Coronavirus News: Governor Cuomo on reopening, 'How much is a human life worth?'

ByEyewitness News via WABC logo
Tuesday, May 5, 2020
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Gov. Cuomo explains the costs of staying closed and reopening quickly in New York state.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- As there is a push to reopen across the country, Governor Cuomo posed the question, "How much is a human life worth?"

The governor said, "The faster we reopen the lower the economic cost, but the higher the human cost. Because the more lives lost. That my friends, is the decision we are really making."

Governor Cuomo pointed to projection models that had put the country's death toll from COVID-19 at 60,000, but now that projection has moved up to 134,000.

"The director said, rising mobility in most states as well as the easing of social distancing measures expected in 31 states by May 11th. That indicates a growing contact and people will transmit coronavirus. That is a very nice way of saying when you accelerate the reopening you will have more people coming in contact with other people. You are relaxing social distancing. The more people in contact with other people, the higher the infection rate of the spread of the virus. The more people who could get infected, the more people who die. We know that," Cuomo said.

The governor again asked, "How much is a human life worth? That is the real discussion that no one is admitting, openly or freely. That we should. To me, I say the cost of a human life, a human life is priceless. Period."

He said that with New York's reopening plan, it eliminates the "trade off." Basically by monitoring the data, if transmission, hospitalizations or deaths go up you ease up on the reopening.

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