has been down 95% during the pandemic, according to Rick Cotton, executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Cotton said LaGuardia traffic fell by 97% at one point.
The governor also addressed reporters after protesters in New York City marched for a 13th consecutive day following the death of George Floyd, CBS New York reports. Demonstrators want specific and tangible changes to the NYPD, and police oversight from Mayor Bill de Blasio and Governor Cuomo.
"I understand what the protesters are saying and feeling, and I stand with the protesters. How many years have we heard about these situations? It's not just Mr. Floyd," Cuomo said.
"We're going to act in the state of New York, and we're going to act this week," he said, referencing the 'Say Their Name' reform agenda. Cuomo said he will sign the legislation this week.
"The most dramatic police reform in the country, and it will happen in New York this week and we're proud of it."
On Tuesday, the state Senate and Assembly voted to repeal 50-A, a decades-old law that kept officers' personnel records confidential. It is one of a dozen police reforms now being fast-tracked through the Legislature, including a chokehold ban. Also up for consideration: requiring officers to show their badge numbers, and banning officers from interfering with bystanders recording them, CBS New York reports.