NEW YORK, NY — Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday urged federal lawmakers to avoid past mistakes seen during the Great Recession and refrain from bailing out large corporations without tight regulations governing how they use the money. Specifically, he called for “Americans First” legislation that he said would protect workers by requiring companies that take bailout money to rehire the same number of workers they had before the new coronavirus pandemic took hold.
Cuomo warned companies will try to scam Americans by using the pandemic to lay off workers, then rehire fewer workers back to improve stock, dividend and profit value.
“Mark my words today,” Cuomo said. “No bailout boondoggles. Do not betray the American people again.”
Those that do not rehire the same number of workers would have to give the money back, he said.
His call comes as federal lawmakers discuss more legislation this week. Cuomo also reiterated his claim that state governments face large budget shortfalls due to the pandemic, and that cuts loom for local governments and schools. New York needs $61 billion in federal assistance alone, he said.
“To get this economy back up and running we’re going to need an intelligent stimulus bill,” he said.
At his daily briefing, Cuomo said hospitalizations, intubations, intensive care admissions and COVID-19-related deaths continued to trend downward. The number of new, daily COVID-hospitalizations fell to levels not seen since mid-March, he said.
The number of people who died from the disease ticked up to 195 from 161 a day earlier, but still lower from the numbers seen over the weekend.
But Cuomo sounded the alarm about a possible new — and worrisome — wrinkle with the virus.
State health officials are investigating about 100 cases of what could be a COVID-19-related illness in children that leaves them with symptoms similar to Kawasaki disease and toxic shock-like syndrome. This includes a fever lasting more than five days, difficulty feeding in infants or drinking fluids, severe abdominal pain, diarrhea or vomiting, change in skin color —such as becoming pale, patchy or blue — trouble breathing, racing heart and chest pain, decreasing urination and lethargy, irritability and confusion.
State health officials are advising hospitals to prioritize COVID-19 testing for children with these symptoms, Cuomo said.
More than half of the cases are among children between 5 and 14 years old, he said. Three children have died.
Cuomo said three regions have met the seven metrics necessary to reopen: the Finger Lakes, Mohawk Valley and Southern Tier. Long Island and the Hudson Valley satisfied five of the metrics, while New York City met four.