ALBANY, N.Y. (WWNY) - There are a lot of things going on right now and sometimes the lines between them get blurred.
At his daily briefing on Tuesday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said we have to keep issues separate and focus on them one at a time.
First, he said, there’s the COVID-19 crisis, which has not gone away. Then there’s the outrage over the death of George Floyd. Then there’s the looting and rioting.
“All separate issues, all difficult, but also all doable,” he said, “just gain some perspective, separate the issues, deal with each one, keep the politics and the ugliness and the racism out of it.”
As far as the coronavirus, “we’re doing very, very well when it comes to dealing with the COVID-19 crisis,” he said.
The death count has been in the 50s for the last three days, hospitalizations down, and new cases are at 154, which he called “an all-time low.”
Western New York is set to start phase two of reopening and the Capital Region is expected to start that phase on Wednesday. New York City is on track to start phase one next week.
The governor announced summer day camps can open on June 29 and the state is reviewing whether overnight camps can open.
As far as recent protests and rioting, the governor says those are separate issues.
He says that the protests are fueled by “rightful outrage” and that “by and large the protestors have been peaceful.”
He said that’s separate from the rioting and looting, which are by people who are taking advantage of the protests to engage in criminal activity.
The governor called them “opportunists who are seizing and exploiting the moment” and, in New York City, the police have to do a better job protecting people and property from them.
“They are supposed to protect the community, protect the property,” he said. “They did not do that in New York City last night.”
Cuomo said he’s “disappointed and outraged at what happened in New York City last night,” where there was widespread looting despite an 11 p.m. curfew.
The governor said he is asking protestors to be calm and peaceful -- and to remember we’re still in the middle of a pandemic.